What To Expect From Your First Pregnancy Ultrasound

For expectant mothers, a first ultrasound can be a joyous occasion, but it can also cause you some anxiety. You want to know that your baby is perfect, and you may be worried about his or her health inside the womb. Knowing what to expect from this appointment can help calm your fears and let you get the most from this experience. 

Follow Any Doctor Instructions

Depending on how far along you are, your OB/GYN may provide you with certain instructions before your ultrasound is performed. Your doctor may request that you not eat, though this is typically only requested of women having certain medical conditions. Your doctor may also ask that you drink plenty of water and not empty your bladder before the ultrasound. This can help the ultrasound technician get a better view of your uterus and of the baby. Be sure that you understand and follow any special instructions so your ultrasound results are as clear and accurate as possible.

Know What The Ultrasound Technician Can Reveal

An ultrasound technician is not your doctor, and they are typically not allowed to reveal any concerning information about your pregnancy. However, your technician can show you where the heartbeat is and point out different features of your growing little one. For example, the technician can show you where the arms and legs are beginning to form and how long your baby measures. If you are having your first ultrasound done further along in your pregnancy, the technician can even tell you whether you are having a boy or girl. Be sure to let your OB/GYN and the ultrasound technician know if you want the baby's sex to be a surprise.

Expect To Get A Little Emotional

Seeing your baby's image on the computer screen can make everything seem a bit more "real" to you, and hearing the heartbeat can make you more than just a little emotional. Don't be embarrassed by this. Tears of joy are to be expected. If possible, arrange to have your partner or a close friend with you to provide emotional support during the visit. Don't forget to ask for copies of the ultrasound images. Some ultrasound technicians will print pictures out for you, while others will put all of the images on a CD or flash drive. You can ask to have the pictures labeled so you know what each one is of for future reference.

When your OB/GYN goes over the results of the ultrasound with you, be sure to ask as many questions as you need to. Understanding your baby's progress and health can help you better prepare for your little one's arrival.