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What to Expect at Your First Pregnancy Ultrasound

Guest post by Junou.

pregnancy first ultrasoundAre you having a first pregnancy ultrasound? What an exciting milestone in your pregnancy. Here is what you should expect to happen during the first ever ultrasound in pregnancy.

At your first pregnancy ultrasound, a technician will use ultrasound equipment to take internal images of your fetus. These images will help determine the age of the fetus, the gender, and when you should expect the birth of your child. Your technician may use these pictures to detect any problems with the fetus. Usually, pregnant women have their first ultrasound at 16 to 20 weeks, yet some have when they are four to five weeks pregnant.

Many pregnant women are concerned about their first pregnancy ultrasound. “Will the ultrasound waves harm the baby?” is just one question that to-be mothers (and fathers) ask.

Are Pregnancy Ultrasounds Harmful?

Unlike X-ray tests, ultrasound does not utilize radiation. Many studies confirm that pregnancy ultrasounds do not harm you or your baby. Despite the fact that pregnancy ultrasounds are not dangerous, doctors recommend that you don’t take them just for fun.

How to Prepare for the First Pregnancy Ultrasound

The ultrasound technician will most likely ask you to drink four 8-ounce glasses of water a few hours before your pregnancy ultrasound examination. Once you arrive at the area where you will take your ultrasound, the technician will likely give you a questionnaire to fill out.

In the examination room, the technician may ask you to change into a gown. If not, the ultrasound technician may ask you to lower your pants and lift your shirt to expose your stomach. The technician will spread a jelly fluid onto your exposed belly. The jelly fluid will improve the quality of the images.

What Information is Gathered from the First Ultrasound

The first thing your technician will do is check your baby’s heartbeat. The ultrasound technician will determine if the baby’s heartbeat is normal. He or she will also be able to tell you the baby’s heart rate.

Your technicians will use the results from the pregnancy ultrasound to detect the location of your baby. By confirming the location of the fetus, he or she will make sure your pregnancy isn’t ectopic.

By looking at the images, the technician will determine the baby’s size. He or she will also check for any abnormalities. If needed, the technician will give you a new due date that reflects the current size of the baby. The technician will schedule further ultrasounds if he or she is concerned about your baby’s growth. If you want to know, the technician will also tell you the baby’s gender.

Although it may seem complicated, in truth, pregnancy ultrasounds are very simple and safe. Some women look forward to their first pregnancy ultrasound to obtain the first picture of their baby or to find out the sex of the child.


Special thanks to my guest writer:

Junou is a full-time certified ultrasound technician who works not only with expectant mothers but with a wide variety of other patients as well. He stresses the importance of speaking to your technician about any of your concerns before your exam begins. Your technician will be glad to help alleviate your fears!

About the author: This blog post was written by a guest contributor. If you’d like to guest post for Hip Chick’s Guide to PMS, Pregnancy and Babies, please read my Guest Writing Policy for a guideline of what I am looking for. All guest posts need to be at least 500 words and be original to this site only.

{ 7 comments… add one }
  • Scott November 9, 2016, 5:56 pm

    Thanks for a very informative article. I didn’t realize that the jelly fluid that is applied on the stomach is used to help improve the image quality of the baby. I imagine it would be pretty sad to go to an ultrasound and not have a clear image of what the baby looks like. My cousin is going in to her first ultrasound next week. She is pretty nervous. I would think that reading article about it and talking with family who have children already would help her be more prepared to go.

  • Stacy December 13, 2011, 1:04 pm

    Very good information about ultrasounds. I just found out I am 5 Weeks Pregnant and this puts me at ease with the ultrasounds.

  • monica December 10, 2011, 11:13 am

    What to Expect at Your First Pregnancy Ultrasound: this page says :”Usually, pregnant women have their first ultrasound at 16 to 20 months”
    I think it means Days not months. lol.

    • marcela July 26, 2012, 5:31 pm

      No I think it means weeks.

    • Chenflower May 2, 2018, 8:07 am


  • Allen Smith October 19, 2011, 12:13 pm

    First pregnancy is really the best ever experience, of course every pregnancy is. But, the first time is full of excitement because everything is new to you and the feeling is like you are always amused.

    fetus ultrasounds

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