Your Baby’S First Pictures

Shortly after you find out you’re indeed pregnant, you’ll get a glimpse of your little one inside your womb via ultrasound. Depending on your doctor, this will be the first of many ultrasounds throughout your pregnancy or you may only have one or two more before you see your baby in real life when he’s born. The Hatch breaks down what to expect from an ultrasound.

Ultrasound

First thing’s first

You’ll lie down on an exam table near the ultrasound machine on which you’ll be able to view a screen -- this is where the picture of your baby will appear. This first ultrasound will help your doctor determine baby’s gestational age and check on his growth and development. Before sliding the transducer over your tummy, your doctor will apply a special (i.e. cold) gel on your belly to help conduct the sound waves and also reduce any amount of air between your body and the transducer.

What the heck is a transducer?

It kinda sounds scary, but the transducer is simply the mechanism that sends out sound waves and receives the sounds that come back -- such as your baby’s heartbeat! According to the Mayo Clinic, the sound waves that reflect off your bones as well as body tissue will be converted into the black and white and/or gray images on the screen.

Transvaginal ultrasound

In certain cases your doctor may feel it necessary to do a transvaginal ultrasound in which case a slim transducer is inserted into your vagina. Not so fun, but this will give your doctor a better “picture” of your baby, particularly in the beginning stages of your pregnancy when the uterus and fallopian tubes are closer to the vaginal area than the surface of your abdomen.

Your baby’s first picture

Even if you can’t yet make out your baby’s face, head, hands and feet yet, you’ll probably be given a few fuzzy pictures to take home with you. These may be the best pictures you’ll ever receive – so cherish them, hang them on your fridge, show them to all your friends or frame them.

More on ultrasounds

How long does a routine ultrasound take?
Is it a girl? How an ultrasound can tell
Accuracy of ultrasounds

Tags: ultrasound


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