Most pregnant women are well aware what an ultrasound is, however just in case, an ultrasound is an imaging procedure doctors use to view your baby in the womb. An ultrasound, which may also be called a sonography or diagnostic medical sonography, works similar to the way a bat sees in the dark. Sound waves are sent out and bounce off structures or your baby in this case within the body. The waves that return are then interpreted by a machine to form the very first images of your new baby.
What many pregnant women don’t know is what an ultrasound is like. This is naturally because a first time mother has never had an ultrasound.
What happens at an ultrasound?
Your doctor will set a date and a time. You should wear clothing that makes your abdomen easily accessible. When you arrive at your doctors office, or the hospital if your care provider does not have an ultrasound machine you will be asked to lay on your back and pull your shirt up and your pants down slightly. (not so far as to expose any no-no zones.) Warmed goo will be placed on your abdomen if you are far enough along to have an external ultrasound. The doctor will move a roller like wand over your tummy. If you are not very far along you may be asked to strip from the waist down, and an ultrasound wand will be inserted into your vagina. This allows better images of baby’s at an earlier gestational age. In either case within moments, you will be viewing your new baby.
What is an ultrasound like?
The warm goo admittedly can feel a bit bizarre, but it’s worth it. As far as the first trimester of pregnancy, the ultrasound is by far the most exciting part. It makes up for all those pleasant pregnancy symptoms when you look up at that screen and through weird lumpy images spy feet, fingers, thumbs, a noggin’ and a tummy. If you are close to or past 20 weeks you may also see if you have yourself a new baby boy or baby girl. It’s enough to turn your heart as gooey as your belly is afterward.
What sort of things will the doctor check during an ultrasound?
Outside of your oh and ah-ing your doctor will also check a variety of things to ensure baby is right on track. You’ll see him or her take measurements of the head, leg and arm bones, and abdomen. Check the structures of the brain and heart and be sure other vital organs are forming, as they should. Your placenta and umbilical cord will also be noted for position and size and amniotic fluid levels will be evaluated.
Over all an ultrasound is a wonderful and beneficial experience and nothing to be nervous about, it’s far less invasive than an annual PAP smear.
What is an Ultrasound?