I Can See You!
Seeing your baby on an ultrasound can clearly be called the most anticipated part of a pregnancy, especially for couples who only get one ultrasound during their pregnancy that is paid for by their insurance. Those who are lucky get to see their baby, not only in the standard 2D view, but in 3D or even in 4D which is available in some areas of the world now.
Ultrasounds are not just meant for fun. They are used medically for many things during pregnancy, and they are often a necessity. During early pregnancy you a woman might be given an ultrasound for several reasons. Those reasons include previous health problems, a miscarriage or the threatening of a miscarriage, or to date your pregnancy. These types will always be done during the first trimester.
During the second trimester, normally between the 18th and 22nd week of pregnancy a woman will be given an ultrasound in order to check the baby’s lungs, heart, and brain, as well as to check for any other visible problems such as the possibility of Downs Syndrome. At this point, unless your baby is not cooperating, you can probably find out the gender of your unborn child if you want to know. Sometimes if the doctor or technician is unable to get the measurements and pictures he was looking for, they will attempt another ultrasound later in the second trimester.
If a woman chooses to have an amniocentesis, normally because of a bad test result, advanced maternal age, or previous health problems with a child, they will also have an ultrasound so that the doctor can watch as the needle enters the amniotic sac. This generally occurs around the 15th week of pregnancy.
During the third trimester an ultrasound may be offered to the parents in order to check the baby’s weight, because of lack of fetal movement, or while checking the baby’s health and stress level while doing a NST, or an amnio to check the development of the baby’s lungs.
Today pregnant women are lucky to have the option of paying out of pocket to receive an extended 3D or 4D ultrasound. These are normally not done by medical staff, but by offices as a business. They are more like souvenirs for the parents and the fee for them comes with the option to have video and pictures of their unborn baby that they can keep and show family and friends. These ultrasound sessions normally last between 30 and 90 minutes depending on what the couple pays for.
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