Video:Understanding Your Ultrasoundwith Dr. Stuart James Fischbein
Ultrasounds during pregnancy are recommended screening tests to examine the health of your unborn baby. Watch this video from About.com to learn more about what happens at a baby ultrasound.See Transcript
Transcript:Understanding Your Ultrasound
Hello I’m Dr. Stuart James Fischbein. I’m a fellow of the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology. You can find more about me at www.BirthingInsticts.com. I’m here today on behalf of About.com to discuss what you find on your ultrasounds during pregnancy.
Baby Ultrasounds are Recommended
Ultrasounds during pregnancy are often recommended by your practitioner. Some people choose to have many ultrasounds during their pregnancy, some people while it’s medically indicated to have many ultrasound during their pregnancy, and some clients choose never to have ultrasounds during pregnancy. All of these are viable options.
If you are going to have ultrasounds during your pregnancy, the best time to do them is an early ultrasound to determine the dating because again having accurate dating is one of the most important things that you can have in pregnancy because all your decisions are based on what your dates are.
A second ultrasound can be done around 12-13 weeks for what’s called first trimester genetic screening. It’s where they do an ultrasound of the baby’s neck and other parts of the baby, and combine that with some blood work to give you an estimation of the baby’s risk for Down Syndrome and some other disorders.
And then the most detailed ultrasound and the one that I believe is the most important ultrasound of all is the 20-week ultrasound because at the 20-week ultrasound we look at the baby’s detailed anatomy. We look for both gross and subtle abnormalities that might imply that further testing should be done.
This is the ultrasound where we can look at the baby’s brain and we can look at the baby’s skeletal system, its heart, the chambers in the heart, the stomach and the bladder, the kidneys, the abdominal wall and the limbs and the face and we can rule out things like cleft lip and club foot.
We can also tell you the sex of your baby, which of course everybody, well not everybody, wants to know these days but it’s common and certainly it brings a big smile to some parents’ faces.
Ultrasounds are Safe Screening Tests During Pregnancy
It’s important to note that ultrasound is a screening test. It is not a yes or no test. It is not a diagnostic test. It is something that implies possible further testing should be done or it can be totally reassuring that no further testing should be done.
Ultrasound is an integral part of today’s modern obstetrics. It is not something to be feared. There are some vague articles out there that ultrasound at this frequency can cause problems and some people truly believe that that is true. However, the majority of scientific data over 50 years of ultrasound use does not confirm that.
I’m Stuart James Fischbein. Thank you so much for watching. To learn more, visit us online at About.com.