An ultrasound (also known as a sonogram) is a safe way of giving you a sneak peek at your growing baby inside your womb. It uses high-frequency soundwaves to create real-time moving images of your developing baby. Those images are then displayed for you and your doctor to see.
What happens during an ultrasound scan?
During your ultrasound appointment you will be asked to lie down while a doctor or midwife applies a water-based gel to your tummy; a hand-held device called a transducer is then placed onto the gelled area. The transducer is what emits the high-frequency soundwaves and from that, black and white images of your baby are displayed on a screen. Most times, stills are taken and printed for you to take home as a little memento.
To prepare for an ultrasound, especially for ones in the early stages of your pregnancy, it is recommended that your scan is done while you have a full bladder. This helps to get the clearest possible image of the foetus and your reproductive organs.
Why should you have an ultrasound?
Not only is it magical to see, but it also helps your doctor to monitor your baby’s development and detect any early or potential complications.
During your first trimester (one to 12 weeks), ultrasounds are used to:
During your second (12 to 24 weeks) or third (24 to 40+ weeks) trimester, ultrasounds are used to: