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What to Expect at Your Ultrasound

You'll get your first glimpse of your baby at this test, but doctors will be ensuring that everything's growing just as it should.

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-The thing that everybody is most anticipating and most excited about is, you know, taking a really good look at that baby and also many, many of them. Wanna know, you know, is my little baby a boy or a girl. And so, this is a very exciting moment. 16 weeks is the point now where we do what's called the initial anatomy screen so that the sonographer will look at all of the structures in the baby (the heart, the spine, the brain, the stomach, the kidneys, the heart, the gender) and let you know that everything looks good, and strong, and healthy. So that's a really important moment. It's not completely done at 16 weeks. This test used to be done at 20 weeks and so there are a few tiny parts of it that need to be completed at 20 weeks. We feel strongly that limited ultrasound exposure in pregnancy is fine and has proven through the test of time that there's no harm to it. There are kind of 3 different results that can come out, you know. It can be everything is there and it's perfect and everything looks great and that's obviously the result that everyone wants to have. From time to time, there are sonographic findings that don't look exactly like every other baby and then obviously this causes tremendous anxiety because you worry if our baby's brain looks a little bit different or your baby's heart looks a little bit different and so then that leads to, as you can imagine, many, many weeks of followup testing, evaluation, analysis to figure out, you know, what is this difference and is it something that mattes or is it something that doesn't matter and is it something that can be-- and then what can we do based on this difference that we see to help this baby. It almost always turns out alright. But from time to time, you see things that are, you know, big and bad. There is a second blood screen, which is really just a followup to the first one. It just makes the first one a tiny bit more accurate, a tiny bit more refined; and it's called the modified sequential blood test and so that's a blood test that's done at 16 weeks.