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Call us to book on 0203 960 7960

Our lines are open everyday from
8:30am – 9:30pm

Pregnancy Scans: A Stage By Stage Guide

Becoming a mother is a pleasant thing but becoming for the very first time obviously gives you chills of excitement. Although it is true that along with happiness comes loads of concerns as well, it is a good thing that you to find out about what to expect while having the ultrasounds for your first, second, and third trimester.

First Trimester

Getting alarmed about the pregnancy is sometimes tricky, but there are some visible signs that are helpful to understand that pregnancy has occurred. The first omen is that you will miss your period, then your breasts get sore, and you will start feeling exhausted. It would be for your own satisfaction that you should take a home pregnancy test to get the answers for your queries.

Does the home pregnancy test result show a positive sign? Congratulations! You are then pregnant. It is time to get official confirmation. It would be best to pay your visit to your ob-gyn’s office and get the ultrasounds done.

What to Expect at the Ultrasound Examination?

The first ultrasound usually takes place in the 6 to 8 weeks of pregnancy. It is also known as a “Sonogram”. Although it is known by many people that a full bladder is needed to carry out the ultrasound for much clear outcomes, but it will be more helpful to inquire about it the time you schedule your appointment. You should know that a full bladder is better in travel the sounds as sound waves transmit better in the liquid, and it will definitely increase the quality of the ultrasound results. As the uterus and fetus keeps growing, there will more amniotic fluid present to show the clear and enhanced results, so the full bladder signifies lesser in that further stages.

At this phase of pregnancy, the fetus is really very small, and the uterus and fallopian tubes of the mother are close by to the birth canal than to the abdomen. The transvaginal test is conducted by the ob-gyn in this stage to attain a clear image.

The test is painless, so there is nothing to be worried about while going for the ultrasound scans. The procedure is mere and will cause no pain at all. Your ob-gyn will place a transducer probe, a think wand-like device in the vagina, which will transmit the high-frequency across the uterus of the mother. The sound waves will then be bounced off the baby, and the signals will then be sent to the ultrasound screen, which will convert these reflections into images of the baby. These images will be in black and white color and give the look of the negative of the pictures.

There is surely nothing to be worried about if you could not see anything, as it will be really difficult to see much in the first snapshot, but after 13 weeks of pregnancy, a much clearer picture will come.

Second Trimester

According to the experiences of some women, the second trimester is comparatively easier for them from the first semester. In first trimester women usually experience nausea and fatigue, but in the second semester, all these problems lessen or even go away.

In this stage of pregnancy, there is a need for conducting a very detailed ultrasound. Usually, these examinations are conducted in the middle of 18 to 20 weeks of pregnancy.

What to Expect at the Ultrasound Examination?

The ultrasound that is taken in the second trimester of the pregnancy is usually known as “Anatomy Scan”. The duration of this ultrasound examination generally lasts nearly 20 to 45 minutes if the mother is carrying one baby. It usually takes more time in the case of multiple-birth pregnancy.

This ultrasound is conducted by your ob-gyn to analyze the growth of the fetus in the womb, and also to ensure that all the organs of the baby are developing properly. With the help of these ultrasounds, you will be able to see the baby’s developing body by yourself and in great detail. Although it is sometimes challenging for the untrained eyes to discriminate the kidneys from the stomach. But, you always have the facility to ask your technician to point out the organs for your convenience and read the scan so that you can glorify the miracles of human development.

Ultrasounds examination in this stage of pregnancy is still painless and even more comfortable, as the doctor will place the water-like gel on your abdomen and then moves the transducer over the pregnant belly. The gel is water-like so that it will not leave any stains on your clothes or even on your skin. Further, the transducer will transmit the high-frequency of the sound waves across the uterus. Just like previously taken ultrasound tests, in this one as well the sound waves will be bounced off the baby, and the signals will then be sent to the ultrasound screen to convert these reflections into the baby images. These images will also be in black and white color as the previous ones.

The test is completely painless, although some women feel discomfort with the gel that has been applied to them as they would feel a little cold and messy. It is suggested by the experts to wear two-piece clothing to your ultrasound examinations for allowing the easy access to the pregnant belly. And you also don’t have to worry about the gel that much, since you will be handed over the towel to wipe off the gel from your tummy.

Third Trimester

The ultrasound for monitoring the third-trimester progress is usually conducted in the 20th week of the pregnancy. If your date has gone past, then your ob-gyn might want to observe your baby carefully to ensure the fetal heart-rate. They might want to conduct the ultrasounds to assess many different things that can cause severe problems while giving birth. Clinics such as Ultrasound Plus practise this kind of technique to ensure everything is right during the third trimester.

What to Expect at the Ultrasound Examination?

It has been observed that many mothers do not prefer to have an ultrasound in their third trimester, and there is usually no need of it, but if your doctor wants to have a closer look at monitoring the baby’s growth, it would be best to get it done before the baby is born.

In the earlier stage of the pregnancy, the ob-gyn might usually ask you to come with the full bladder for the clear image in the ultrasound examinations. Since the information has been developed by everyone, that sound waves travel better through the liquid medium, and it can really enhance the ultrasound results for you. In the third trimester, when the uterus is full of amniotic fluid, it really does not matter whether you come with the full bladder or not. Although, it will be for your own personal good to assure this while scheduling the appointment for your ultrasound exams.

The ultrasounds that are conducted in the third trimester is not only to observe the growth and development of the baby, whereas it has been held to examine if there is enough level of amniotic fluid in the uterus and as well as if there is any sign of bleeding and preterm contractions.

If the mother is experiencing from gestational diabetes, then the doctor might carry out a Doppler ultrasound, which is usually held in the last two weeks of the pregnancy. This test will decide whether the baby is getting enough blood or not.