Pregnancy brings many milestones, but there's no doubt one of the most exciting to occur between the positive test and the baby's birth is the ultrasound.
At Habersham OBGYN in Demorest, Georgia, Dr. Thomas Hatchett and our midwife nurse practitioner Britteny Barron provide state-of-the-art care for a wide variety of gynecology and obstetrics needs. We offer everything from preventive care and treatment of health issues to personalized support throughout the pregnancy, including ultrasounds.
Ultrasounds — also known as sonograms — send high frequency sound waves through the abdomen or vagina. As these sound waves bounce off the baby and other internal organs, images are created that can be viewed on a monitor. They can be used to show not just the baby, but also the placenta, amniotic sac, and ovaries. Ultrasounds don't use radiation and are very safe.
Most women have an ultrasound performed around the 20-week mark to make sure the baby is growing properly and that the placenta looks healthy. The heartbeat and other bodily movements can be viewed and often the gender can be determined (if the parents-to-be wish to know).
Depending on the situation, ultrasounds can also be done before and after 20 weeks. When performed earlier, it's often to determine the due date or if the pregnancy is a multiple. Ultrasounds performed later can check the baby's health, position, and expected weight, along with the location of the placenta and how much amniotic fluid surrounds the baby.
There is not much preparation necessary for an ultrasound. Often it's recommended to arrive at the appointment with a full bladder, which aids in a clearer view of the baby and the reproductive organs.
Wearing loose clothing is helpful or, if necessary, a hospital gown can be provided to allow access. For an abdominal ultrasound, the technician puts a clear gel on the abdomen or pelvic area and glides the hand-held transducer device over the skin. In some cases, a transvaginal ultrasound may be recommended. For this, the technician puts a thin transducer wand into the vagina for additional images.
Often for a pregnancy sonogram, there will be discussion during the ultrasound that includes what is being viewed and how the baby is growing. In the case of a diagnostic ultrasound, some results may be given at the sonogram appointment. However, if lab work is also involved, it may take several days to get the findings.
Whether you're pregnant already or are in the process of trying to conceive, let us partner with you on this path to parenthood. Call our office at 706-229-4233 for an appointment today or book one online.