Monthly Archives: June 2023

When Pregnant, When Do You Get Your First Ultrasound?

When Pregnant, When Do You Get Your First Ultrasound?

A mother’s joy begins when new life is stirring inside, when a tiny heartbeat is heard for the first time, and a playful kick reminds her that she is never alone. Ultrasound is the technology that allows us to peek inside and see the miracle of life in its earliest stages.

Most women will receive at least one ultrasound during their pregnancy. An early 6 week ultrasound  can be performed as soon as six weeks after your last menstrual period (LMP), though it isn’t always necessary.

A dating ultrasound may then be scheduled to confirm the age of the fetus. The first-trimester screening ultrasound, typically performed between 10 and 14 weeks, a 13 week ultrasound is usually done in stock for potential problems with the baby’s development or anatomy.

Choices Women’s Clinic offers a 3D/4D ultrasound, usually performed around 20 weeks gestation, to help parents bond with their unborn child. This blog post will provide more information on when to expect an ultrasound and how CWC can assist you throughout the process. Let’s begin.

What is Ultrasound | A General Overview

Pregnant Woman Having An Ultrasound Pregnant Woman Having An Ultrasound first ultrasound stock pictures, royalty-free photos & images

Ultrasound is a non-invasive imaging technology that uses high-frequency sound waves to create images of the inside of a woman’s body.

These images can be used to show the development and growth of the fetus throughout pregnancy, determine the baby’s age, check for any potential abnormalities or genetic conditions, and assess the position of the placenta.

Why Is A First Fetal Ultrasound Necessary During Pregnancy?

6 weeks pregnant ultrasound

Ultrasound is among the few ways your pregnancy care provider can see and hear your baby, providing valuable insights into your pregnancy’s progression. It helps determine gestational age, tracks proper growth and development, and identifies potential complications.

Depending on what your provider is looking for, ultrasounds may occur anytime during pregnancy. Not all women have a first-trimester ultrasound.

Having just one ultrasound during pregnancy is standard; a mid-pregnancy transabdominal ultrasound between 18 and 22 weeks. This is sometimes called an anatomy ultrasound because it evaluates your baby’s anatomy.

First Trimester Ultrasound | What You Need To Know

13 week ultrasound

The first-trimester ultrasound is usually performed between 6 and 13 weeks of pregnancy. Although not all pregnancies undergo a first-trimester ultrasound, healthcare providers may use them to determine viability, date the pregnancy, or diagnose suspected complications.

Transvaginal ultrasound also makes it easier to diagnose early pregnancy problems, such as a miscarriage or a molar or ectopic pregnancy.

Early Pregnancy (6–8 Weeks)

6 weeks pregnant ultrasound

Your first pregnancy ultrasound, also known as a fetal ultrasound or sonogram, could occur as early as 6 weeks after your last menstrual period (LMP). Early ultrasounds may be done to determine if the pregnancy is viable and located in the uterus, as well as to estimate the age of the fetus.

The first-trimester ultrasound can also detect a heartbeat and assess a baby’s anatomy. An ultrasound is typically performed transvaginally during early pregnancy, which offers the clearest vision of the uterus and embryo at this stage.

In this instance, the healthcare provider will insert a thin wand-like transducer probe into your vagina, which emits high-frequency sound waves through your uterus.

These waves reflect off the fetus and are transmitted back to a machine, which converts them into a black-and-white image of your uterus.

Nuchal Translucency Ultrasound (10–13 Weeks)

The nuchal translucency ultrasound is typically performed between 10 and 13 weeks.

This exam measures the fluid thickness beneath your baby’s neck, which can help identify pregnancies at risk for chromosomal abnormalities, such as Down syndrome or trisomy 18.

The healthcare provider may also use this test to confirm fetal age and assess the anatomy of your baby’s brain, heart, spine, kidneys, and other organs.

Results Of Ultrasound

During pregnancy, an ultrasound can detect if your pregnancy is in your uterus and not ectopic.

It can also determine the number of babies you’re carrying, screen for genetic disorders, identify problems with your placenta, uterus, or ovaries, and assess viability by detecting a heartbeat. Typically, you’ll see your baby’s heartbeat if you’re at least 6 weeks pregnant.

Second Trimester Ultrasound

Woman looking at ultrasound results with doctor first ultrasound stock pictures, 6 weeks pregnant ultrasound

The second-trimester ultrasound is typically performed between 18 and 22 weeks of pregnancy.

The second trimester is the most common time for a routine prenatal ultrasound. The second Trimester Ultrasound is done through an anatomy scan.

Anatomy Scan | Level 2 Ultrasound

The second-trimester anatomy scan is often called Level 2 ultrasound. An anatomy scan, a thorough scan of your baby’s developing body and organs, is offered to every pregnant person.

The second-trimester ultrasound can also help determine the sex of the baby if desired. Additionally, this ultrasound can identify any complications, such as placental abnormalities or intrauterine growth restriction.

Results

During this ultrasound, the healthcare provider will check the baby’s organs, limbs, and facial features, as well as measure the size and growth rate of the fetus.

During a prenatal check-up, your healthcare provider will conduct several tests to assess your baby’s health and development.

These tests include checking for physical abnormalities, measuring the size of your baby, assessing the amount of amniotic fluid in your uterus, and determining whether you’re carrying one baby or multiple.

Additionally, your healthcare provider will check your baby’s organs, limbs, facial features, heartbeat, position, and movement. They will also measure your cervical length and check the location of your placenta.

Finally, they will try to determine your baby’s sex, providing you with a comprehensive evaluation of your baby’s health and well-being.

Third Trimester Ultrasound

6 weeks pregnant ultrasound

The third-trimester ultrasound is typically performed between 28 and 40 weeks of pregnancy. An ultrasound is often performed on asymptomatic or symptomatic patients, but not always necessary in the third trimester.

However, if your pregnancy is high-risk, it may be recommended. During third trimester ultrasound, they may also use Doppler flow studies to measure blood flow or amniocentesis to determine any genetic problems with the fetus.

Doppler Ultrasound

A Doppler ultrasound is typically performed later in pregnancy to examine how your baby’s blood flows through its blood vessels. This type of ultrasound is used to assess your baby’s health and ensure proper blood circulation.

Fetal Echocardiogram

This ultrasound examines your baby’s heart size, shape, function, and structure. Your healthcare provider may recommend it if your baby is suspected of having a congenital heart condition or if you have a child with a heart condition history.

Additionally, your provider may suggest a closer look at the heart if you have certain health conditions.

Results

The results of a third-trimester ultrasound can provide some insight

The third-trimester ultrasound helps your healthcare provider track the baby’s growth, assess the amount of amniotic fluid, check for any potential abnormalities or problems with the placenta, and confirm that your baby is in a head-down position, ready to be born.

Pregnancy First Ultrasound | The Process

6 weeks pregnant ultrasound

During a pregnancy ultrasound, the healthcare provider will apply a special gel to your abdomen and use a transducer, a wand-like probe, to take images of your baby.

The first step in obtaining an ultrasound is for the healthcare provider to explain what he or she is looking for and any necessary preparations before the ultrasound.

The actual exam itself usually takes between 10 and 45 minutes. During the ultrasound, you can expect to hear your baby’s heartbeat and watch your baby move around inside of you.

Depending on what the healthcare provider is looking for in the ultrasound, he or she may take measurements of various parts of the fetus. Afterward, you’ll be able to see a picture or video clip of your baby.

During Transvaginal Ultrasound

The transducer emits sound waves, which bounce back and create images on a video monitor, allowing you to see your baby. Bones appear white, fluid is black, and soft tissue organs display various shades of gray.

The sonographer records important information and captures images or videos for your healthcare provider to evaluate. You can observe the process on the screen if you wish. Your provider will discuss the findings with you.

During Transabdominal Ultrasound

A sonographer glides a handheld device, roughly the size of a bar of soap, over your stomach and transmits sound waves. A computer then translates the echoes into images displayed on a video monitor, revealing your baby in real-time.

White areas represent bone, black indicates fluid, and soft tissue organs appear as shades of gray. The sonographer records your baby’s measurements and captures still images or videos for your provider to interpret. You can observe the process on the screen if you choose.

Your provider will discuss the results with you, and you may request printed or digital copies of the images to take home.

6 weeks pregnant ultrasound

For complete guidance, please book an appointment at Choices Women’s Clinic. Our experienced healthcare providers will provide the best care possible during your pregnancy journey. Let us help you enjoy this miraculous experience!

At Choices Women’s Clinic, we aim to provide you with the best care possible as you go through this incredible experience of bringing a new life into the world.

Are Ultrasounds Safe | If Yes, How Many?

13 week ultrasound

Yes, ultrasound is considered safe and has been used since the 1960s. While no known adverse effects are associated with ultrasound, following your healthcare provider’s instructions closely is essential.

Depending on your pregnancy and health history, you may need only one or two ultrasounds during your pregnancy. Your healthcare provider will be able to let you know how many ultrasounds are necessary for your personal health and that of the baby.

While pregnancy ultrasounds are generally considered safe in medical environments, improper use can result in tissue heating or the production of bubbles. It is crucial to perform ultrasounds correctly to avoid these risks.

The long-term effects of heated tissues or cavitation from ultrasounds are uncertain, particularly when they are not medically necessary.

Consequently, the FDA recommends that individuals use ultrasound scans judiciously – only when medically required, based on a prescription, and administered by a properly-trained healthcare professional.

Overall, ultrasound is an invaluable tool in determining the health and development of your baby throughout pregnancy.

How Long Does An Ultrasound Take?

Ultrasound exams typically take between 10 and 45 minutes, depending on the reason for the exam. During an ultrasound scan, your healthcare provider will move a transducer wand over your abdomen or sometimes insert it into your vagina to capture images of your baby.

The sonographer will then evaluate these images and record important information for your provider to interpret. After the exam, your provider will discuss the results with you.

If you opt to receive printed or digital copies of images from your ultrasound, this will likely add 10-15 minutes to the total time.

Wrap Up

Ultrasound is a safe, non-invasive procedure to examine your baby’s development during pregnancy. The number of ultrasounds you receive depends on your health history and that of your baby; most people require one or two scans throughout their pregnancy.

It is better to have the first ultrasound in the first trimester for better accuracy and be aware of the baby’s development. However, having an ultrasound scan in the second trimester is normal. If you require ultrasound scan services, Choices Women’s Clinic is here to provide the best care.

With state-of-the-art ultrasound technology and experienced, highly qualified medical practitioners, Choices Women’s Clinic is here to help you every step of the way. Contact us today for more information on ultrasound scans!

Frequently Asked Questions

Is 7 weeks too early for an ultrasound?

They look at your baby’s measurements, which are very predictable in the first 8-11 weeks. An ultrasound up to 12 weeks should be able to predict your gestation accurately within 3-5 days. 7 weeks is definitely not too early to see your baby, but the image might differ from what you imagined.

How do I prepare for my first ultrasound?

No special preparation is needed for an ultrasound. However, some pregnancy care providers may require you to have a full bladder and avoid using the restroom before the test. This is to ensure a better view of your baby on the ultrasound.

8 Weeks Pregnant Ultrasound What To Expect

8 Weeks Pregnant Ultrasound What To Expect

Are you ready to witness the miraculous moments of your baby’s early development? Imagine seeing their tiny heart beating for the first time, confirming the joyous reality of your pregnancy.

The 8-week ultrasound brings you closer to your little one, allowing you to glimpse their growing limbs, developing organs, and the promise of new life.

At Choices Women’s Clinic, we understand the significance of the 8-week ultrasound during your pregnancy journey.

As an expectant mother, you may have questions and concerns about what to expect during this crucial milestone. This is an exciting milestone in your pregnancy journey.

This article will guide you through what to expect during your 8-week ultrasound and provide essential information to ease any anxieties. Let’s get started.

The Importance of the 8-Week Ultrasound

Asian pregnant couple feeling happy show ultrasound image at home, focus on ultrasound image Asian pregnant couple feeling happy show ultrasound image at home, focus on ultrasound image pregnant ultrasound stock pictures, royalty-free photos & images

The 8-week ultrasound scan holds significant importance in your pregnancy journey. It serves multiple purposes, helping healthcare professionals confirm your pregnancy, estimate your due date accurately, and assess the well-being of your developing baby.

At Choices Women’s Clinic, our dedicated team of experts is committed to providing comprehensive care during this pivotal stage of your pregnancy.

What Will Happen During The Ultrasound?

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During the ultrasound at 8 weeks, several important things happen as healthcare professionals gather valuable information about your pregnancy. Here’s what you can expect during this significant stage:

Confirmation Of Pregnancy

The primary purpose of the 8th pregnancy week ultrasound is to confirm the presence of a viable pregnancy. The sonographer will carefully examine your uterus and look for the gestational sac, a fluid-filled structure surrounding the developing embryo.

Measurement Of The Baby

The sonographer will measure the crown-rump length (CRL) of your baby. This measurement helps estimate your due date accurately and determines the stage of fetal development. At 8 weeks, your baby is typically about the size of a raspberry or nearly the same size as any small berry.

Visualization Of The Gestational Sac

The ultrasound will provide a clear image of the gestational sac, the early structure that houses your developing baby. The sac appears as a black circle on the ultrasound screen filled with amniotic fluid.

Detection Of The Fetal Heartbeat

One of the most incredible moments during the 8-week ultrasound is hearing and seeing your baby’s heartbeat. The sonographer will use Doppler technology or other methods to detect the rhythmic beats of your baby’s tiny heart. A strong and regular heartbeat is an encouraging sign of a healthy pregnancy.

Assessment Of The Yolk Sac

The yolk sac, another essential structure, will be visible on the ultrasound. It provides vital nutrients to your developing baby until the placenta takes over this role later in pregnancy.

Evaluation Of The Uterus And Ovaries

The sonographer may also examine your uterus and ovaries to ensure no abnormalities or complications could affect your pregnancy.

During the 8-week ultrasound, the sonographer will capture images and measurements of these critical aspects. This information helps healthcare providers monitor the progress of your pregnancy, estimate your due date, and ensure that everything is developing as expected.

It’s important to note,

The 8-week ultrasound is a non-invasive and safe procedure for you and your baby. It provides valuable insights into the early stages of fetal development, allowing you to visualize your little one’s growth and strengthening the emotional connection with your pregnancy.

What Can You See On The Ultrasound?

Couple watching ultrasound image of future child Medium close-up of a young couple watching ultrasound image of future child during ultrasound scan pregnant ultrasound stock pictures, royalty-free photos & images

At Choices Women’s Clinic, our state-of-the-art ultrasound technology allows you to witness incredible details during your 8-week ultrasound. Though your baby is still in the early stages of development, the ultrasound images will unveil remarkable features, including:

Fetal Heartbeat

As you witness your baby’s tiny heart beating rhythmically on the screen, prepare to be amazed. The sonographer will measure the heartbeat rate, providing an important indicator of your baby’s well-being.

Limb Buds And Head

During the 8-week ultrasound, you’ll have the opportunity to see the beginnings of your baby’s limbs, limb buds, and arm and leg buds. A Baby’s head will appear larger in proportion to the body, which is crucial in housing your baby’s developing brain.

Internal Organs

Although still in the early stages of the first trimester, the ultrasound may reveal the presence of basic internal organs, such as the stomach and kidneys, as your baby’s body takes shape.

Amniotic Fluid

The amniotic fluid surrounding your baby will be visible on the ultrasound images creating a serene and protective environment for their growth and development. This cushion fluid ensures your baby is safe and comfortable throughout pregnancy.

Transvaginal Vs. Abdominal Ultrasounds

Regarding early ultrasound during pregnancy, there are two common methods: transvaginal and abdominal ultrasound. Each method has its benefits and considerations. Let’s explore the differences between these two types of ultrasounds:

Transvaginal Ultrasound

Close-up of stethoscope and ultrasound scan Close-up of stethoscope and ultrasound scan on wooden background tranviginal ultraosund stock pictures, royalty-free photos & images

A transvaginal ultrasound involves inserting a specially designed wand or probes into the vagina to obtain images of the pelvic organs and the developing fetus.

Here are some key points about transvaginal ultrasounds:

  1. Procedure

Before the early ultrasounds procedure, you will be asked to empty your bladder during a transvaginal ultrasound. The ultrasound technician or healthcare provider will insert the probe into the vagina, which may cause mild discomfort but is generally well-tolerated.

  1. Clearer Images

Transvaginal ultrasounds provide clearer and more detailed images in an early pregnancy scan. The proximity of the probe to the uterus allows for a closer view of the developing embryo and better visualization of structures.

  1. Early Detection

Transvaginal ultrasounds are particularly useful in the early stages of pregnancy, typically up to around 10 weeks. They can detect pregnancies earlier than abdominal ultrasounds, especially in cases where a clear image cannot be obtained through the abdomen.

  1. Pelvic Examination

Transvaginal ultrasounds also allow for a more comprehensive assessment of the pelvic organs, including the uterus, ovaries, and surrounding structures. This can be beneficial for evaluating any potential issues or abnormalities.

  1. Privacy and Comfort

Some individuals may find transvaginal ultrasounds more invasive or uncomfortable than abdominal ultrasounds. However, the procedure is relatively quick and is performed in a private, intimate setting.

Abdominal Ultrasound

Doctor performing ultrasound on pregnant woman Doctor performing ultrasound on pregnant woman abdominal ultrasound stock pictures, royalty-free photos & images

An abdominal ultrasound is a more common type of ultrasound that involves placing a transducer on the surface of the abdomen to capture images of the pelvic organs and the developing fetus.

Here’s what you need to know about abdominal ultrasounds:

  1. Procedure

For an abdominal ultrasound, you will be asked to have a full bladder to help improve image quality. The transducer is moved gently over the abdomen, transmitting sound waves and creating images on a monitor.

  1. Wider View

Abdominal ultrasounds provide a broader view of the pelvic area, including the uterus, ovaries, and surrounding structures. They can be used to assess the overall health of these organs and detect any abnormalities.

  1. Later in Pregnancy

Abdominal ultrasounds are commonly performed throughout pregnancy, including the later stages. As the baby grows and the uterus rises higher in the abdomen, abdominal ultrasounds more effectively capture images.

  1. Non-invasive and Convenient

Abdominal ultrasounds are non-invasive and generally painless. They do not require any insertion into the body and are typically well-tolerated by most individuals.

  1. Image Clarity

In early pregnancy, particularly before 10 weeks, abdominal ultrasounds may not provide as clear and detailed images as transvaginal ultrasounds. The distance between the transducer and the developing embryo can sometimes limit visibility.

Know that,

The choice between transvaginal and abdominal ultrasound depends on various factors, including the stage of pregnancy, individual circumstances, and the preferences of both the healthcare provider and the patient.

Your healthcare provider will recommend the most appropriate type of ultrasound based on your specific needs.

When You Can’t See The Baby Or A Heartbeat

In some cases, during an ultrasound, it may not be possible to see the baby or detect a heartbeat. This can understandably be concerning for expectant parents. Here are a few possible reasons why this might occur:

Early Stage Of Pregnancy

If the ultrasound is performed very early in the pregnancy, typically before 6-7 weeks, it may be challenging to visualize the baby or detect a heartbeat. The embryo is still very small at this early stage, and it may take a little more time to be visible on the ultrasound.

Incorrect Dates

Sometimes, the estimated gestational age based on the last menstrual period may not align with the actual stage of pregnancy. If the ultrasound is performed too early or too late based on the estimated dates, it may result in difficulties visualizing the baby or the heartbeat.

Position Of The Baby

Obstetrician gynecologist shows woman artificial model of fetus of child and ultrasound of fetus Obstetrician gynecologist shows woman artificial model of fetus of child and ultrasound of fetus. Pregnancy planning and surrogacy early pragnanay ultrasound stock pictures, royalty-free photos & images

The baby’s position within the uterus can also affect visibility during an ultrasound. If the baby is positioned in a way that makes it challenging to obtain clear images, it may be difficult to see them or detect a heartbeat. The healthcare provider may recommend a follow-up ultrasound or alternative imaging techniques.

Miscarriage Or Pregnancy Loss

Unfortunately, the inability to see the baby or detect a heartbeat may sometimes indicate a miscarriage or pregnancy loss. This can be a devastating and emotional experience for expectant parents.

Also, check for ectopic pregnancy issues. If there are concerns about a possible miscarriage, additional diagnostic tests and follow-up appointments may be necessary to confirm the situation.

Pregnancy Checklist At 8 Weeks Pregnant

Children Program icon - little baby with checklist Special Children Program icon - little baby with checklist and pencil pragnancy checklist stock illustrations

At 8 weeks pregnant, you are entering an exciting phase of your pregnancy journey. To help you stay organized and ensure you’re taking care of yourself and your growing baby, here’s a pregnancy checklist specifically tailored to this stage:

Schedule Prenatal Appointments

Regular prenatal care is essential for monitoring your and your baby’s health and development. If you haven’t already, schedule your first prenatal appointment with your healthcare provider. They will conduct tests, review your medical history, and provide important guidance.

Discuss Prenatal Vitamins

Prenatal vitamins provide essential nutrients to support your baby’s growth and development. Talk to your healthcare provider about the recommended prenatal vitamins, including folic acid, iron, and other necessary supplements.

Review Medications and Supplements

Inform your healthcare provider about any medications or supplements you are currently taking. They will assess their safety during pregnancy and make any necessary adjustments to ensure your and your baby’s well-being.

Maintain A Healthy Diet

Focus on a balanced diet that includes a variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats. Opt for nutrient-rich foods to support your baby’s growth. Avoid consuming raw or undercooked meats, fish with high mercury content, unpasteurized dairy products, and excessive caffeine.

Stay Hydrated

Drink plenty of water daily to stay hydrated and support your overall well-being. Proper hydration is important for maintaining amniotic fluid levels and aiding in digestion.

Exercise Regularly

Engage in moderate exercise, as approved by your healthcare provider. Walking, swimming, and prenatal yoga can help maintain your fitness and prepare your body for labor. Avoid high-impact or strenuous exercises without medical guidance.

Educate Yourself

Take the time to educate yourself about pregnancy, childbirth, and parenting. Attend prenatal classes or workshops to gather information and prepare yourself for the upcoming journey.

Address Your Emotional Well-being

Pregnancy can bring about a range of emotions. Take care of your mental and emotional health by seeking support from your partner, loved ones, or a counselor.

Also, seek your doctor if you feel any imbalance in the pregnancy hormones. To reduce stress and anxiety, practice relaxation techniques like deep breathing and meditation.

Avoid Harmful Substances

It is crucial to avoid alcohol, tobacco, and recreational drugs during pregnancy, as they can harm your baby’s development. If you need assistance quitting smoking or managing substance use, seek support from your healthcare provider.

Stay Informed About Pregnancy Changes

Read up on the common physical and emotional changes that occur during pregnancy. Familiarize yourself with symptoms like morning sickness, breast tenderness, fatigue, and mood swings to better understand what to expect.

Wrap Up

At Choices Women’s Clinic, we are dedicated to providing you with exceptional care and guidance during your pregnancy journey. The 8-week ultrasound is a significant milestone that offers a glimpse into the remarkable progress of your baby’s development.

From witnessing their tiny heartbeat to observing the early signs of their limbs and organs, this experience is filled with wonder and excitement. Contact Choices Women’s Clinic today to schedule your 8-week ultrasound and embark on this incredible journey of parenthood with confidence and peace of mind.