At Shenandoah Women’s Healthcare, ultrasounds are an important part of our pregnancy care services. Our midwives and physicians use ultrasounds to confirm that your pregnancy is progressing smoothly and that your baby is healthy. In addition, ultrasounds can be used to:
- Show ectopic pregnancies and other possible problems
- Identify abnormalities in the placenta, cervix, uterus, and ovaries
- Confirm multiple pregnancies (twins, triplets, etc.)
Generally, we recommend most pregnant women have their first ultrasound (also known as a sonogram) during the first 12 weeks of their pregnancy to confirm pregnancy and estimate your due date.
A second and third ultrasound may be recommended during the second and third trimester. Reasons why we recommend additional ultrasounds include:
- To determine your child’s sex
- Monitor vital signs like your child’s heart rate
- Check the health of your placenta and amniotic fluid
- Look for Down’s Syndrome or other developmental problems in your child– depending on your risk factors
Perhaps best of all, ultrasounds help you “meet” your baby before he or she is born! For many parents it’s a valuable bonding experience.