What is an ultrasound?
An ultrasound, sometimes referred to as a sonogram, is a prenatal exam that should be taken by but not limited to pregnant women. An ultrasound machine is a tool that uses sound waves to display the baby’s image in the womb. This exam is used to reassure doctors of your baby’s health and development and that of your own.
Many new mothers are often excited to get to see their baby for the first time. “Depending on when it’s done and your baby’s position, you may be able to see his hands, legs and other body parts. You may be able to tell if your baby’s a boy or a girl, so be sure to tell your provider if you don’t want to know” (Ultrasound During Pregnancy).
“Most women get an ultrasound in their second trimester at 18 to 20 weeks of pregnancy. Some also get a first-trimester ultrasound (also called an early ultrasound) before 14 weeks of pregnancy” (Ultrasound During Pregnancy). Depending on the medical history and conditions of the mother, the number of ultrasounds during pregnancy can vary from person to person.
Be sure to talk to your doctor about the best time for you!
What are some Reasons to have an ultrasound?
- To confirm a viable pregnancy
- To check the baby’s development: age, health, and growth. This can help your doctor when determining the stage of your pregnancy and a due date
- To check your baby’s muscle tone, movement and monitor for a stable heartrate
- To screen for birth defects
- To determine the number of babies you may have (a single child, twins, triplets, etc.)
- To check the position of your baby (head first is always the safest position)
- To examine your uterus (womb) and ovaries
Is having an ultrasound a high risk?
Because sound waves are used to conduct ultrasounds, it is safe for both you and your baby, with no risks. Ultrasounds are useful when ruling out health conditions. Though false alarms can occur from some ultrasounds, follow-up visits can prove that you actually have a healthy baby.
What happens after an ultrasound?
If your ultrasound is normal, you should continue your regular checkups. However, if your doctor has discovered some problems after your ultrasound, be sure that you are made aware of all of your options to help treat your baby. In some cases, such as spina bifida, he or she may be treated in the womb before birth, with your consent. If your ultrasound reveals that your child is in a breech position (feet down instead of head down), with your permission, your doctor can attempt to flip the baby into the correct position for birth.
Remember, despite what your ultrasound shows, consult with your doctor about the best options for you and your baby.
If you are in need of an ultrasound to check the health of your baby, CONTACT US!
“Ultrasound During Pregnancy.” March of Dimes, https://www.marchofdimes.org/pregnancy/ultrasound-during-pregnancy.aspx. Accessed February 14, 2020.