Despite all the hardships from the moment you saw that extra line on your test kits, pregnancy doesn’t feel completely real until you see your baby for the first time.
And that happens during your baby’s first ultrasound.
It’s exciting yet nervous-wrecking for some parents-to-be. You’ll probably be filled with tons of questions in your head.
We’re here to answer all your questions regarding your first ultrasound appointment. Read to learn more about the procedure and how you can prepare for this big day!
What’s an ultrasound?
Ultrasound is an imaging technology that provides painless diagnostic tests to pregnant women. It uses high-frequency sound waves that travel into the uterus and bounce back from the fetus as vibrations.
A transducer will pick up echoes, translate them into signals, and produce images of your baby on the screen. Ultrasound will not only confirm the location and heartbeat of your pregnancy, but also the fetal growth, placenta location, and the general health and anatomy of your baby.
During the procedure, your doctor will also be able to see the number of babies growing in your womb (in case there are twins). It will allow them to determine the more accurate due date of your pregnancy.
What to prepare for your baby’s first ultrasound?
Here are some important pointers to remember when preparing for this procedure:
- Eat your usual meals (no fasting needed!).
- Drink lots of water. A full bladder is highly-recommended because it improves the quality of the transmission of the sound waves.
- Wear two-piece clothing for easy access to your tummy.
When should it be done?
The answer depends on your condition and your doctor’s advice. Some get their ultrasound appointment during their first trimester, while others have it during their second trimester.
First trimester (6-8 weeks)
Most doctors wait at least 6 weeks before performing an ultrasound procedure, especially if you’re a mother with high-risk pregnancy symptoms such as bleeding, abdominal pain, or any history of birth defects, miscarriage, or complications.
During this early pregnancy period, your doctor will be able to confirm your estimated due date, check your fetal heartbeat, check your uterus for any signs of ectopic pregnancy, and determine the number of fetuses.
Second trimester (18-22 weeks)
If you didn’t do the diagnostic imaging test in your first trimester, your doctor would most likely schedule it for your 18th-22nd week of pregnancy. This procedure will be a detailed anatomy scan of your baby.
In this procedure, your doctor will measure your little one’s size, check all the major organs, inspect your uterus’ amniotic fluid, and verify the placenta’s position.
To make things more exciting, you’ll also see a sneak peek of your baby’s hands, feet, and face, as well as know its sex!
Second-trimester ultrasounds are usually done in 2D. The 3D and 4D ultrasounds are done if there are any suspected issues on the fetus.
Types of Ultrasound
Your doctor will rub a special gel on your lower belly’s skin. It will allow the transducer to move the sound waves and produce pictures of your baby.
This type is more invasive than transabdominal ultrasounds. Your doctor will apply some lubricant and gently insert a long transducer into your vagina to get a better view of the uterus. It will then transmit sound waves and create an image of your baby inside.
This procedure is likely to happen during early pregnancy when the sound waves can’t pass through your bones. It may feel ticklish and uncomfortable, but it should be painless.
Schedule your baby’s first ultrasound now!
As a mom-to-be, nothing excites you more than your initial sneak peeks of your baby. Your first ultrasound is a great experience worth sharing with your family and friends later on.
The ultrasound is just among the many tests you’ll have throughout your pregnancy. Make sure to follow all your doctor’s advice and always be on time for your appointments to ensure safe and healthy childbirth.
If you’re an expecting mom looking for expert pregnancy care, North Valley Women’s Care is here to assist you with all your pregnancy needs!
Got any questions about ultrasounds? Ask them out in the comments section below!