A new study has shown that the use of music during ultrasound scans could cut down the amount of time they take significantly.
When pregnant, your scans can be some of the most exciting and nerve-wracking moments of the entire nine-month period. Your first scan will allow you your first look at the little one, and the second will reveal if you're having a boy or a girl. If you want to know at that point, that is.
But what about the nerve-wracking part? The whole point of having these scans is to ensure your baby is developing and to pick up on any potential issues. It is a complex process and the majority of people probably don't even know what is really going on/what doctors are looking for as you lie there. It can take quite a while too, up to half an hour.
That extended length of time could well be cut down drastically in the future. Deccan Herald reports that doctors at Vanivilas Hospital in India have been experimenting with something called Music and Sound Assisted Prenatal Sonography Hearing Apparatus, or MAPS for short. The process could well cut the assessment of a mom and baby's biophysical profile by a massive amount.
How it works is actually pretty simple. The mom wears headphones and is played music at a low level. A speaker is also held close to her abdomen so the fetus can hear the music too. The use of a mic is also employed and the mom is encouraged to speak to the baby. The fetus reacts to the external stimuli and allows doctors to study the child's behavior. This is the part of the scan that has usually taken the longest in the past.
MAPS has been used on 90 women so far and has apparently warranted extremely promising results. Doctors using it believe that the usual 30 minute time for a scan could be reduced to just five minutes. With the number of expectant moms needing scans, that could be a massive time saver. It's early days for MAPS, but the belief is as well we reducing scan time, the process will also help identify hearing abnormalities and neuro-developmental disorders at an earlier stage.