Having an ultrasound performed during your pregnancy can be a joyous occasion. It provides you with your first glimpse of your baby as he or she is growing in the womb. There are a few things you can do to prepare for this appointment with your obstetrician to help ensure you understand everything that is happening with your pregnancy. Use the following guide to help prepare for your ultrasound.
Schedule An Appropriate Time
In some cases, your obstetrician will ask you to drink plenty of water before your ultrasound. this is sometimes done early in the pregnancy to help provide a clear view of the fetus. If you are experiencing morning sickness, think about what time of day you are most able to keep fluids down and schedule the appointment for that time of day. This will help to ensure your bladder is full. Ask how much water you will need to drink, and drink it exactly when instructed to do so. Drinking the water too early can make it difficult to wait until the ultrasound is performed to use the restroom.
The moments after the ultrasound begins can make you feel anxious. You may not see the heartbeat right away, or the ultrasound technician may not say anything immediately. These are not necessarily a cause for concern, so try to relax as much as possible. If you can, arrange to have your spouse or a loved one with you to help you remain calm. Remember that an ultrasound technician won't always be able to answer any questions you might have, so you may have to wait to speak to your doctor after the ultrasound is performed. If there is a problem with the pregnancy, your obstetrician will better be able to explain what's happening and what you can do to care for you and your baby during the pregnancy.
Bring Baby Wipes Or A Towel
The ultrasound technician will use a type of gel when performing the ultrasound. This gel is placed on your belly to help with the imaging during the ultrasound. The technician typically has paper towels available to wipe the gel away after the ultrasound is complete, but you may feel more comfortable having something with you to clean your belly off with. Sometimes, you may find spots of gel he or she missed, and you'll want to be able to remove them for your comfort.
Ask For Pictures
Your ultrasound pictures are your baby's first photos, so don't forget to ask for pictures. Some obstetrics offices will offer printouts, and others may even provide a CD or flash drive with the images saved, which makes it easy to share these first precious pictures of your little one. Ask for the images that are labeled, such as "hand" or "heartbeat," so you can know exactly what each picture shows. In the early months of pregnancy, it can be difficult to determine these things on your own.
When your doctor discusses the ultrasound, don't be afraid to ask plenty of questions. The more you know about your baby's health, the better prepared you can be to care for him or her throughout the pregnancy and after the baby's birth. You can also click here for info on your obstetrics care.