Ultrasounds & Non-Stress Tests
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How does an ultrasound work?
An ultrasound uses sound waves to create a “picture” of your baby on a monitor. With a standard ultrasound, a gel is spread on your abdomen. A special tool is moved over your abdomen, which allows your doctor and you to view the baby on a monitor.
When is an ultrasound performed?
An ultrasound exam can be performed at any point during the pregnancy. Women commonly have an ultrasound between 18-20 weeks. An anatomy ultrasound is performed to ensure there are no abnormalities with your baby.
Mid-Pregnancy Ultrasound During a mid-pregnancy ultrasound, your caregiver will:
- Check the baby’s heartbeat
- Measure your baby’s size
- Check to see if there is more than one baby
- Check the location of the placenta
- Access the amount of amniotic fluid in the uterus
- Check the baby for physical abnormalities
- Try to determine your baby’s gender
An ultrasound exam is also used as part of the first trimester screen and biophysical profile (BPP). Based on exam results, your doctor may suggest other tests or other types of ultrasound to help detect a problem. For more information about various topics regarding pregnancy, please visit the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology Patient Education page: https://www.acog.org/Patients