For expectant mothers who have recently learned they are pregnant, the first sonogram marks the beginning of tracking your baby’s growth in the first trimester. Although every sonogram is different, there are a few things to know before scheduling your appointment. If this is your first baby, it can be normal to feel nervous, but there are a few ways to prepare for the first time you see your baby on the screen. Keep reading for a few tips to help your appointment go smoothly, and dispel any nervous feelings.
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Family Health History
Before your first sonogram appointment begins, you’ll be asked a number of questions that relate to your personal health and the history of your family’s health. If you are unaware of any family diseases, make sure to give your parents or another family member a call before the appointment so you know what to tell the doctor. For your personal health history, it’s important to recall the last time you smoked, drank alcohol, or used drugs as well as note any conditions or ailments that you suffer from. You’ll also be asked if you’ve suffered any miscarriages in the past.
Determining the Due Date
Your due date will be determined at your first sonogram, making it important to know the last day of your menstrual cycle. This will allow your doctor to calculate how far along you are in the pregnancy. If you are planning to get pregnant, it can be helpful to track your menstrual cycles on a calendar so you don’t forget the last time you had it.
Wear Loose Fitting Clothing
You’ll be laying down for at least 30 minutes during the first sonogram appointment with your pants pulled low, making it important to wear loose-fitting clothing that is comfortable and easy to adjust. Opt for a pair of maternity leggings, yoga pants, or even maternity jeans so your full belly is visible for the technician.
You’ll hear the Heartbeat
Your first sonogram will be the first time you’ll be able to hear your baby’s heartbeat, which can be heard as early as six weeks into the pregnancy. Don’t worry prematurely if you don’t hear the heartbeat—if the heartbeat is unable to be identified, you’ll have to make another appointment in the coming weeks. The technician should give you a play-by-play of what he or she is doing so that you know exactly what is going on.
Come in with a Full Bladder
It’s important to drink plenty of fluids before the first sonogram to ensure that a clear picture is available on the screen. The reason why they tell you to drink plenty of fluids beforehand is because it is easier to see what is going on if the uterus is not resting too close to the pelvis. A full bladder helps with this visibility.
The first sonogram of any pregnancy is an exciting time for the mother to get a clear picture of her baby. To ensure that the appointment goes smoothly and that the technician can take proper measurements, try to prepare ahead of time. With a smooth first ultrasound, you’ll be able to have a memorable experience that is just the beginning of the joy you’ll experience when having a baby. The information for this article was provided by the professionals at ADU, who offer a diagnostic medical sonography accredited program.