Watching Your Newborn’s Developmental Milestones During Pregnancy
Going for an ultrasound is one of your most exciting moments during pregnancy because you get to see your tiny child moving in your womb. The pregnancy test uses high-frequency waves to image your fetus and your reproductive organs. During your Silver Spring ultrasound appointment, your sonographer will check your unborn child’s expected fetal development and also check for possible complications. Besides your typical ultrasound, your gynecologist may also recommend advanced 3-D and 4-D ultrasounds to check for finer details a routine ultrasound might miss.
The uses of ultrasound at different stages of pregnancy
Your gynecologist may suggest an ultrasound at any stage of your pregnancy for various reasons. For instance:
- First trimester. The medical professional will use the test within your first three months of pregnancy to check if your embryo is developing inside your womb and not your fallopian tube. Your gynecologist may also use the ultrasound to determine your number of embryos and calculate your due date.
- Second trimester. An ultrasound your healthcare provider will perform at around 18-20weeks into your pregnancy will evaluate the development of your baby’s fetal structures like the brain, spine, internal organs and limbs. The medical expert may also check the location and size of your placenta and your child’s sex if you want to know.
- Third trimester. Any ultrasound your gynecologist might request in your third trimester will check if your baby is developing normally and if your placenta is blocking your cervix. Additionally, an ultrasound in your third trimester determines particular high-risk indicators like decreasing or increasing your amniotic fluid levels and premature labor.
Though you may need an ultrasound to check your child’s development, your healthcare provider may also use it as a diagnostic procedure to check if your baby has an abnormality. Additionally, your doctor may request a nuchal translucency ultrasound at around 11-14weeks to check if the fetus is at risk of developing chromosomal disorders like Down syndrome.
How safe is an ultrasound?
Thanks to ultrasound being a normal part of your pregnancy journey, you are unlikely to consult your doctor about its safety. Radiation from the test introduces heat into your body. The energy may heat your body tissue, producing small gas pockets. Though ultrasound is safe, especially in low-risk pregnancies, your risks will likely increase with unnecessary exposure to the radiation energy for extended hours. Therefore, your gynecologist might not request an ultrasound for a non-diagnostic or non-medical reason, such as keepsake videos.
Must you go for an ultrasound?
Your healthcare provider may recommend an ultrasound at any time of your pregnancy for different reasons. While some pregnant mothers may go for the test every trimester, your healthcare provider might only request a single ultrasound throughout your pregnancy journey. Ultrasounds have potential risks. Therefore, before you go for one, ask your doctor why you need it and the potential risks. The information your gynecologist provides should benefit you and your unborn child.
An ultrasound is necessary during pregnancy to assess the normal development of your unborn child. However, the energy might not be safe for your child if you expose him to unnecessary extended hours for non-medical purposes like keepsakes. Contact your gynecologist to know when it is safe to go for an ultrasound.