Seeing Baby for the First Time


What could possibly be better than knowing that you have a little one growing inside your belly? Why, seeing that little one with your own eyes, of course! It’s probably about time for your very first ultrasound appointment, and there’s just nothing like it. Here’s what to expect.

The preparation

Be sure and ask your doctor’s office if you need to do anything to prepare for your first ultrasound. When baby is this tiny, it can be difficult to get good pictures. Because ultrasound exams use sound waves, and sound travels better through liquid, you may be asked to drink lots of water to make sure your bladder is full at the time of the exam.

The mechanics

Typically, an ultrasound exam in your first trimester won’t be the standard goo-on-your-belly picture taken of your bump. In very early pregnancy, the baby is just too small to see clearly this way. Your doctor will probably be using a transvaginal probe (it’s not nearly as bad as it sounds!), which is gently inserted into the vagina to view the baby through the cervix.

The view

So, what can you expect to see on an early ultrasound? Here’s what your doctor will be looking for:

  • Baby’s location (to make sure he or she is inside the uterus, and not inside a fallopian tube)
  • The flutter of baby’s heartbeat (which is guaranteed to make your heart flutter)
  • The number of babies (yes, sometimes there are two or three…)
  • Baby’s size (to more accurately date the pregnancy and estimate your due date)

As an anxious mom, you might be looking for more, but it’s hard to see much at this early stage. Even so, seeing your baby for the first time up on that screen is a feeling you’ll never forget.