What To Expect During A Pregnancy Sonogram

If you have recently found out that you are pregnant, your obstetrician will most likely order a sonogram during your gestation to determine your baby's due date and to make sure your baby is growing properly. Having a sonogram is an exciting event during a pregnancy and can be used to intervene medically if something were to go wrong during your baby's growth. Here is a summary of what you can expect if you are having your very first sonogram, in an attempt to alleviate any anxiety or fear you may have about the process.

How Does A Sonogram Work?

Sonograms use sound waves which are transmitted through a transducer into your body. The waves will bounce off of tissues inside your body and be reflected back to the probe. From here, the information is transmitted as an image on a screen to be viewed by the sonogram technician. Measurements of organs and appendages of the body of your baby will be done. The information will be looked at by your doctor to determine dating by the growth your baby has exhibited thus far into your pregnancy.

Preparing For The Appointment

Your doctor may recommend that you drink several ounces of water before you arrive to your sonogram appointment. This helps the sound waves to travel through your body easier, projecting clearer images to the machine. If your practice uses high-tech machinery, you may not need to drink water at all. This machinery, however, is usually reserved for patients needing detailed information, such as when they are at higher risk for genetic defects due to age or pretesting information.

Meeting Your Baby

You will be asked to lie down on a table for the sonogram procedure. A transducer will need to go on your bare skin, so you will need to expose your abdomen completely for the sonogram technician. Usually they will have you put on a robe with the open side in the front or you will need to pull your shirt up and pants down to let them have access to the area. Warmed mineral oil gel will be placed on your abdomen. This helps the technician move the transducer around easily, and it also helps to enhance the sound waves emitted from the probe.

The sonographer may do a bunch of measurements before showing you what the baby looks like. If you are early in your pregnancy, or if the sonographer cannot find a fetus, you may not be able to see any imagery and the technician will refer you to your doctor for answers. They will most likely have you return for another sonogram a few weeks later.

Do not be upset if this happens, as it may just be too early for the baby to be seen. The technician will not be able to discuss these results with you however, so you will need to ask your doctor for insight if this occurs. If the baby can be easily seen, your technician will show you the imagery on the screen and may print out a photograph for you to have as a keepsake. Contact All Women's Clinic for more information.