Ultrasound Test: What to Expect

Ultrasound medical device

Congratulations, you’re having a baby! Now it’s time to get a close-up of your soon-to-be son or daughter. Heading to the doctor for your first ultrasound can be an exciting, but nerve-wracking experience. Here’s what you should expect:

Expectant moms shiver when the ultrasound gel is rubbed on their belly. It’s a cold liquid! Doctors then wave a wand called a transducer, which emits sound waves, over your abdomen. These sound waves interact with your baby to produce an image on the screen. Doctors can then print out a sonogram, the actual picture of your child, for you to keep.

While it’s thrilling to see your baby on the screen, the ultrasound also serves to tell you more about the health of your child and certain elements of your pregnancy. A level one – usually given within the first trimester – test tells parents the date of their pregnancy, determines the number of fetuses and confirms the fetal heartbeat and a uterine pregnancy.

Around the halfway point of your pregnancy, doctors will perform a level 2 ultrasound. This examination gives moms and dads a detailed anatomy checkup of their baby, showing how their child is developing.

Although it’s a pretty straight-forward process for moms, there is a little preparation to keep in mind. Many ultrasounds require a full bladder, so doctors may ask you to drink a lot of water prior to the exam without urinating. Additionally, you may have to remove jewelry and change into a gown for the procedure. Doctors will share any other tips with you pre-exam.

So lay back, relax and get ready to see your baby!