Understanding Pregnancy Ultrasound and its Benefits

Ultrasound is a prenatal test carried out during pregnancy for various reasons. A pregnancy ultrasound in Newport Beach can help examine your condition and suggest more ultrasounds if more problems are detected after a blood test.

Ultrasound can be a unique phase in your pregnancy journey because you understand more about your pregnancy and your unborn baby’s health. Some parents would also want to go for an ultrasound, not for medical reasons but to check the sex of the baby. If you do not like to know the sex of your baby, you can choose not to by asking your doctor not to show you the results.

Some women go for ultrasound in the first trimester, while others go for it in the second trimester between 18 to 20 weeks. In this case, it would be best to talk to your health care provider and know when you should go for an ultrasound.

Benefits of ultrasound

During the first trimester, you can go for an ultrasound to confirm your pregnancy, examine the fetus’s growth, check the fetus’s heartbeat, and examine the internal organs such as ovaries, cervix, and placenta.

The second trimester helps you know the sex of your baby, confirm multiple pregnancies, understand the growth and development of the fetus, and check for any complications. Your doctor will also examine the levels of amniotic fluid and check for signs of Down syndrome. 

Preparation for ultrasound 

The ultrasound preparation depends on the organ that your doctor will examine. You may need to fast for 10 to 12 hours before the process, especially when planning to undergo an abdomen ultrasound. This is because food needs to digest well to allow easy monitoring of the sound waves that will enable the doctor to get a clear picture of the fetus.

The technician may examine your full bladder. If you are going for a gallbladder, liver, or pancreas examination, you may need to eat a fat-free meal hours before your test. You will also need to hold your urine before the ultrasound.

The ultrasound process

During the ultrasound, your technician will screen and test to see if your baby has any health conditions. This does not mean that your baby has a problem. You will lie down on the examination bed, and the technician will apply the specific gel on the pelvic area and your abdomen.

The gel helps the sound waves move well, and it will not leave any marks on your clothes or belly because it is water-based. When done, the technician will place a transducer on your abdomen and move it to capture the fetus images onto the screen.

You may need to hold your breath for some time as the technician captures the image on the ultrasound screen. After that, the technician will check if the captured images are clear and wipe off the gel.

When to see a technician 

Before you go for an ultrasound, talk to your technician to determine the best time for the ultrasound. Your doctor can diagnose any heart problems earlier enough and recommend the best treatment plan to avoid further complications that can lead to life-threatening conditions.