What is an OB ultrasound?
An OB ultrasound, also known as an obstetric ultrasound, is when sound waves are used to create visual images of your fetus on a screen. Using ultrasonography, gel and a transducer (the device that converts the sound into an image) are applied to the mother’s abdomen or inside the vaginal canal to produce the images of the baby onto a screen.
How often are OB ultrasounds recommended?
Every patient has a different pregnancy plan, so recommendations for ultrasounds vary from expectant mother to expectant mother. Typically, one ultrasound per trimester is required. With high-risk pregnancies or multiple babies, this number may increase.*
First Trimester OB Ultrasound
Your first ultrasound usually takes place 6-8 weeks after conception. Called a sonogram, this ultrasound is generally done trans-vaginally because the fetus is so small. Your OB physician may want you to have a full bladder during this procedure to enhance the quality of your ultrasound.
Second Trimester OB Ultrasound
Around 18-20 weeks it’s time for your second ultrasound. This ultrasound gives you a more in depth look at your baby. The second trimester ultrasound, also known as an anatomy scan, can vary in length. Some scans go from twenty minutes to up to an hour for one baby. Scans will go longer for multiple births.* This ultrasound will not only give you a good look at your baby but also allow the doctor to check your baby out from head to toe. They will look for any abnormalities, check both the heart and growth rate, as well as examine the placenta and amniotic fluid levels to ensure that your pregnancy is progressing smoothly. At this point in the pregnancy, the sex of the baby can often be determined as well.*
Third Trimester OB Ultrasound
An ultrasound during the third trimester isn’t always required, although it is recommended for high-risk pregnancy moms and anyone who has gone past their due date. Either way, if an ultrasound is performed during the third trimester, your OB will check your baby’s heart rate and amniotic fluid levels as well. Depending upon the results of this ultrasound, more follow-ups may be necessary to ensure a safe delivery.
OB Ultrasounds in Medicine Hat, Alberta
You’ve just found out you’re expecting. Now what? It’s time to figure out your prenatal plan and schedule appointments for your first ultrasound with your OB. Dr. Jeffery in Medicine Hat, Alberta is an expert surgeon and specialist in the world of obstetrics and gynecology.
Dr. Jeffery takes obstetrics patients by referral only. Please have your referring physician contact our office before trying to schedule a consultation.
* Individual results may vary; not a guarantee