Getting your first ultrasound can be an exciting first milestone in your pregnancy, so why not read about what to expect at an ultrasound? There are many questions that make parents-to-be anxious. What will happen? Will we see anything? Are doctors looking for something in particular?
All of these questions are likely to go through your mind, and we at Tummy Vision are here to help. The more prepared you feel for your ultrasound, the more likely you’ll be able to enjoy the experience. We have over 1,000 5-star reviews from satisfied clients, and countless of them had questions about what to expect at an ultrasound before they visited.
Read on to learn what you can expect from your first ultrasound, and don’t be shy to ask us any questions you may have!
What is an Ultrasound?
An ultrasound is a diagnostic test performed during pregnancy that is painless. High-frequency sound waves are sent into the uterus. When they bounce back, the echoes are turned into electrical signals.
These signals are projected onto a screen in the form of black and white pictures. You’ll see your baby’s soft tissues and organs on the screen for your doctor to examine.
There are two types of ultrasound used for pregnant women. The first is a transvaginal ultrasound, and these are usually performed early on in the pregnancy. The second is a transabdominal ultrasound, and these are used to date the pregnancy and later on reveal the gender of the baby.
What is a Transvaginal Ultrasound?
There are times when pregnant women may need a transvaginal ultrasound during early pregnancy. For example, women who undergo IVF often have a transvaginal ultrasound at 6 weeks after a positive pregnancy test. At this point in the pregnancy, it is necessary to use a transvaginal probe because the fetus is deep in the mother’s pelvis.
Since sound waves cannot pass through bone, a probe allows your doctor to see your uterus via your cervix. The probe is covered with a sheath that looks similar to a condom, and lubricant is applied. The probe is gently inserted into your vagina and moved around until a picture is produced on-screen.
Although the procedure is painless, you may feel slightly uncomfortable.
What is a Transabdominal Ultrasound?
This pregnancy ultrasound is most commonly used. During your appointment, your doctor will smear a clear gel on your abdomen. If the gel is cold, you may feel a slight shock.
Your doctor will slide a handheld device over the gel and spread it around your abdomen, so it’s easier to get a clear picture. As your doctor searches for a clear picture, you may feel some pressure along your abdomen. The best thing you can do is try to stay relaxed throughout the ultrasound.
What to Expect at an Ultrasound
An early baby ultrasound is often performed after successful fertility treatment, previous miscarriages or baby loss, or other issues in pregnancy. At this point, your doctor will be listening to and observing a heartbeat. You will also be able to find out whether there is one baby or multiple.
This can be an anxious time, but you’re in the best hands. If you’re feeling particularly anxious about your appointment, ask your doctor to recommend a counselor or therapist during waiting periods between scans.
Often, women will be offered their first scan at ten to twelve weeks pregnant. This is usually referred to as the dating scan. At this appointment, your doctor will check the fetal heartbeat and give a due date for the baby.
Your technician will also examine the baby’s anatomy and take measurements. These measurements will help your doctor determine whether the baby is growing at the right rate according to your last menstrual cycle. When the measurements aren’t right, it can indicate a problem that may need further examination.
At this point, you will also be offered an NT (Nuchal Translucency) test. It is up to you whether you choose to have the test or not. The test can establish whether your baby is suspected of having Downs Syndrome, chromosomal abnormalities, or heart defects. The test involves a blood test from the mother and an ultrasound of the baby.
Can I Find Out the Gender of My Baby at my Ultrasound?
At between eighteen and twenty weeks, you’ll be offered an anatomical scan where your doctor will take some time to look at your baby. During this appointment, your baby’s lungs, heart, brain, limbs, face, and more will be examined. Your appointment could last longer than previous scan appointments.
Again, your doctor will take measurements of the baby to ensure growth is on track. This is also an opportunity to find out the gender of your baby. By sixteen weeks, it’s possible to see the gender of a baby via ultrasound. Although it’s more accurate than ever before, it is still possible for technicians to get genders wrong.
At twenty-eight weeks, it’s an ideal time to get a 3D ultrasound or 4D ultrasound. These abdominal scans allow you to get a closer look at your baby and even see some facial features so you can see who the baby resembles.
What to Do For A Tummy Vision Ultrasound Appointment
If you have a baby scan planned, be sure to wear a two-piece outfit so the doctor can gain access to your abdomen. Wear something comfortable, so you’re able to relax. You may be asked to drink water until you have a full bladder. Because safety for you and your family are our number one concern, please review our COVID-19 policies.
Having a full bladder is the best way to get a clear picture on an ultrasound. However, if it is uncomfortable to have your bladder full, it’s important to tell your technician beforehand.
Knowing what to expect from your first ultrasound is a great way to prepare for all of your ultrasound appointments. At Tummy Vision, we specialize in 3D, 4D, and HD ultrasounds to give you the best experience while seeing your baby. We will ensure you feel at ease from confirmation of your pregnancy, right through to your gender reveal.
Please browse through our website for more information on what we do, and we at Tummy Vision look forward to hearing from you. Simply contact us with any questions you may have an we will promptly get back to you.