{Guest post} What to Expect During the First Ultrasound

What to Expect During the First Ultrasound

Taking a pregnancy
test is only the beginning of what will soon be a calendar full of pregnancy-related
appointments. There are initial doctor appointments to confirm the pregnancy
and get mama-to-be on a healthy regimen for optimal prenatal care. There are
appointments with relatives to share the exciting news, and parenting class
appointments to get an idea of what to expect while you’re expecting. However,
in this sea of scheduled dates, there is one appointment that expectant moms
hold a little closer to their hearts: the first ultrasound appointment.

An ultrasound is a
painless diagnostic test that relies on sound waves, not radiation, to produce
an image of the body’s interior surfaces. Most women have at least one
ultrasound during a pregnancy, though it is safe to have more. Although they
are typically performed around 18-20 weeks into the pregnancy, ultrasounds are
appropriate for any stage of your pregnancy and will be able to show you
different things, depending on when they are scheduled. Earlier ultrasounds are
generally performed to check the size and position of the fetus to help confirm
the due date, while later ultrasounds can result in a take-home image of your
baby and can confirm the baby’s sex – if that is something you want to know.

If you have never
had an ultrasound performed, you may be wondering what your first ultrasound
appointment has in store. After meeting with your doctor and scheduling the
first appointment, you will be instructed to arrive at the ultrasound facility
with a full bladder. This aspect of the ultrasound is the only potentially
uncomfortable part. However, having a full bladder allows the technician to get
a better picture of all of the activity occurring inside your uterus, which
means a better image of your baby for you!

Once you are
comfortably positioned in the ultrasound room, the technician will rub a warm
gel on your stomach. This allows the transducer, a small, handheld device, to move
more easily over your skin. High-frequency sound waves are then transmitted
from the transducer through the abdomen. The sound waves bounce off surfaces
within your body, including your baby, as vibrations. The echoes are translated
into electrical signals that are projected as pictures onto a monitor for
viewing, so you can see your baby for the first time.

The image produced
by the ultrasound will be recorded and your doctor will receive a copy to
monitor your baby’s development throughout your pregnancy. You may wish to schedule
an ultrasound each trimester, so that you can also keep a record of your baby’s
growth.

Although there are
many aspects of pregnancy that can be uncertain, an ultrasound appointment is
nothing to worry about and can provide you with a wealth of information about
your baby before you officially get to meet on your delivery date. If you are
pregnant, be sure to discuss with your doctor when you should schedule your
first ultrasound appointment, so that you can get a little closer to the
growing baby that will soon be the center of your world.



This
post was written for Nobody Said it Was Easy by Glenn Josephik.  Glenn is an account representative and the
marketing coordinator at MedCorp LLC 
, the industry leader and premier
business source for used portable ultrasound systems. You can follow Glenn
Josephik on Google+

3 thoughts on “{Guest post} What to Expect During the First Ultrasound

  1. This is a useful post with regards to giving information about what to expect with regards to the scanning procedure itself however it does make me comfortable in that there is no specific mention of what the primary purpose of a scan is – to check that the baby is developing normally and to screen for any concerns. Getting a picture of the baby and finding out the gender are nice bonuses to having a scan but are not the most important thing. My daughter has a congenital heart defect which was picked up at her 20 week scan. If her heart condition hadn't been picked up then she would not be here today so as you can imagine I'm somewhat passionate about raising awareness of screening for heart defects and other anomalies during ultrasound scans.

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