Why early OB ultrasound is so amazing

 

How early can you see baby’s heartbeat?

There is a lot happening in the first trimester of pregnancy! From weeks 6-13 the development that takes place is incredible. At Perfect Timing we offer Pregnancy Verification starting at 6 weeks. This the earliest opportunity to see your baby’s heart beating utilizing ultrasound. At this early point in the game, baby is still called an “embryo.” Looking at the screen at this gestational age, you will see what many of our clients describe as a “blob.” Upon closer inspection, a small flicker is usually able to be identified (presuming the dating is accurate). This tiny flicker is the heartbeat! Though baby does appear to be blob-esc, cells are dividing and baby is developing right before our very eyes.

From week 6 to week 7, baby doubles in size. Your pregnancy tracking apps will tell you that your baby is now the size of a blueberry. As far as ultrasound goes, baby’s features are still difficult to decipher. Believe it or not, however, hands and feet are already starting to form!

Baby has arms and legs already!?

After week 8, baby is called a “fetus” and has started moving around already. Within the next few weeks, baby’s arms and legs become easier to identify. By week 10, baby has noticeably developed in to a teeny tiny human. These details are apparent on ultrasound! Baby is busy; moving all around and kicking and stretching arms and legs that are now able to bend. The development that has taken place in the past few weeks is nothing short of miraculous! Baby is looking incredible in 3D, 4D and HD Live now! These pictures are amazing. Your baby is still so small that we are capable of imaging baby within the circumference of the womb on 3D ultrasound. This means that visually, you can see how the uterus and gestational sac surround the baby.

By week 11, baby is almost completely formed and by weeks 12 baby is able to make sucking movements with his or her little mouth! We are able to watch as baby touches its mouth and face with tiny fingers that are just starting to bend. As the first trimester comes to a close, your pea pod sized baby is just under 3 inches long with organs that are nearly fully formed.

But when can we learn the sex of our baby!?!

Week 14 marks the beginning of the second trimester! Baby is getting bigger and stronger and even using his or her facial muscles now. Weighing in at about 1.5 ounces by this point, Baby is moving around like crazy! On ultrasound, we are able to detect some exciting news for expectant parents starting this week! That’s right, we can now determine the sex of your baby!

Our Gender Determination ultrasounds are always so much fun! These scans can be tricky due to the way that baby’s anatomy is shaped at this gestational age. This early on, male and female parts actually look a lot alike. A few other factors like baby’s position and the location of the umbilical cord can come in to play as well. It takes patience, a well trained eye, and a talented ultrasound hand to perform a Gender Determination at 14 weeks. Fear not, we have all of these qualities and more in Kristen! She is an ARDMS licensed sonographer with 10 years of experience in OBGYN sonography. She is so amazing at what she does. I couldn’t ask for a better co-owner and am thrilled to be on this adventure with her!

 

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