Pregnancy ultrasound is an awesome technology. With ultrasound, you get to see your baby even before he is a baby. There is no known risk to you or your baby from ultrasound during pregnancy.
Ultrasound machines use high-pitched sound waves (250 times higher-pitched than can be heard by the human ear), transmitted through the abdominal wall to produce an echo image of your pelvis. By moving the transducer (the ultrasound transmitter) appropriately, different areas of anatomy, along with your baby, in the pelvis can be seen during pregnancy.
If it is very early in your pregnancy, the ultrasound technician may use a slender transducer in the vagina to visualize the uterus more easily. When you are further along in your pregnancy, ultrasound conducting gel will be placed on the lower abdomen for your ultrasound.
The amount of useful information gained from a pregnancy ultrasound examination depends on several factors. For instance, during fetal scans, the gestational age, maternal size and amount of amniotic fluid can limit the detail of an exam. During a pregnancy ultrasound examination, you can see if you are having twins or multiples, which way the baby is positioned in the uterus, the location of the placenta, fetal heart and limb motion, and the amount of amniotic fluid. In addition, measurement of various fetal parts can be made in order to estimate the age of your baby and to assure that fetal growth is normal.
The most amazing parts of the pregnancy ultrasound are seeing your little baby’s heart beat, the individual hair on her head, her rapid movements or kicks, and her profile. If you want to know the sex of your baby, you can see that too, usually at 18-20 weeks.
Over the past few years, a new ultrasound technology has emerged. 3D ultrasound, often used in pregnancy, actually generates 3D pictures of your baby. Now, you can see exactly what he looks like before he’s even born. Whether you know it or not, there is probably a 3D pregnancy ultrasound clinic near you. Your doctor may even view your pregnancy with 3D ultrasound in her office!
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