The first glimpse of your unborn child is a major milestone. It not only validates the pregnancy but also paints a literal picture of the future to come. As prenatal tests go, an ultrasound is the most enjoyable; serving as a quick and painless reward for the swelling, nausea, and cramping commonly experienced during early pregnancy.
Below, the obstetricians at Oswego County OB-GYN PC in Fulton, NY, detail what to expect during the procedure:
What Is an Ultrasound?
An ultrasound is a pain-free diagnostic test utilizing sound waves to form a real-time image of your baby in utero. Your first ultrasound will likely take place around the 18-week mark, though you may have one sooner to determine a due date.
Ultrasounds are generally performed at a local hospital or gynecologist practice. The technician will instruct you to lie on your back before rubbing your belly with a warm gel. This gel improves sound wave transmission while allowing the transducer to move easily across your belly. The sound waves echo back from your baby as vibrations, which are then translated into real-time pictures. The procedure poses no threat to you or the baby but rather allows your physician to examine your child’s development in utero.
What to Expect
An ultrasound performed during the first trimester will allow you to view the size of the placenta, as well as your baby’s umbilical cord, heart rate, and size. It will also expose the presence of multiple babies — twins, triplets, etc. An ultrasound performed during the second trimester will provide you with more information, including details of the limbs, abdomen, heart, spine, face, head, and possibly gender.
Though an ultrasound can expose birth defects, it cannot detect them all. During your ultrasound, the examiner will thoroughly inspect your baby for physical characteristics that may indicate an abnormality. If the examiner provides you with a clean bill of health, you and your baby are likely in the clear. Should you have any questions or concerns, your gynecologist will be happy to address them.
From women’s health and pregnancy preparation to family planning and birth control, the obstetricians at Oswego County OB-GYN PC have you covered for the personalized, high-quality health care and treatments you deserve. Visit the practice online or call (315) 593-8393 to schedule an appointment.