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The Purpose of Ultrasounds During Your Pregnancy
An ultrasound is a harmless method for your OBGYN to check the growth and development of your baby. It uses soundwaves to produce a picture of your baby, including the heartbeat and his/her little movements.
With the exciting news of your pregnancy, the next exciting piece is seeing your baby in your baby’s first ultrasound. The first ultrasound also confirms the pregnancy and is used to determine if you are carrying more than one embryo, known as multiples.
This ultrasound can be scheduled as soon as the first trimester, at which point the ultrasound technician will be able to take measurements to decipher a more precise date of conception. This allows a more accurate estimate of the expected due date.
This this also gives a clearer picture of how far along you are in your pregnancy and will determine when to make your follow up appointments as recommended by your OB GYN MD.
Other Purposes for the Ultrasound
Ultrasounds are used to monitor the growth and development of baby, including checking the heartbeat and heart rate to make sure it is in a healthy zone; looking at baby’s muscle tone development, movement and other skeletal growth factors.
Ultrasounds are also used to screen for birth defects such as heart defects or spina bifida.
This imaging service also checks on your reproductive organs, such as the ovaries and uterus to make sure all are getting proper blood flow and functioning as necessary.
Ultrasounds also help to provide a clear picture of warning if there are possible pregnancy complications, such as an ectopic pregnancy (when the embryo attaches itself outside of the uterus), a molar pregnancy (a tumor that grows inside the uterus at the beginning of pregnancy), or a miscarriage (when a baby dies inside the uterus before 20 weeks of pregnancy).
The Different Ultrasounds That You May Experience
The most common ultrasound most women receive is the Transabdominal Ultrasound. For this appointment the technician will apply a layer of jelly to your abdomen to view your your uterus. A wand is then moved across your belly to get an image of your baby on a screen for you and the technician to see. Usually, at the beginning of pregnancy a full bladder is needed to get a better view of baby. Later in pregnancy it will be easier to see baby without this discomfort.
To receive another look at the uterus, cervix, ovaries and baby, a Transvaginal Ultrasound may be used. The technician will use a wand to penetrate the vagina to receive a clearer image of the reproductive organs. You may feel a little internal pressure during this process.
To check adequate blood flow for baby the Doppler Ultrasound may be used. For a closer look at baby’s development and to ensure proper reception of nutrients, the doppler will be used to measure the blood flow in the umbilical cord, the baby’s blood vessels as well as your blood flow around the area of the baby. The heartbeat will also be monitored. This ultrasound is only used when your OBGYN is concerned for baby’s growth.
For an accurate examination of baby’s growth and development, 3D Ultrasounds are used. 3D Ultrasounds are used to measure limbs, length of baby, brain size, spine, and organs. They are also used to check the uterus and to monitor for any possible issues. They also create the first as-real-as-possible imaging of baby’s facial features and make for a great first baby picture!
Your Glendale OBGYN Provides the Ultimate Care with the Best Imaging for You and Baby’s Care
At North Valley Women’s Care, we want your pregnancy experience to be as smooth and comforting as possible. We offer in-house ultrasounds so we can closely monitor the growth of your baby. Using the 3D Ultrasound creates an earlier bond with mother and baby, seeing a clearer picture of baby’s face and features, plus an awesome keepsake to show friends and family.
Call North Valley Women’s Care to schedule an appointment and receive the best care for you and your baby.
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