This is a big questions from lots of moms! Sometimes from an eagerness to catch a glimpse of their baby or from a desire to keep ultrasound exposure to a minimum.
The number of ultrasounds that you have will entirely depend on your pregnancy. Some women will require more than others for health reasons. However, that being said most women will have 1-2 during their pregnancy.
The First Ultrasound:
This is done in your first trimester usually about 8 weeks sometimes earlier and sometimes later. This ultrasound is done to establish the age of your pregnancy for an accurate due date. Other things looked at during this ultrasound is the presence of a heartbeat, the location of the baby (inside the uterus) and the general health of the rest of your pelvic organs. Some moms will choose to skip this ultrasound if they are very sure of when they got pregnant and know with certainty the date of their last menstrual period. As long as they so far have a normal pregnancy this is usually fine.
The Second Ultrasound:
This is the big one! This ultrasound is done at 18-22 weeks of pregnancy. At this appointment you can find out the baby’s gender if you desire!
The sonographer will look at all the baby’s organs to make sure they appear structurally normal and functioning as they should. This includes looking at the heart for any defects, the spine for possible spinabifida, kidneys, bladder, the baby’s size…Literally everything! We also learn the location of your placenta. This is very important information because a placenta that is covering your cervix is very serious and special precautions need to be taken during pregnancy. This ultrasound tells us so many important things that shows us you are low risk and appropriate for an out of hospital birth.
That’s All! Mostly likely…
If you have a normal pregnancy this is likely all the ultrasounds you will have! You may have more if you go past your due date, baby wasn’t moving enough or growing properly. Other special circumstances where ultrasounds are needed would always be discussed with you at your visits.
What other questions do you have about ultrasounds? Did you find out the gender of your little one or keep it a surprise?