Echocardiography (Ultrasound) Tests During Pregnancy – What To Expect

Fertility and Pregnancy

After knowing that you are pregnant, it is natural to be concerned if the baby is growing up healthily and be curious about the baby’s face. When going for a checkup, you can view the baby in the stomach by ultrasonic examination called “echo”.

Recently 3D and 4D echoes are popular, so that moms are surprised to see the exact same face when their babies are born.

But echoes are more than just watching babies. Let’s learn about “echo” and what it can check for us.

What is an echo examination?

Echo is a high-frequency sound wave emitted from an ultrasonic tomography apparatus and it is an examination that photographs the inside of a stomach. In the early pregnancy (from around 12 weeks), “transvaginal ultrasound examination” which inserts a stick-like device called a probe into the vagina, performs it by “transabdominal ultrasound examination” shooting from the surface of the stomach. Because the situation inside the stomach is reflected in real time, many teachers can explain what is happening while watching the video.

The main content that the teacher examines with echo are as follows.

Early pregnancy

The number of babies, whether it is a normal pregnancy or not.

Egg membranes, placenta, umbilical cord and amniotic fluid, we can confirm that the baby is growing smoothly and without trouble.

Number of pregnancy weeks and scheduled delivery date

About 9 weeks into pregnancy: the length from the baby’s head to the posterior.

About 12 to 13 weeks pregnancy: we measure the width of the baby’s head to determine the precise pregnancy week number and expected delivery date.

Heartbeat

When you enter the 6th to 7th weeks of pregnancy, you will be able to check your heart rate. If the heartbeat cannot be confirmed at this time, the possibility of miscarriage will be high.

Midpregnancy 

Baby’s growth

We estimate the weight by measuring the size of the head, the length of the thigh bone, the size of the stomach, and so on. Also check whether each organ is properly formed or in the correct position. About 34 weeks into pregnancy, we can also check how babies are practicing breathing in their belly.

Placenta

Check the position, shape, size, blood flow etc. of the placenta and check whether it functions properly.

Cervical length

We measure the length from the inner uterine capsule to the external uterine ostium to check whether there is any possibility of premature birth.

In addition, we check the structure and position of the umbilical cord and the amount of amniotic fluid. Sometimes we can tell you the baby’s gender if you wish.

How to look at the picture and save it

About 12 weeks after pregnancy, the baby’s appearance becomes human as well, and it is impressive knowing how he/she moves the limbs. After examination the doctor makes a picture of one scene, to keep it carefully as a baby’s growth record. However, because you are using thermal paper, it will become thinner over time, and the photo will disappear. For that reason, it is recommended that you take copies or pictures, scan them, import them into a PC, and save them.

Also, by knowing the meaning of alphabets and numbers in the pictures, you will understand the growth of your baby in more detail.

Meaning of Alphabets and Numbers

  • AGE: Number of gestational weeks
  • EFW: estimated body weight
  • EDC: expected delivery date. Sometimes it is displayed as DEL
  • GS: size of the fetal sac
  • BPD: width of the head
  • FL: length of the femur
  • APTD: length before and after stomach
  • TTD: width of stomach
  • A × T: Area of ​​the abdomen. Abbreviation for APTD × TTD
  • AC: Length around tummy
  • FTA: Cross sectional area when the chest is horizontally sliced
  • HL: length from shoulder to elbow
  • CRL: length from head to posterior
  • AFI: Amount of amniotic fluid

There may be some errors depending on the angle, and etc, but since you have an idea how much you are growing each time you inspect it, you should also be assured of the mother’s security. Have your husband and family see it and feel the growth of your baby together.

Echo where baby’s appearance can be seen stereoscopically

The echo used in general examination is a 2D image of a section in black and white, but depending on the hospital, “3D” stereoscopically captures with still images, and “4D” stereoscopically viewing the state of real time are available.

Not only can these examinations capture the baby’s face, but also the expression and gestures! For men who are said to be uncomfortable about the pregnancy, the experience of viewing the baby can give them a feeling of becoming a dad. However, let’s understand that the viewing is not for the purpose of finding trouble, but to enjoy the appearance of the baby in the stomach.

In Conclusion

Because echo makes it possible for you to see the inside of the stomach that is normally invisible, it makes the pregnancy more real. It is something a lot of pregnant ladies look forward to. Let’s survive the pregnancy period and enjoy the appearance of the mysterious baby in the stomach who grows steadily with every examination.

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