There was a time when women were completely unaware of what happens inside their womb when they are pregnant. Even the doctors had very little knowledge of the baby in the womb as there were no devices that can enable them to look inside your womb. Times have changed now.
Today, we have the ultrasound scan that would not only allow us to predict the gender of the baby, but also know his progress and susceptibility to illnesses much before he is out in this world. To think that women of yesteryears had to wait for nine long months to see their baby’s face!
An Ultrasound during pregnancy is an exciting event that you could have been waiting for. This is the first time when you can take a peek at the baby that is growing inside your womb. You could be anxious to show your spouse as to what is going on inside your womb. You could also be feeling stressed out as to the result of an ultrasound scan. Here are some things to make sure that you remain well prepared for the scan and the results thereafter.
Preparing for An Ultrasound Scan
Many of us believe that an ultrasound scan is done for finding out the gender of the baby. This is in fact one of the last priorities of the doctor when she sends you for an ultrasound. An ultrasound in fact helps the doctor is finding out whether the baby is developing normally in the womb. The scan helps in analysing the baby’s developmental milestones and ensuring that there are no anomalies in the baby.
An ultrasound scan in the third trimester can help the doctor understand the baby’s position in the womb and decide on the method of delivery. What more, even an anomaly found in the baby through an ultrasound has possibilities of getting rectified in the womb itself through modern surgical discoveries.
Type of Ultrasound for Pregnancy
For pregnant women, depending on the stage of their pregnancy, there are two ways by which an ultrasound can be done; transvaginal ultrasound and abdominal ultrasound. Normally during the first trimester, it is always a transvaginal ultrasound where the radiologist inserts a probe inside the vagina for detecting the baby movements. The second and third trimesters will have an abdominal scan which is much easier as the transducer is rolled on the stomach for detecting the movements. The radiologist will let you know the type of ultrasound scan you will have to go through.
Importance of Keeping the Bladder Full
Photo Credit: Bcprenatalscreening.ca
While undergoing an ultrasound scan, it is important to keep the bladder full. Though this would seem against the logic, this is what most radiologists would advise you to do. An empty bladder will block the view when you undergo an ultrasound scan. When the bladder is full, it is puffed up, making it easy for the sound waves to pass through and get a view of the baby. Therefore, drink as much water as you can and keep your bladder full to get a clear view of your bundle of joy!
Orange Juice to Get the Baby Moving
When you are doing a scan, sometimes your radiologist would find it difficult to view the baby in varying positions to check its organs and body parts. To get the baby moving she might ask you to move around and get back after 15 minutes. To avoid this process, half an hour before you head for scanning, drink a glass of orange juice. This will get the baby moving and provide different views for you to check the baby’s body parts.
Prepare Yourself For Some Discomfort
While an abdominal scan does not create any discomfort, a transvaginal scan could be a bit uncomfortable for the mother as the probe is inserted inside and a bit of pressure is exerted on the full bladder to get clear images of the foetus. The gel that is inserted inside the vagina is cold which could offer some comfort perhaps.
But most women do not find it much of a problem due to the excitement that comes with viewing the images of the baby and seeing his growth and movements in real. This is a very satisfying and pleasant moment to encounter with your spouse and the small discomfort is really a small price to pay. Some scan centres allow the ultrasound scan to be recorded and taken home. Check with your scan centre and bring a CD along to cherish those wonderful moments forever.
Identifying the Gender of the Baby
Most countries allow the gender to be revealed in a scan. But in countries like India, it is illegal and banned. But otherwise, knowing the baby’s gender is up to you. You can specify your preference to the technician at the beginning itself. Some women may not want to know the gender until the baby is out.
Sometimes the baby’s positions may be such that it makes it difficult for the technician to identify the gender. This would result in rescheduling your scan to another day if you are so adamant to know its gender. If it is in the third trimester, the baby could come out before you can have another scan to check his gender. Therefore it is good to be prepared for disappointments.
Clothes to be Worn for Ultrasounds
Ultrasound scans require you to take off your pants while the scan is being done. So it makes sense to wear a skirt or a flared frock for the process which will eliminate the need for removing your trousers or jeans for the scanning process.
Tips and Warnings
During the scanning process, sometimes you would find that there are problems with the development of the foetus or genetic deformities that could sometimes be treated or chronic. Keep your cool and do not worry or stress yourself out worrying too much about it. Your doctor will communicate to you about the possible measures that you can take and problems that you would have to face. All you need to do is to be positive and hope for the best when you head for an ultrasound scan.
Photo Credit: Physics.utoronto.ca