The fetus is not the only thing assessed during a prenatal ultrasound.The amniotic fluid is looked at every time the sonographer peers into the uterus as a marker for the baby’s health.Determining the gender of the baby is one of the most common reasons parents get excited to go for an ultrasound, because many people want to plan what kind of decor will be in the nursery and tell people what toys and clothes to purchase for the baby shower.Sometimes a pregnancy is unplanned, and an ultrasound is needed to figure out just how old the baby is and when the due date will be.Amniotic fluid levels can be either too high or too low, and every woman's will be monitored closely.The fluid has many purposes, not only cushioning the fetus but also helping its muscles, digestive system, and lungs develop.
If your baby has too much fluid, it might be a sign that they have Down syndrome, also known as Trisomy 21.
This is called a NT ultrasound, and must be performed between 11 weeks and just under 14 weeks of the pregnancy.
The sonographer will first look to date the fetus by measuring from the top of it’s head to the end of the spine, and then look at the thickness of the nuchal translucency.
Different states have various other recommended times to get an ultrasound, and these screenings are generally to look at how the baby is growing and developing, as well as monitor the health of the mother.
Getting bad news during an ultrasound can be one of the most devastating experiences in a parent's world.