An ultrasound scan is the most common procedure conducted during the course of pregnancy to determine the overall health of the baby and the mother, and monitor the progression of the pregnancy. It is basically like clicking a picture of your baby and making sure you and your baby are in a good condition.
How is Ultrasound done?
A water-based gel will be applied on your belly. This is to maintain adequate contact between your abdomen and the probe. A small probe which emits high frequency sound waves is moved all over the abdomen. These waves bounce back after contacting the various bones and tissues from inside the body to form a black and white picture of the fetus on the ultrasound machine screen. You may be asked to drink a lot of water before the procedure to keep your bladder full. This helps to give a clearer picture of the scan.
Does an Ultrasound harm the mother or the baby?
A pregnancy scan is painless and noninvasive, meaning there are no needles or incisions involved. As the process is noninvasive, it’s not known to cause any harm to the fetus, when performed by trained professionals. The ultrasound waves are completely safe for the baby as well as the mother.
What purpose does an Ultrasound during pregnancy serve?
During the first trimester (week one to 12) an ultrasound scan is done to:
- Confirm pregnancy
- Check fetal heart beats
- Check for multiple pregnancies
- Determine the gestational age
- Estimate a due date
- Examine the fetus for abnormal growths
- Diagnose any ectopic pregnancy (pregnancy outside the uterus)
- Examine overall health of the reproductive organs. This is also referred to as an early pregnancy scan or a dating scan depending on which week it is performed at.
During the second and third trimesters, an ultrasound is usually performed to assess the baby’s growth, position and size. It is also a crucial period for determining if there are any congenital abnormalities (like cleft palate, bone deformities.) In such cases, further tests might be conducted to evaluate the problem.
Talk to your doctor and schedule your ultrasound scans on a timely basis each trimester to have a stress-free pregnancy!
Also read: An Ultrasound Scan Report: A Treasure Box Of Information During Pregnancy
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