Pregnancy is a special time in a woman’s life—once you conquer morning sickness, that is. Expect frequent trips to the Ob/Gyn clinic for prenatal checkups, health screenings, and patient education, like nutritional guidance. You’ll also have routine ultrasound exams. Ultrasound technology uses sound waves, which are completely safe for your baby and you. Ultrasound exams don’t hurt, and there are no needles required, although the gel that’s placed on your abdomen may feel a little cold.
First Trimester Ultrasound
Most expecting moms have their first ultrasound at six to eight weeks. Your obstetrician may ask you to arrive at your appointment with a full bladder. This is done to get a clearer image, as sound waves travel more effectively through the liquid. Additionally, your first ultrasound might be a transvaginal exam. This requires inserting a very small, thin device into your vagina. It won’t hurt at all, though it may feel a little uncomfortable. Obstetricians conduct transvaginal ultrasounds in order to get a better image at this stage when your baby is still very tiny.
Second Trimester Ultrasound
Usually, your second ultrasound will be scheduled between weeks 18 and 20. (If you have a high-risk pregnancy, your doctor may ask you to return for more frequent ultrasounds.) This exam allows your doctor to thoroughly assess your baby’s development. During this appointment, it’s usually possible to identify the baby’s sex. If you want to be surprised when your little one arrives, let the doctor know this ahead of time.
Third Trimester Ultrasound
Third-trimester ultrasounds aren’t always necessary, but you can expect to have one if you have a high-risk pregnancy. A third-trimester ultrasound may be recommended for moms who go past their due dates. Other reasons for additional exams include fetal growth and placental health concerns.
Women’s Healthcare Associates is a specialized Ob/Gyn clinic in Houston that offers high-quality ultrasound imaging. We’re on a mission to provide the personalized, compassionate care that women deserve, which means we’ll customize your ultrasound schedule according to your baby’s needs. Give us a call today at 713-481-7052.