During your pregnancy, one of the things that your doctor is most likely to recommend is getting an ultrasound done. Ultrasound scans are a common part of every pregnancy. Depending on the time of the ultrasound and the position of your baby inside your womb, you may be able to look at the head, hands, legs, and other parts of your baby’s body. At the same time, ultrasound scans help detect anomalies in your baby’s development. However, reading a pregnancy ultrasound image often poses a challenge to would-be parents. Knowing how to do so can help you overcome any such challenges and interpret your baby’s images. Let us reveal to you the method for reading a pregnancy ultrasound.
What is a Pregnancy Ultrasound?
A pregnancy ultrasound (aka prenatal ultrasound) is an accurate and non-invasive technique of diagnosing the development of your baby inside your womb. The method involves using sound waves to develop an image of your baby as well as your uterus, placenta, and other pelvic organs.
The results provide medical practitioners with valuable information regarding the health of your unborn child and the progress of your pregnancy. By reading a pregnancy ultrasound, you can derive basic information related to your baby’s development.
How to Read a Pregnancy Ultrasound?
The method for reading a pregnancy ultrasound involves the following:
Understand the Difference in Colors
- Usually, ultrasound scans are represented in varying shades of black and white colors. This color difference is due to the variation in the densities of the constituents through which the sound waves pass. The more solid the tissue, the more white it looks in the ultrasound scan image.
- In comparison, tissues filled with liquids look black in the scans. Since ultrasound images do not work well in case of gases, organs filled with air (such as lungs) are not considered for ultrasound scanning.
Identify the Outline of Your Womb
Mark the outline of your womb or uterus by identifying the light grey or white line that edges the ultrasound image. The dark area that appears just inside this line is the amniotic fluid in your uterus. Note that you may not be able to see the entire outline of your uterus when reading a pregnancy ultrasound if the scan has been centered on your baby.
Spot Your Baby
Look for your baby in the dark area of the scan that represents the amniotic fluid. Your baby will appear as a white or grey outline. You will be able to spot other details, such as head, feet, heart, etc. depending on the stage of your pregnancy.
What to Do After an Ultrasound?
If your ultrasound scan shows that everything is normal, you can continue with your regular prenatal check-ups till it’s time for childbirth. In the case your ultrasound shows any abnormality or the need for any special care for you or your baby, take the advice of your medical practitioner and proceed accordingly.