18-20 Week Pregnant Ultrasound

As your pregnancy progresses, one of the most exciting milestones to look forward to is the 18-20 week ultrasound. This is when your baby will start to look more like a little person, and you can find out whether they are a boy or girl! In this blog post, we’ll tell you all you need to know about what to expect during your ultrasound appointment. We’ll also provide some tips on how to prepare for your appointment. So read on for everything you need to know about the 18-20 week ultrasound!

16 weeks pregnant ultrasound
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    What to expect at your 18 week pregnant ultrasound?

    If you’re pregnant, you may be curious about what to expect at your 18-week ultrasound. Here’s a look at what this important exam involves.

    During a typical ultrasound, the technician will place gel on your abdomen and then move a hand-held device called a transducer over your skin. The transducer emits sound waves that create an image of your baby on a monitor.

    Your 18-week ultrasound will likely be similar to previous ultrasounds you’ve had. However, this exam can provide important information about your baby’s development and well-being.

    At 18 weeks, your baby should measure about 15 cm long from the top of the head to the bottom of the rump. The head should make up about half of that length. You may be able to see your baby’s arms and legs, as well as the beginnings of fingers and toes.

    Your baby’s organs should also be visible on the ultrasound. The technician will likely take measurements of the head, abdomen, and femur (thighbone). These measurements can help your healthcare provider check your baby’s growth and development.

    The ultrasound may also give you a glimpse of your baby’s activities. You might see your baby sucking his or her thumb or even squirming around.

    In some cases, the ultrasound may reveal potential problems with the pregnancy. For example, the sonographer may spot an abnormal growth of fluid in the uterus (hydramnios). This condition can cause serious health problems for both you and your baby.

    Why you might get an ultrasound at 16 weeks?

    Your practitioner may order an ultrasound before the 18-20 week ultrasound for a variety of reasons. You might get an ultrasound at 16 weeks, for examples, if you’re experiencing complications, such as bleeding or severe nausea and vomiting. Or perhaps you’re at higher risk for problems because you’re carrying multiples, you have a history of miscarriage or preterm labor, or you’re carrying a baby with a possible birth defect.

    This ultrasound can check on your baby’s development and spot potential problems, such as certain birth defects, multiples, or a miscalculated due date. It can also help you and your practitioner bond with your baby and start to feel more connected to this new life growing inside of you.

    If everything looks good on the ultrasound and you’re feeling well, you may not need another one until your 20-week anatomy scan. But if you have problems or your doctor thinks there might be a problem, you may need more ultrasounds to check on your baby’s health and growth.

    Pregnancy Symptoms at Week 16

    • Pregnancy headaches
      Headaches are frequent during pregnancy and can be triggered by stress, dehydration, insufficient sleep, coffee withdrawal, hormonal changes, and other common factors. A severe headache in the second or third trimester, on the other hand, might be an indication of preeclampsia. If you have a severe headache or are experiencing a headache for the first time, contact your physician.
    • Forgetfulness
      Is “pregnancy brain” a real thing? Scientists aren’t sure, but many expectant mothers experience times of absentmindedness and difficulty focusing. Nobody knows why this happens, but it appears that a mix of stress and worry, exhaustion, and hormones may cause forgetfulness during pregnancy. If you’re having problems staying organized in your everyday life, consider simplifying when feasible, asking for help, and using your phone’s calendar and other applications.
    • Breast changes 
      You’ve likely observed changes in the breast such as painful nipples, breast discomfort, visible veins, colour changes, and larger areola bumps. Pregnant women may also have lumps and bumps in their breasts. These are often benign and might be milk-filled cysts (galactoceles) or benign breast cancers (fibroadenomas). It is unlikely for a pregnant woman to have something serious (such as breast cancer). However, any lumps that are hard or otherwise worrying should be reported to your doctor.
    • Back pain
      Throughout pregnancy, many women have back discomfort. Your abdominal muscles get weaker as your uterus develops, putting additional tension on your lower back.  Weight training, prenatal yoga, walking, swimming, and pelvic tilts can all assist to strengthen muscles and relieve pain. You may also request a pregnancy massage for back discomfort from your partner or a friend, or schedule a prenatal massage with a practitioner.
    • Gas and bloating
      Because of the hormone progesterone, which relaxes muscles throughout your body, particularly your digestive tract, your body is creating far more gas than usual. Relaxed muscles decrease digestion, resulting in increased gas, bloating, and unpleasant sensations in your stomach. Eat smaller, more frequent meals and take your time when eating to relieve gas. Limit carbonated beverages as well as the artificial sweetener sorbitol. And get active – even a short stroll will help your digestion.

    How the pregnancy ultrasound is done?

    Ultrasound is a painless test that uses sound waves to create pictures of the inside of your body. It is also called a sonogram. The test is usually done in the second trimester but can be done earlier in pregnancy.

    During the ultrasound, the technologist will put gel on your abdomen and move a hand-held device called a transducer over your skin to take the pictures. The gel helps to conduct the sound waves and eliminates air pockets between your skin and the transducer, which can distort the images.

    The ultrasound can be used to:

    • Determine how many weeks pregnant you are
    • Check the baby’s heartbeat
    • Determine the baby’s position
    • Check for multiple pregnancies
    • Look for any problems with the baby’s development, such as birth defects
    • Check the placenta and umbilical cord

    After the ultrasound, you will be able to see your baby’s pictures. You may also be given a copy of the ultrasound to take home with you.   

    What you can expect to see at 18-20 weeks ultrasound appointment?

    During the 18-week ultrasound, you should anticipate seeing an almost developed but very little baby. However, if they are developing normally, you should be able to see arms, legs, fingers, toes, and even facial expressions during the ultrasound.

    If you wish to know (and if your baby cooperates in getting into the appropriate position), your sonographer can try to identify your baby’s gender at this point, since the genitalia should be fully visible in certain postures. Furthermore, at A Date With Baby 4D Ultrasound, owing to our superior technology and trained sonographers, we can determine the gender a bit earlier, starting at around 15-16 weeks.

    At the 18-week ultrasound, the doctor will look at how the baby is growing and check on the health of the pregnancy. This will involve a detailed scan of the baby’s body and a thorough check of the placenta and umbilical cord. The doctor may also recommend some tests or procedures at this time, such as amniocentesis or chorionic villus sampling, to check for genetic abnormalities. After the ultrasound, the doctor will discuss the results with you and answer any questions you may have.

    How big is your baby at 18 weeks?

    At 18 weeks, your baby is about 15-17 cm long and weighs about 150 grams. 

    This noninvasive measurement determines the distance between the top of your baby bump and the top of your pubic bone. This ensures that your baby is developing normally.

    Typically, by the 24th week of your pregnancy, your fundal height is the same as your gestational week. So, if you’re 27 weeks along, it’s thought that you have a fundal height of 27 centimetres.

    The measurement, however, has a margin of error. In some instances, there could be a discrepancy between your fundal height and gestational week, particularly before the 24th week — and this has to do with the precision of your due date.

    Your due date is a poor measurement with its own margin of error. It will be more reliable if you have an ultrasound early in your pregnancy to predict your due date.

    But don’t be alarmed if your baby is measuring a week or two off in either direction. It’s perfectly natural.

    Are you having boy or girl? [accuracy of determining gender via ultrasound]

    If you don’t want to be surprised, you can generally find out the gender of your baby at 16 weeks with an ultrasound. It should be accurate because your baby’s outer anatomy is fully developed.

    However, based on how your baby is positioned, your doctor or ultrasound sonographer may be unable to obtain an accurate reading of their anatomy to determine the gender.

    If your sonographer is unable to obtain a clear reading at your medical anatomy scan, or if you have concerns, you may always request an appointment at a private ultrasound clinic, such as A Date With Baby, which will spend more time and attention on the gender to get an accurate result.

    Are you expecting twins?

    If you’re pregnant twins, the 18-20 week ultrasound will show your babies in great detail, just as if you’re expecting a single child.

    Nevertheless, don’t be surprised if your scan takes much longer than expected because your technician must be exceedingly careful to guarantee they’re getting the correct measures and marking them correctly for each child.

    Your babies should be around the same length and size as “singletons” — the medical word for a single-baby pregnancy — at this point.

    Yet, because twins and multiples are generally smaller at delivery than kids from single births, many OBs utilize a modified development chart tailored to twins.

    Also, don’t be startled if one twin is somewhat smaller than the other; this is quite usual; only a significant difference is regarded as cause for concern.

    Final words

    Congratulations, you are now 18 weeks pregnant! This is an exciting time to see your baby as they start to develop fully formed features.

    From the comfort of our state-of-the-art facility, we can give you the experience you will never get at a medical ultrasound, and in some cases some information (such as gender) that you were not able to obtain from the doctor’s office. We offer 3D pregnancy ultrasounds so that you can get a clear picture of your little one. 

    Book your appointment today and let us help you enjoy this amazing experience to the fullest.

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    3D Ultrasound - A Date With Baby

    We hope you found these suggestions useful, and we look forward to seeing you for your 3D ultrasound session. Meanwhile, we'll be pleased to advise you on the ideal time to come in for your private 3D ultrasound scan. For further information, please contact us.
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