When you get right down to it, an ultrasound is a medical miracle. It allows a doctor and parent to spot potential problems, review treatment options and prepare for a baby’s birth. The procedure is also non-invasive and carries virtually no risk to mom or child. Indeed, there are few moments more exciting or nerve-wracking in a pregnant couple’s journey than an ultrasound. They provide amazing interactions with their soon-to-be child and the chance to first hear their baby’s heartbeat. Ultrasounds also give critical information (like the baby’s gender!) and potential warnings about his or her health.
Of course, an ultrasound is more than just a chance to coo over what’s coming. They are also serious medical diagnosis tools which require some preparation. Thankfully, that can be a breeze. Here are three easy ways to prepare for your ultrasound.
1) Have a full bladder
Some ultrasounds are easier if you have a full bladder. This is because of the way an ultrasound works: An ultrasound creates its image by emitting sound waves through your abdominal tissue, thus creating a picture which can then be viewed by you and the technicians and doctors. Having a full bladder ensures that the sound waves have something additional to “hit,” thus allowing for a better and more clear picture.
2) Prepare a list of questions
Pregnancy in general is a stressful and nerve-wracking time, and an ultrasound is no different. There is often an awful lot going through your mind, and that can make thinking clearly a challenge! To that end, as you are thinking about questions related to your pregnancy or your child, it can be beneficial for you to write down that list. Some of these questions are pretty easy and almost impossible to forget (What’s the gender? Is the baby healthy?). Others, however, you may want to write down. Examples include:
- Is the baby developing appropriately? Are all of the organs looking as they should?
- Any warning signs, or things you should be keeping an eye on?
- Has the ultrasound revealed anything which should change your behavior (as the pregnancy woman), or is any additional medical care/additional medicine required?
- Is the amniotic fluid level appropriate?
- Specific questions about your pregnancy, such as the behavior of the fetus or abnormal reactions you are worried about.
3) Check with your Doctor first
While there are certainly many commonalities when it comes to ultrasounds, the truth is that each one is different, because each Mom and baby is different. Some Doctors may be looking for specific problems which have been indicated by prior exams or a woman’s medical history – others may be relatively run of the mill.
Because every patient, child and medical practice is different, your best bet for preparation is to make a simple phone call to your Doctor’s office. Find out what they are looking for and if this requires any particular preparation or advance work on your end. That phone call can help ensure that the procedure is accurate and done according to whatever is most medically necessary for you and your baby.
One of the best things about ultrasounds is that they are safe and non-invasive procedures. As such, fasting or taking special medicine is almost never required. However, preparation before any medical procedure is always a good thing – it will help to give you piece of mind and ensure the most medically accurate tests. Follow these simple instructions, and you’ll be sure to get the most out of this procedure.