Why are ultrasounds performed?
An ultrasound exam is medically indicated throughout pregnancy for the following reasons:
- Confirm pregnancy
- Confirm heartbeat and rate
- Measure the crown-rump length
- Determine estimated due date
- Confirm molar or ectopic pregnancies
- Assess abnormal gestation
- Diagnose fetal malformation
- 13-14 weeks for characteristics of potential Down syndrome
- 18-22 weeks for congenital malformations
- Structural abnormalities
- Confirm multiples pregnancy
- Verify dates and growth
- Identify hydramnios or oligohydramnios –(excessive or reduced levels of amniotic fluid)
- Identify placenta location
- Observe fetal presentation
- Observe fetal movements
- Check fetal growth
- Identify uterine and pelvic abnormalities of the mother
Baby’s development in the second trimester:
Weeks 14 Thru 16:
The baby’s skin is transparent and a fine hair (lanugo) begins to form on the head. The baby begins sucking and even swallows small amounts of amniotic fluid. Fingerprints are now developed on the tiny fingers of the baby. Flutters may be felt now as the baby begins to move around more. Sometimes feeling the movement will come a little later though. These early flutter feelings can feel similar to gas or bubbles in your stomach. The baby has reached 4 inches in length (crown to rump) and weighs around 3-4 ounces. Baby is about the size of an avocado at this point.
Weeks 17 Thru 20:
The baby has reached a point where movements are being felt more often. The baby now has eyebrows and eyelashes growing in, and tiny nails are beginning to grow on the fingers and toes. A heartbeat can be heard via stethoscope now. Studies suggest that baby can now hear your voice, so go ahead and start reading aloud or singing to him or her. The baby has reached a length of 6 inches (crown to rump) or 10 inches from head to feet and weighs about 10 ounces.
Weeks 21 Thru 24:
The baby is beginning to look more and more like a newborn as the skin becomes less transparent. Your uterus has now risen above your belly button and is near the size of a soccer ball. Baby’s movements start feeling more like full-fledged kicks instead of little flutters. The baby weighs about 1 pound and 5 ounces now and is about a foot long! His body is more proportional now, but still pretty skinny. Baby will put on more fat during the third trimester.
Weeks 24 Thru 27:
Your baby has now developed a sleep and wake cycle and you may begin to notice the pattern yourself. Baby’s wrinkled skin will start to smooth out as he or she develops some baby fat. Hair is also growing now! Starting in the 27th week, your baby will be able to open and close his or her eyes! Along with kicks and movements, you may notice little rhythmic movements- baby hiccups! Weighing in at almost 2 pounds and 14 inches long, your baby would be capable of functioning now if born- with medical help of course.
What to expect in 4D at different stages of pregnancy.
8-14 weeks provides early views where you can see the baby as a whole and listen to the heartbeat.
15-18 weeks you are able to obtain full body pictures and determine gender. A great time to see baby kick and turn.
26-30 weeks is when you can see a well defined face
31-36 weeks baby has a full face and chubby cheeks