The value of ultrasounds during pregnancy

The value of ultrasounds during pregnancy

During pregnancy, parents occasionally ask why they need an ultrasound. "Simply put, an ultrasound is a powerful tool that allows expectant parents to catch glimpses of their developing baby," says Jonathan C. Saperstein, MD, Ob/Gyn at ARC Center Street in Kyle.

What are ultrasounds?

In this case, ultrasounds are a form of prenatal testing that utilizes sound waves to create images of the developing fetus in the womb. These non-invasive procedures provide invaluable insights into fetal growth, health, and the formation of essential body parts.

Why are ultrasounds important during pregnancy?

Ultrasounds are crucial for monitoring the health and development of the baby throughout pregnancy. They allow your physician to assess the baby's position, identify any potential birth defects, and ensure overall well-being. From checking for heart and spine defects to observing the formation of limbs and organs, ultrasounds play a pivotal role in confirming a healthy pregnancy and a healthy baby.

Are ultrasounds safe during pregnancy?

Numerous studies have affirmed the safety of ultrasounds during pregnancy. The technology employs sound waves, not radiation, making it a safe and non-invasive method for visualizing the fetus. Ultrasounds are routinely used in prenatal care to provide vital information without posing any known risks to the mother or the baby.

How soon can you see a baby on an ultrasound?

The excitement of seeing your baby on an ultrasound can be experienced as early as the first trimester. During the initial prenatal appointments, ultrasound technology allows your Ob/Gyn to detect the fetal heartbeat and observe the early stages of development.

How many ultrasounds do you get during pregnancy?

The number of ultrasounds during pregnancy varies based on individual circumstances. Typically, expectant mothers can anticipate at least two ultrasounds – one in the first trimester and another in the second trimester. During the second trimester, an ultrasound may reveal the baby's gender. The ultrasound technician will look for specific anatomical markers to determine whether the baby is a boy or a girl, if the parents want to know, or to do a gender reveal!

Additional ultrasounds may be recommended in cases of high-risk pregnancies or when specific concerns arise.

What are the types of prenatal ultrasounds?

  • Transabdominal ultrasound: This is the most common type of ultrasound where a transducer is moved over the abdomen to create images of the fetus. It's a painless and non-invasive procedure that provides a comprehensive view of the baby and surrounding structures.
  • Transvaginal ultrasound: In certain situations, a transvaginal ultrasound may be recommended. This involves inserting a transducer into the vagina for a closer and more detailed view of the fetus, especially in the early stages of pregnancy.

"Ultrasounds represent a remarkable medical tool, enabling expectant parents to marvel at the beauty of their developing baby while offering crucial insights into the baby's health," says Dr. Saperstein. "From identifying potential complications to providing a glimpse into the baby's gender, ultrasounds are a fundamental element of prenatal care. They play a significant role in fostering the joy and assurance of a healthy pregnancy journey."

Make an appointment

ARC Ob/Gyn doctors are primary care physicians who focus on women's health issues, including pregnancy, fertility, birth control, mammograms, menopause, STD testing, ultrasounds, and more.

Let Dr. Saperstein help you with your pregnancy journey or other women's health issues today. Dr. Saperstein is accepting new patients, ages 13 and older, at ARC Center Street in Kyle. Call 737-404-0347 or make an appointment online through MyChart or ARC Help Me Book today.

Tags: Prenatal ultrasounds