Pregnancy Ultrasound

Pregnancy Ultrasounds at BayCare

From the moment you discover that you’re expecting, the health and welfare of that child will be all you can think about. But thanks to ultrasonic technology, you won’t have to wait the full nine months to actually see your baby.

At BayCare, we offer a wide range of maternity services, one of which is pregnancy ultrasounds during various stages of your pregnancy. A pregnancy ultrasound uses high-frequency sound waves to produce an image of your baby developing in the uterus.

An ultrasound is used to monitor a variety of things, including due date, fetal growth, position of the fetus and determining the number of fetuses.

What to Expect

There are two different types of ultrasound, abdominal and transvaginal. The most common image is two dimensional, which gives a flat picture of one aspect of the image. Ultrasound images appear best when the mother has a full bladder. Patients may be asked to drink a few glasses of water an hour before the test.

The abdominal ultrasound is the most common and will be the primary method of the looking at your baby throughout your pregnancy. The technician or nurse performing the test will spread a clear gel on your belly and pelvis and move a hand-held probe over the area. The probe will transmit sound waves and create an image on the monitor.

A transvaginal ultrasound is conducted differently, and typically only once or twice during the early stages of pregnancy when a sharper image is needed. A small, but long transducer wand is inserted directly into the vagina. Using the same technology to create an image using sound waves, the transvaginal ultrasound produces a 2D image.

Ultrasounds by Trimester

Ultrasounds are performed at various times during your pregnancy:

First Trimester – First 14 Weeks

  • Due date
  • Identify fetus and placental structures
  • Examine uterus and pelvic anatomy

Second Trimester – 14-26 Weeks

  • Assist in prenatal tests
  • Check the amount of amniotic fluid
  • Observe fetal behavior and anatomy
  • Measure length of the cervix

Third Trimester – 26-40 Weeks

  • Monitor fetal growth
  • Assess the placenta
  • Check amniotic fluid 
  • Determine the fetus’s position

3D and 4D Ultrasounds

Typically, all necessary information can be found using the traditional 2D image. However, if more detail is needed, a 3D ultrasound examination can be performed. A 3D image is obtained using a special ultrasound machine. From this, a physician can measure width, height, and depth of the fetus as well as the placenta.

A 4D ultrasound is very similar to the three-dimensional image, except a physician can observe the fetus’s movements and behaviors in real time. These images often have a golden color, which helps show shadows and highlights.

The number of allotted ultrasounds varies depending on insurance carrier. Also, 3D and 4D ultrasound imaging may not necessarily be offered at all locations. For more information on insurance coverage, check with your carrier. Call any of our imaging locations to check on which ultrasounds are available. 

For more information about our maternity services or for a physician referral, call (888) 828-9580.