Whether in a sense of awe and disbelief, or that of reluctant denial; often the reality of a positive pregnancy test isn’t fully accepted until the first ultrasound, where one can physically, in real time see and believe that there is life growing within them. 

The first ultrasound is a dating and diagnostic ultrasound, which takes place around the seventh or eighth week. The Ramona Women’s Clinic provides this ultrasound as one of our many free resources. This scan uses modern technology to determine the viability of a pregnancy in a safe and non-invasive manner. In pregnancies that cannot be dated based on a previous menstrual cycle, this scan can also accurately measure the gestational dating. We believe this scan is imperative for every expecting mother as she weighs her options and should be utilized before making any decisions. 

Following the ultrasound in our clinic at 7 or 8 weeks, all other scans will be conducted by the client’s chosen healthcare provider. Around 20 weeks the provider will conduct another ultrasound, also known as the anatomy scan. The purpose of this ultrasound is to examine the physical development of the baby, monitor amniotic fluid, as well as identify major anatomical abnormalities or congenital disorders. If a previous ultrasound hadn’t been conducted to determine the gender, that will also be determined during this scan (if the parents wish to know.)

Typically the diagnostic and anatomy scans are the two ultrasounds routinely expected by healthcare providers, however if any concerns arise later in the second or third trimesters additional ultrasounds may be ordered for the safety of the mother and baby. Additionally with modern technology and the rise of boutique ultrasound clinics, it is now possible for expectant parents to receive scans at their leisure. Beginning in the second trimester the imaging can now be conducted in 3D and 4D! For many expecting parents this is a resource that not only acts as a lens to the life inside them; but also a source of peace, comfort, and a heightened sense of connection for both the mom and dad to their baby.