Being a parent is one of the best feelings ever, and being able to see the development of your baby from an early stage makes it even better. Often, after parents go for their first ultrasound and hear the heartbeat of the growing fetus, they become overwhelmed with emotions. Moreover, that is the exact point where it hits them; they are now parents! What is an ultrasound? An ultrasound, otherwise known as a sonogram, is a medical procedure that uses high-frequency sound waves to create pictures of the growing baby in the womb. Expectant mothers can go for an ultrasound at any point of their three trimesters as recommended by the doctor.
To prepare for an ultrasound, you first need to wear comfortable clothes to allow easy access during the procedure. Secondly, you have to have a full bladder. It’s recommended that expectant mothers consume about three 8 ounce glasses of fluid an hour before. During the procedure, the pregnant woman is supposed to lie on her back; a gel is then rubbed over the belly, which facilitates smooth movement of the transducer. The transducer is moved all around the lower abdominal area to get a clear picture of the development of the baby.
Benefits of Ultrasound during Pregnancy
Let us now look at some of the benefits of having an ultrasound during pregnancy:
It is painless and safe
No cuts, needles or injections- ultrasounds are painless. You might feel a little discomfort due to the pressure being exerted as they move the transducer on your lower abdomen, but this is not termed as pain. Additionally, ultrasounds are part of prenatal care and are considered one of the safest procedures, and all expectant women are advised to have at least two ultrasounds during their pregnancy.
Helps detect any deficiencies early
Obstetricians use an ultrasound machine to screen any conditions that the baby might be having. It’s during the ultrasound that the obstetricians will be able to tell the general health of the fetus all the way from their organ development, blood flow, heart rate, and so on. In cases where defects are realized early enough, the obstetricians can advise on ways to mitigate the condition and help you deliver a healthy baby. Also, the obstetricians can be able to identify the location of the placenta during the ultrasound. In cases such as placenta previa, the physicians often recommend a C-section.
Reveals the baby gender
Some parents prefer the gender of the baby to be a surprise, but lately, people always look forward to these sessions. The gender of the baby becomes apparent during the second trimester. Knowing the sex of your baby helps you to start planning early enough as you will get to know what types and colors of baby clothes to buy and so on.
Helps to calculate the due date of the baby
Another advantage of doing a sonogram is that you can have an idea of when exactly you will be expected to deliver. The date is never assured, and most often, you will be given a range of about 2-4 days where your baby is expected to pop. This is a great way to help you to prepare for your delivery mentally.
Creates memories for parents
As aforementioned, hearing the first heartbeat of your baby is amazing, and the feeling is unexplainable. It’s at this point that most parents get overwhelmed by happy emotions as they see their baby’s kick and move while in the belly. In fact, some people take videos to capture the moment, which is a great way to hold on to memories.
Cons of ultrasound
As is the case with all other medical procedures, ultrasounds are not 100% too. Expectant mothers who are given bad news about the development of their children are bound to become anxious and even worse, depressed. Also, keeping in mind that the ultrasound is a form of energy, it’s suspected that it heats the tissues causing cavitation.
Nonetheless, it is believed that so long as the ultrasound is well done, it doesn’t cause any side effects to the expectant mother or the unborn child.