Ultrasounds are a special imaging method that gives you a sneak peak of what’s going on inside your growing belly. Ultrasounds can be used at various times during your prenatal care. Your physician may order an ultrasound at the very beginning to confirm your pregnancy as well as during a certain stage of fetal growth to take key measurements and evaluate the health of your unborn baby. While ultrasounds can be used to diagnose a concern or complication, they are most often an exciting procedure that allows you to watch and listen to the special being growing inside your womb. If you are new to pregnancy ultrasounds, here are some key facts to help you know what to expect:
- The very first ultrasounds may be scheduled around 6 to 9 weeks. At this ultrasound, you may hear the fetal heartbeat and measurements can be taken to provide an estimated due date. You’ll also see whether there is more than one baby inside!
- Ultrasounds to reveal the gender of your baby are typically performed between 18-22 weeks. The baby’s size and body parts can be clearly seen during this scan. Your physician will also examine the amount of amniotic fluid as well as your placenta placement.
- High-risk pregnancies often require additional ultrasounds on a recommended basis to monitor your health and the health of your baby (or babies).
- Ultrasounds are painless. Early in your pregnancy, a vaginal ultrasound is performed in which a small scanning wand is inserted into the vagina. Most women report little to no discomfort. Once the baby has grown to a bigger size, the wand can be used on top of your belly. The only discomfort may be the coolness of the ultrasound gel that glides over your skin.
- You may be asked to empty your bladder before the ultrasound and wear loose fitting clothing for the exam. Otherwise, there is no need for special preparation unless your physician gives you instruction.
Elective 3D/4D Ultrasounds
At North Pointe OB/GYN, we know you are anxious to get a closer glimpse of your unborn baby. We proudly offer advanced 3D/4D ultrasounds at our Cumming office location. While gender can be determined any time after 14 weeks, we recommend that you schedule your 3D/4D experience between 28 and 30 weeks to obtain the best image of your baby’s face and skeletal structure. You may even witness your baby yawn, kick or suck his or her thumb! Keep in mind that top quality imaging using 3D/4D technology depends upon your baby’s position, size, fluid and movement at the time of the scan. These do not take the place of a routine diagnostic ultrasound.
To learn more about pregnancy ultrasounds at North Pointe OB/GYN, please call our office today. We are happy to answer your questions and help you feel more at ease about any of your prenatal care visits.