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Fetal Ultrasound/Sonogram


Dr. O’Connor

A fetal ultrasound, also called a sonogram, is usually performed between 18 to 20 weeks of pregnancy to evaluate your baby’s development. Fetal ultrasounds provide a picture of your baby by using high-frequency sound waves that bounce off solid structures to create black and white images. Fetal ultrasounds are most commonly used to determine the baby’s due date, check for twins, measure amniotic fluid volume, determine the baby’s size, check the condition of the placenta, and screen for some major birth defects in the baby.

Sometimes, when doing an ultrasound exam, the gender of your baby is apparent, although this is not always the case. If you don’t wish to know your baby’s gender, let your healthcare team know before the exam starts.

In the majority of cases, if your pregnancy is moving along normally, and you’re in good health, there will be no additional fetal sonogram needed after the 18- to 20-week ultrasound exam.

Although sonogram is a very good test to look for major birth defects in your baby before birth, do keep in mind that this test has limits, and that unexpected birth defects may be found in your baby at birth, during childhood, or in adult life.

When you have an ultrasound, you may want your partner to join you to see your baby’s first pictures.