An Ultimate Guide to Pregnancy Ultrasound
Since its inception, ultrasound technology has come a long way and is now essential for prenatal care. An ultrasound scan can provide valuable information about the baby’s health and development. In Newport Beach, CA, dependable centers conduct efficient pregnancy ultrasounds. By using high technology, these experts in pregnancy ultrasound in Newport Beach will accurately monitor the development of your unborn child.
Understanding Pregnancy Ultrasound
Understanding the stages of pregnancy may help you prepare for what to expect during your pregnancy check-up, including if you would like an ultrasound scan. A pregnancy ultrasound is a painless medical procedure that allows your healthcare provider to see inside the uterus with real-time images onto a screen.
Your baby’s heart starts beating at about 18 days after conception, which is when it first becomes possible to detect this early pregnancy check-up. Before that time, it can be difficult for even the most advanced technology to find a heartbeat.
Ultrasound scans are performed by specially-trained healthcare professionals such as physicians and midwives. A complete ultrasound scan usually starts at about six weeks of gestational age and continues throughout pregnancy, usually every 3-4 weeks.
Reasons for Ultrasound Scans
A pregnancy ultrasound is an essential tool to:
- Check the growth and development of your baby
- Assess whether there are any complications in your pregnancy. The most common complication is when a woman has two or more babies (multiple pregnancies), which can be detected early with a pregnancy ultrasound.
- Screen for congenital syndromes – which are detectable via an ultrasound scan. You may be offered one of these scans if you or your partner have a family history of genetic disorders to detect any abnormalities before they become more severe – such as Down Syndrome.
- Check for any abnormalities – such as poor growth, problems with the placenta, and bleeding.
What Happens During Pregnancy Ultrasound?
Ultrasound scans work by bouncing sound waves off internal organs and tissues onto an ultrasound scanner that converts them into video images. While you lay on a bed, your healthcare provider places gel on your stomach and then gently slides a hand-held device called a transducer over the area.
This device sends out the ultrasound waves and records the echoes as they bounce back from internal organs and tissues onto the screen. The 3D images appear almost instantly on a nearby computer monitor so you can see your baby’s development as it happens.
What to Expect from a Pregnancy Ultrasound Scan?
In most cases, you can go back to your normal daily activities after the procedure. However, some women feel tired afterward due to the extended time they have been lying down. Some women report a cramping sensation during pregnancy ultrasounds and, very rarely, a faint bruise.
You may also experience some slight discomfort if your bladder is full, making it difficult for you to hold the ultrasound probe in position. The provider will explain that this discomfort should be minimal and not cause any problems.
If you are pregnant, it is essential to know your options for prenatal care. From checking the growth and development of your baby, assessing whether there are any complications in your pregnancy, or screening for congenital syndromes, an ultrasound scan can provide valuable information about the health of yourself and your child.