By: Deborah Meza
Christen Blaine, Sonographer
Ultrasound was first used for clinical purposes in 1956 in Glasgow, Scotland. Obstetrician Ian Donald and engineer Tom Brown developed the first prototype based on an instrument used to detect industrial flaws in ships. They perfected its clinical use, and by the end of the 1950’s ultrasound was routinely used in Glasgow hospitals. It didn’t really take off in British and American hospitals until the 1970’s
A fetal ultrasound (sonogram) is an imaging technique that uses sound waves to produce images of a fetus in uterus. The images captured can help your health care provider evaluate your baby’s growth and development during your pregnancy. Most healthy women receive two to three ultra sound scans during pregnancy. The first trimester to confirm due date, the second (and third if recommended) to confirm normal anatomy, fetus size and sex of the baby. Additional scans may be necessary if the mother has medical issues such as diabetes or hypertension.
There is no evidence to show a prenatal ultrasound provided properly will harm the mother or her unborn child. Done properly means it is performed by a trained technician, called a sonographer or by a Doctor. There are different types of ultrasound.
The standard prenatal ultrasounds are completed in 2D. This image reveals a grey outline of the baby. 2D allows the technician or Doctor to see through the body and observe the baby’s internal organs.
3D and 4D ultrasound scans are often optional. 3D imaging creates a 3-dimensional image of the baby. While 4D ultrasounds create a live video effect like a movie. You can watch your baby smile, yawn, suck on his or her thumb, etc. You will see skin! The 4D is a more realistic view of the child. You will see a moving image of the baby.
The process of prenatal development occurs in three main stages. The first two weeks after conception are known as the germinal stage, the third through the eighth week is known as the embryonic period and the time from the ninth week until birth is known as the fetal period. The stages of growth month to month are fast and amazing. An ultrasound when pregnant is an easy safe way to monitor the development of your baby and it will allow you the ability of peaking into the future to see if you will be blessed with a southern ribbon and Bows little girl or an energetic coastal water loving little boy.
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