It doesn’t matter if it is your first child or your fourth, the first time you see your teeny tiny bundle of joy is an exhilarating feeling! Wondering what to expect during the first ultrasound appointment? Here is everything you need to know!
The ultrasound technician may ask you to drink four 8-ounce glasses of water a few hours before the exam. This is due to the fact that sound waves travel better through liquid, and with a full bladder the ultrasound’s quality will be enhanced.
During the first ultrasound, typically performed when you are six to eight weeks pregnant, your technician will be able to check the baby’s heartbeat and determine if it is normal. The heartbeat should be visible in the ultrasound around six weeks into the pregnancy. In addition, they will be able to tell you the baby’s heart rate. When checking the heartbeat the technician may hear more than one, which means that you are expecting multiples!
One of the most important pieces of information your ultrasound technician will look for is the location of your baby. By finding where your baby is located inside the womb the technician will rule out an ectopic pregnancy, which is when your baby is growing inside the fallopian tubes instead of the uterus.
In addition, the technician will determine the baby’s size and look for any abnormalities. The technician will measure the baby from the crown of the head to their buttocks, and looking at the body length and circumference of the head they will be able to tell you the baby’s age, give or take three days. During the first trimester, the baby is growing about a millimeter a day. Based on the size, the technician might be able to give you a new and more accurate due date.
One of the most exciting things if finding out if you are expecting and boy or girl! If you would like to determine the gender of your baby, the technician may be able to share this precious secret with you. If you don’t want to know, or if it a little too early or hard to tell, no worries! You may be able to determine the sex of your baby at a following ultrasound later in the pregnancy.
The first ultrasound can be a very emotional experience. The parents get to experience hearing their baby’s heartbeat for the first time, learn a more accurate due date, and they get to see their precious growing baby. All of this is very exciting, but it should be remembered that ultrasounds should only be performed to check on the baby. They should not be done just for memorabilia purposes.
This post was written for Life According to Mrs Shilts 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+.