You’re certainly eager to meet the baby growing inside you. Nine months can seem like forever. Fortunately, ultrasounds can tell you a little bit about your baby as they grow. Different ultrasounds are done at various stages of your pregnancy, revealing different things about your child — such as gender and size — as they grow and develop.
An ultrasound, also called a sonogram, uses sound waves to project a picture of your baby in your uterus. Your very first ultrasound during your pregnancy confirms your pregnancy, how many babies you are expecting, and the projected due date, although only 2%-5% of babies are actually born on their due date.
At the Center for Women’s Health, we put together a rundown of the different ultrasounds you may have during your pregnancy and what they can tell you about your baby:
A transabdominal ultrasound is considered a standard ultrasound, and it’s the one you will likely experience most often during your pregnancy. The technician passes a wand, called a transducer, over your abdomen to generate the picture.
Throughout your pregnancy, this type of ultrasound can check to make sure your baby is growing and developing adequately with no abnormalities.
This type of ultrasound provides similar information as the standard ultrasound, but the transducer is placed inside your vagina. A transvaginal ultrasound is usually used in the early stages of your pregnancy because it provides a better picture of your fetus when the uterus is still small and close to the vagina.
A Doppler ultrasound measures the blood flow in your baby’s body. This type of ultrasound may be used if you have high blood pressure or if your baby’s growth is slower than usual.
This type of ultrasound uses the sound waves to examine the structure and function of your baby’s heart. It’s used if there is a suspected congenital heart defect.
You can get a better idea of what your baby looks like in your belly with this type of ultrasound. A 3D ultrasound takes images that create a 3D image of your baby. It’s used to get a better look at your baby’s organs to make sure they’re growing and developing normally.
This newer type of ultrasound takes the 3D image and adds movement to it in the form of a video.
Pregnant? Learn more about ultrasounds and prenatal care by calling the Center for Women’s Health in Wichita, Kansas. You can also make an appointment online through this website.