Posted on: 2 February 2024Share
As an expecting mother, there are probably a million thoughts running through your mind regarding the pregnancy journey. One of the most exciting moments during pregnancy is the first ultrasound, which allows you to see your baby and hear their heartbeat for the first time. It's a significant milestone that also helps your healthcare provider determine your due date, check for any potential complications and ensure everything is progressing as it should. In this blog, we'll guide you through what to expect during your first ultrasound, from preparation to the actual procedure itself.
Preparing for Your First Ultrasound
Before your first ultrasound, you'll likely be asked to drink water to fill your bladder. A full bladder helps to push the uterus upwards, making it easier to visualise your baby during the exam. It would be best to wear loose clothing to allow for easy access to your tummy, as the technician will need to apply a gel to the area for the ultrasound probe to work effectively. It's crucial to eat a light meal before the appointment so you don't feel too hungry or nauseous during the exam.
The procedure itself is painless, non-invasive and relatively quick, depending on the type of ultrasound. There are two types of ultrasound: transabdominal and transvaginal. The transabdominal ultrasound uses a probe placed on your tummy, while a transvaginal ultrasound uses a wand inserted into the vagina. Transvaginal ultrasounds are usually done in the early stages of pregnancy to get a closer image of the uterus.
What to Expect
During the exam, you'll lie down on an examination table. The technician will apply a clear, water-based gel to the area and use a transducer to create images of your baby on a screen. The technician may ask you to move in different positions to get different angles of your baby. You'll also be able to hear your baby's heartbeat, a moment many women find particularly emotional. After the exam, you can wipe off the gel easily and get dressed.
Your healthcare provider will schedule follow-up appointments throughout your pregnancy to monitor the fetus's development. Ultrasounds may be repeated at different intervals, depending on your medical history, risk factors and health status. It's essential to keep all your appointments, ask any questions and express any concerns to your healthcare provider.
Reach out to a healthcare provider in your area to learn more about ultrasounds.