Q: When will I have my first ultrasound and what are they looking for?

Q: When will I have my first ultrasound and what are they looking for?

pregnancy_hearbeat

If you’re attending your first ultrasound, you may feel like a bundle of nerves. This will be the first time you get to see your little baby, and you want everything to be perfect. Whether you are having a scan to confirm a pregnancy and determine your due date, or just need some peace of mind – Take a deep breath, we know it can be stressful but remember, an ultrasound is something that every woman experiences to ensure her little one (or ones!) are growing healthy and strong.

Okay, so you have a positive pregnancy test. You may want to have your first ultrasound around 8 weeks to confirm your little one or two! are really in there. This is a good time if you aren’t sure of your last period, experienced spotting during pregnancy or want reassurance there isn’t an ectopic pregnancy. Every person and every circumstance differs, so if you find yourself unsure of when to come in don’t fret, we are here to help. After all, the best way to be one hundred percent sure you have a growing baby is to hear the heartbeat and see your new addition on a screen, right?

The first trimester ultrasound has one main goal – to determine your due date. Some of us may be content to rely on the first day of our last period to figure out when our new additions are coming, but technology will happily confirm this in the early days within 2 or 3 days of accuracy. Mother Nature still has her own agenda so we can only provide you with a date and most babies arrive within a week or two around this date.

When you get your first trimester ultrasound, you will be able to hear your baby’s heartbeat! Remember that it’s going to sound very fast, and quite loud when you hear it for the first time, so don’t be alarmed, this is totally normal. You will see the baby’s length being measured from the top of the head to the end of the spine and this gives a very accurate age.Isn’t it amazing that all babies measure the same in the very early days. If you have your ultrasound around 12 weeks the sonographer will also be able to measure the fluid at the back of baby’s head to determine whether or not your baby has a risk of chromosomal abnormalities like Down syndrome. It’s always good to be prepared. If you come in at the 12 week time frame any major abnormality can usually be ruled out as well.

The first ultrasound is a magical time for new parents, and most are surprised how developed the babies are at such an early stage. You won’t be able to find the sex of your child until the second trimester and your new addition may resemble a small bean on the screen (if you’re around 7 or 8 weeks), or a tiny little toddler (if you’re around 12 weeks). Don’t be afraid to ask questions, and make an appointment for your second trimester while you’re there.

For more information about our pregnancy ultrasound scans or other services contact us today: 01 210 0232 | info@ultrasound.ie

References
1. Ji, E. K., Pretorius, D. H., Newton, R., Uyan, K., Hull, A. D., Hollenbach, K. &
Nelson, T. R. 2005. Effects of ultrasound on maternal-fetal bonding: a
comparison of two- and three-dimensional imaging. Ultrasound Obstet Gynecol,
25 (5), pp. 473-7.
2. Timor-Tritsch, I. E. & Platt, L. D. 2002. Three-dimensional ultrasound experience in
obstetrics. Curr Opin Obstet Gynecol, 14 (6), pp. 569-75.
3. Johnson, D. D., Pretorius, D. H., Budorick, N. E., Jones, M. C., Lou, K. V., James, G.
M. & Nelson, T. R. 2000. Fetal lip and primary palate: three-dimensional versus
two-dimensional US. Radiology, 217 (1), pp. 236-9.
4. Chmait, R., Pretorius, D., Jones, M., Hull, A., James, G., Nelson, T. & Moore, T. 2002.
Prenatal evaluation of facial clefts with two-dimensional and adjunctive three-
dimensional ultrasonography: a prospective trial. Am J Obstet Gynecol, 187 (4),
pp. 946-9.

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