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Top Questions About Ultrasounds During Pregnancy

Thursday, Aug 14, 2014

Having an ultrasound while pregnant is important in not only providing the anxious awaiting parents the first picture of their baby, but more importantly to check to see your baby is growing and developing normally.

Ultrasound technology has been around for years and when performed correctly, is safe for both baby and mother. Expectant moms may have some concerns or questions before their first ultrasound. Below we help to try and answer those frequently asked questions.

Are They Safe For My Baby?

When used properly, ultrasounds are not hazardous and have not shown harmful side effects to expectant mothers or their babies. Ultrasounds do not use radiation, which X-rays use to produce images. Still, long-term effects of repeat ultrasound exposure to the fetus is not fully known therefor it is recommended to be used only when medically needed.

What Is The Purpose Of An Ultrasound During Pregnancy?

Based on the stage of pregnancy, there are a number of reasons to receive an ultrasound:

  • Monitor the baby's heart rate
  • Accurately date pregnancy or determine due date
  • Determine whether pregnancy includes one or multiple babies
  • Check to see if baby is growing and developing normally
  • Check the location of the placenta
  • Assess the amount of amniotic fluid in the uterus
  • Try to determine the baby's sex

When Is An Ultrasound First Performed During Pregnancy?

The first ultrasound typically is performed between 18-20 weeks and helps in determining due date and helps the physician have a beginning measurement to closely monitor growth. Moms at high risk may have one sooner.

How Many Do I Receive?

You may have at least one standard ultrasound during your pregnancy. This ultrasound usually is performed at about 16-20 weeks of pregnancy. Some women my have an ultrasound in the first trimester of pregnancy to confirm the baby's due date.

What is a Level II Ultrasound?

A level II ultrasound is similar to a standard ultrasound. The difference is that your doctor will get more detailed information. Your doctor may focus on specific parts of your baby's body, such as his or her brain, heart, or other organs.

What is a Sonogram?

A sonogram is the black and white image generated by an ultrasound that shows your growing baby.

A Special Thanks!

Thanks to funding from the Foundations Community Partnership (FCP), a philanthropic foundation supporting the behavioral health and human service needs of children and young adults in Bucks County, Doylestown Hospital will be able to purchase a new handheld ultrasound machine called Vscan. The device is pocket-sized and is able to conveniently monitor the wellbeing of mother and child prior to birth by identifying fetal position, amniotic fluid levels as well as cervical progression. By gathering this information during labor, physicians can develop the safest and healthiest delivery plan possible.

Giving Opportunities

Every gift, large or small, symbolizes a commitment to the health and well-being of our patients. For more information or to pledge your support, please contact campaign manager, Garrett Owen, at 215-345-2802 or make a donation online.

About the VIA Maternity Center

Doylestown Health’s VIA Maternity Center is rated among the best in the region for maternity care with services available for every stage of pregnancy through the birth experience. The VIA Maternity Center features a 32-bed maternity unit that includes 9 labor, delivery & recovery rooms, 22 private post-partum rooms, and a Level II NICU staffed by CHOP neonatologists.

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