Scans Recommended For Every Mom During First Trimester
Scans during first trimester of pregnancy help to check the progress of your pregnancy, as well as the development of your baby.
The first trimester is usually the most incredible one of them all. The joy of discovering a new life growing inside you, sharing that joy with your loved ones, and the beginning of all the special care and pampering that you will receive for the next few months, – all of these usually make the mother-to-be feel extremely blessed and special. Along with the extreme emotions that a pregnant lady can experience in the first trimester, it is also important to be aware of the importance of regular visits to the doctor. With the help of few tests and scans, you can be assured of your and your baby’s well-being. The scans during pregnancy check for the position of the baby and its general well-being in the womb, as well as for the presence of any congenital abnormalities.
What are the different types of pregnancy ultrasound scans?
In the pregnancy scan, or the pregnancy ultrasound, sound waves are sent to the uterus through a machine that resonates them and the computer then converts them into images. The hard tissues such as bones are depicted white, the soft tissues are depicted grey and, as the amniotic fluid does not resonate the sound waves, it is depicted as black.
These scans are of three types:
- 2D scan is the one described above. It is the typical scan that gives the necessary information, but may not give a very clear picture of the baby. This amounts to a slightly less satisfactory experience for the excited parents-to-be.
- A 3D baby scan is similar in concept to the 2D scan, but it gives a three-dimensional picture, giving it depth. This makes it easier to appreciate the features of the baby.
- 4D scan is like the 3D scan but has an added time component to it (fourth dimension) making it possible to see the movements of the baby – almost like a video of the baby in the womb.
What is the pregnancy ultrasound schedule for the first trimester?
There are several different scans done during the duration of pregnancy. The different scans that can be performed in the first trimester include the following:
- Viability scan or early reassurance scan (first pregnancy scan): This scan is the earliest to be done, usually as early as 6-10 weeks. It is done vaginally and provides evidence of a confirmed, viable pregnancy. It can also help in visualizing the baby’s heartbeat. It is by far, the most special one as the future parents get the first glimpse of their baby growing in the womb. It also gives information about the number of babies in the womb and determines the reasons behind any bleeding or spotting that the mother is experiencing.
- Dating scan: This early scan provides an expected due date of the delivery of the baby, checks if the baby is safely attached in the uterus and determines the position of the baby.
- An important pregnancy ultrasound scan done at the far end of the first trimester is the Nuchal Translucency (NT) Scan. Its most significant purpose is to look for the presence of Down’s Syndrome in the foetus and check for cardiovascular dysfunctions and chromosomal abnormalities in the baby. It is best done between weeks 11-13 of pregnancy so that there is adequate time to take informed action, in the presence of abnormalities.
Along with the pregnancy scans, the mother is also subjected to blood investigations and urine tests to check for her health and well-being. These tests also help to determine causes that may raise difficulties in due course of time.
Usually, healthcare facilities combine the important tests together to limit your visits to the hospital. For instance, first trimester screening is an evaluation that includes blood test to check for two specific substances and an ultrasound for nuchal translucency. This screening protocol allows for early detection of congenital abnormalities.
Talk to your doctor and schedule timely appointments for your various scans so that you can enjoy your pregnancy, stress-free!