It seems right now like everyone around me is pregnant or have just had a baby – and I love it. I love sharing the excitement of a pregnancy with my friends. I am one of those friends who will help you eat an extra slice of cake and talk you into an another serving of ice cream. I love watching my friends grow babies – especially when I am not the one feeling all uncomfortable from fluid retention and having a little human doing an Irish jig on my bladder. With that said – one of the most exciting times during a pregnancy is the anatomy ultrasound – the big ultrasound scheduled about halfway through the pregnancy. (This article may contain affiliate links.)
It is during this scan that the ultrasound tech more than likely will be able to reveal the gender of the baby, however that is NOT the purpose of the test. I have compiled a list of ten things the ultrasound tech and the doctor will be looking for during the scan. They may not address all of these findings with you, and therefore many moms just assume that all is well. I encourage every pregnant woman to ask questions and to be as informed about all aspects of her pregnancy as possible. I know we all hope for “within normal ranges” on every measurement, but sometimes there are variations and it is important to know what they mean and when you should seek further testing or answers. I am very passionate about early detection of congenital birth defects, especially heart defects. Knowing ahead of time if your baby has a birth defect, being able to plan the delivery and arrange for the best possible care and treatment ahead of time can change the outcome drastically. Ten questions every #pregnant woman should ask! Especially # 5! #CHD Click To Tweet Congenital heart defects are unfortunately found in 1 out of every 100 pregnancies, so the risk is real and being informed ahead of time will give your baby the best chances. Ten questions to ask during your anatomy ultrasound around 18-21 weeks of pregnancy: (PRINT THIS LIST AND BRING IT WITH YOU) About Mama:
1. How is the amniotic fluid level? It should not be too high or too low.
2. Does the umbilical cord have three vessels?
3. How does the size and placement of the placenta look?
4. How is the size of the cervix?
5. With regard to the heart:
- Does it have four chambers?
- Are the heart and stomach in the correct position? They should be on left side of the fetus.
- Is the heart rate within the normal range? Normal range for fetus is 120-180 beats per minutes.
- Does the heart function appear correct for the gestational age? This may be hard to confirm with a regular ultrasound. A fetal echo may be required if there are any questions.
6. Is the size of the brain and fluid filled areas within normal ranges?
7. Does the face have a left lip? Cleft palates are hard to detect on an ultrasound.
8. Is the spine in alignment and covered by skin?
9. How do the major organs look? Are the size and location of the stomach, two kidneys and bladder within normal ranges?
10. Are there boy or girl parts?
Ultrasound techs are trained not to discuss their findings with you unless there is a doctor present. So try not to read the facial expressions of the ultrasound tech (although it is hard not to do), but rather wait to ask your questions with your doctor after their have reviewed the ultrasound. The doctor will be able to discuss all the findings with you, and hopefully everything is within normal ranges.
Remember: “knowledge is power” and then enjoy the rest of your pregnancy, knowing that you are already doing a fabulous job as a mom!
Do you find out the gender of the baby, or keep it a surprise?
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