Reading Your Prenatal Ultrasound

UltrasoundViewing your ultrasound is unquestionably one of the most exciting times for parents during pregnancy. 3D and 4D ultrasounds have made it even easier to get clear pictures of your growing baby that anyone can easily recognize. However, traditional ultrasounds can be difficult for parents to read, especially when the parents do not know what they are looking for. While your doctor and ultrasound technician will no doubt explain the images to you, it doesn’t hurt to go in with a little inside knowledge. Who knows, you may spot things before he or she does!

The Basics Of Reading Ultrasounds

The bare minimum you need to learn in order to recognize your fetus on a sonogram is a difference in colors. Free-floating fluid on a sonogram picture is black, so if you’re looking to find your baby’s cute face, black areas can be ignored. Tissues, which contain some fluid, always will appear as gray to white. The whiter the color, the more solid the tissue, and pure white is, of course, bone. Your own uterus will remain gray because it is a fluid-filled tissue. You can identify it as a light gray line near the edge of your ultrasound image. The amniotic fluid that surrounds your baby is floating freely and is therefore black in color.

All About The Baby>

With the basics understood, you can begin checking your ultrasound pictures for identifiable features of your baby. Your ultrasound technician is most valuable at this stage and will focus on and point out the heart, the spine and other popular focal points. It should not be difficult to identify areas such as the spine on a still picture as long as you can recognize the colors discussed earlier, such as white for bones.

Determining the sex of your baby is typically performed during your week 16 or week 20 ultrasound. If you requested not to have the gender revealed but are sitting home with your pictures and having a change of heart, all hope is not lost. You can simply call your doctor or attempt to locate the same signs yourself. Boys tend to be easier to identify. The presence of a penis and testicles are a sure sign and are often easy to locate depending on the position of your baby. For girls, the ultrasound technician will generally look for three lines. The three lines in the genital area are the clitoris positioned between the labia of a baby girl.

3D/4D Ultrasounds

For bonding and enjoyment purposes, 3D/4D ultrasounds make for an exciting experience as many clinics provide live HD video of your baby in motion and may include a DVD of recorded video. These advanced ultrasounds are used in addition to normal sonograms as they can be less effective at identifying potential abnormalities. 3D/4D sonograms enable you to view your baby in stunning detail, eliminating the need for color recognition and careful inspection of a traditional ultrasound photograph. Ask your gynecologist about the availability of 3D/4D ultrasounds if you wish to enjoy this unforgettable experience.

Jill Gibson, MD, offers 3D/4D ultrasounds at her Covington, Louisiana, practice that could prove to be the highlight of your pregnancy memories. Contact her office today for pricing and appointments.

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