When Do You Get Your First Ultrasound Picture?

As a future mother, the first moment you glimpse at the black and white ultrasound screen to see your baby is immeasurable.
Capturing that sonogram will mean everything. Now, you might be thinking, when do you get your first ultrasound picture?
You should generally get your first ultrasound by the first 10 to 13 weeks. An ultrasound will help doctors determine several factors of your baby’s health and wellbeing.
It could make out your infant’s gender, size, due date, whether you’ll be having more than one, and, most importantly, if your baby carries any sort of abnormality. In short, ultrasounds monitor all of your child’s prenatal growth stages.
Stick around if you want to learn more about when an ultrasound will be necessary during your pregnancy.

When You Should Get Your First Ultrasound

Not all pregnant women get their first ultrasound by the first 10-13 weeks. It’s mostly determined by what your doctor thinks is necessary.
For instance, during the first few weeks of pregnancy, you might find yourself bleeding or dealing with stomach pain.
That’s when the doctor might advise an early 6-9 weeks ultrasound. It’s especially applicable if you’ve previously experienced any miscarriages.
This initial ultrasound will be able to tell when your baby is due and you might get to hear their tiny little heartbeats. It can also find out if you have an ectopic pregnancy. It occurs when the fetus grows in one of your fallopian tubes, rather than the uterus.

What to Consider When Getting Your First Ultrasound

You might be feeling all kinds of emotions during the first walk to the clinic with maybe a mixture of happiness and nervousness. That’s totally normal; you’re about to see what’s cooking up inside you.
That being said, there are some things you should consider before going on your first ultrasound trip.
If you’re going for an early ultrasound, chances are that you’ll get one through transvaginal means. What happens is that your OB-GYN will insert a probe in the vagina, about two to three inches in, to get a closer view of the uterus, tubes, cervix, ovaries, and pelvic region.
The probe emits sound waves that will reach your baby’s form and bounce back to get a rough ultrasound image of what’s going on in there.
Your doctor will probably ask you to come to the appointment with a full bladder to get a clearer image of the uterus. Sound waves can navigate better through the liquid.

What Is a Nuchal Translucency Test?

During your first sonogram, doctors might advise you to take a nuchal translucency test. This will reassure you whether your baby is at risk of down syndrome or not.
The nuchal fold area is located at the back of the fetus’ neck. The test is done to estimate the size of that area’s thickness. How thick it is will allow doctors to gain insight into the baby’s genetic health.
The test is performed just like a transabdominal ultrasound. If your fetus has a thicker than normal nuchal fold, then there might be some genetic disorder to consider.
The nuchal translucency test is usually accompanied by a blood test from the mother as well. This is to gain more information about the baby’s genetic disorder.

10-13 Weeks Ultrasound

If you’re not going through the 6-9 week ultrasound, then you’ll probably be getting your first visit during the 10-13 week mark.
This sonogram is also known as the dating ultrasound. You’ll be getting more news regarding your fetus’ health.
Unlike the early ultrasound test, which would be done through transvaginal means, this one will be done more comfortably through the abdomen.
Your doctor will apply a gel around your stomach area and rove around it with the same probe used in the transvaginal process.
You’ll get to have a better image of your baby. The size of the fetus will also help the doctor know if there are any abnormalities.
For example, at 10 weeks, the baby should be around 1.4 inches in length. If that’s not the case, then there are two possibilities. The woman could be off on her pregnancy timings and she thinks that the fetus is older than they actually are.
Otherwise, it could point to potential birth defects due to chromosome count issues, hindered growth, and so on.

18-20 Weeks Ultrasound

At this point, you’ll be able to get a better peek at your child-to-be. In some cases, this could also be your first ultrasound experience, depending on your doctor’s screening tests.
This period will allow you to see the anatomical shape of your baby as well as determine their gender. Nevertheless, you can know your baby’s gender earlier than 18 weeks; maybe even at 14. The later the results, the more accurate they'll be.
You should expect a long stay at the doctor since this ultrasound can last around 40 minutes or so. That’s because they examine around 35 aspects of your baby’s parts, including their head, limbs, internal organs, and more.

How Many Ultrasounds Do You Need Throughout Pregnancy?

That will depend on you and your fetus’s health. Having said that, you should try to avoid getting unnecessary ultrasounds.
Even though they don’t particularly emit any harmful radiation, they might cause bubbles and increase tissue temperature.
There isn’t enough evidence to conclude the negative effects of long-term exposure to bubbles and heated tissues, but it’s always better to be safe than sorry.
Most pregnancies only need a couple of ultrasounds. The first is to know the due date. Meanwhile, the second is to be familiar with the gender and anatomical appearance of the fetus.

Conclusion

When do you get your first ultrasound picture? Well, a lot of factors can decide which week you should get your ultrasound, mainly your health and the doctor’s recommendation.
Whether you get the ultrasound at the sixth or twentieth week, you’ll feel a sense of warmth as you glance at the scratchy image of your baby.
The ultrasound will be vital in understanding your baby’s needs and how they’ll shape out to be. You’ll be better prepared and feel a stronger bond with your fetus through the sonogram.