The Benefits Of An Ultrasound

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Ultrasounds are an essential part of prenatal care that can provide valuable information about the health and development of the foetus. From the first glimpse of a tiny heartbeat to the detailed images of a fully-formed little human, ultrasound technology offers a window into pregnancy’s mysterious and wondrous world.

Each ultrasound provides expectant parents a unique opportunity to connect with their babies, see their features taking shape, and witness the incredible miracle of life unfolding. 

How Do Ultrasounds Work?

A pregnancy ultrasound is a non-invasive diagnostic test that uses high-frequency sound waves to create images of the developing foetus in the uterus. It allows healthcare professionals to monitor your unborn baby’s growth and development, assess the pregnancy’s health, and detect potential risks or abnormalities. 

When are Ultrasounds Done?

They are typically done at different points throughout the pregnancy, depending on the mother’s and the foetus’ medical needs. The most common times for ultrasounds are the following. 

First Trimester

This is usually done between 6-12 weeks to confirm the pregnancy, determine whether you have more than one baby growing inside you, and assess the foetus’s gestational age. This ultrasound can also detect any abnormalities or potential risks to the pregnancy, such as ectopic pregnancy or miscarriage.

Second Trimester

This is usually done between 18-22 weeks of pregnancy to check the development, including its size, weight, and organ development, and detect structural abnormalities, such as heart defects or cleft lip/palate.

Third Trimester

This is usually done between 28-32 weeks of pregnancy to check the position, which is essential for planning delivery, as well as access the placenta and the amount of amniotic fluid surrounding the foetus. In some cases, doctors may do additional ultrasounds in the case of a high-risk pregnancy.

Pregnancy ultrasounds offer several benefits for both the mother and the baby, including:
  • Early detection of potential problems
  • Improved prenatal care
  • Increased peace of mind
  • Facilitating communication between the doctor and the expectant parents
  • Detecting multiple pregnancies
  • Providing a record of the pregnancy

To minimise the risks associated with ultrasounds, it is crucial only to have ultrasounds when a healthcare provider recommends and to use qualified healthcare professionals who are trained in ultrasound techniques.

Maternity Benefits from Affinity

Affinity Health’s Maternity Benefits cover the costs of bringing new life into the world, ensuring that members can enjoy the most precious time without worrying about money. Members can access comprehensive maternity and postpartum benefits, including scans, blood tests, health advice, and guidance via Affinity’s Telehealth Call Centre (simply call 0861 11 00 33).