Today you'll get to see your tiny baby! You'll be having an ultrasound so that your doctor can check your baby's fingers, toes, and organs and whether they are growing at a healthy rate. You may even find out your baby's gender at this visit.
What You Can Expect
Your doctor or an ultrasound technician will carefully examine your baby using ultrasound, counting fingers and toes, taking organ measurements, and trying to identify your baby's gender. It can take a while, so you'll get a long look at your little one. Bring your spouse or partner along, because this may be your best chance to see your baby before they are born. Be sure to tell your doctor or the technician beforehand if you don't want to know your baby's sex. Otherwise, they may announce it aloud! Be sure to ask for pictures or even a disc containing pictures.
If you're carrying twins that share a placenta, your doctor will check that the babies don't have TTS. Your doctor will ask you to make another appointment to check for this again at 22 weeks. If your babies are not sharing a placenta, you may not need an ultrasound every 2 weeks, but you will likely need multiple ultrasound exams during the pregnancy to check on the growth of your babies.
During this visit, your doctor may ask you whether:
You feel tiny flutters or kicks from your baby. If you have, your doctor may ask you to keep track of those movements so you can learn your baby's general activity level. Your doctor will ask about your baby's kicks and movements at the rest of your appointments.
You're considering breastfeeding. Your doctor will explain the many health benefits of breastfeeding for mother and baby. Your doctor may refer you to an introductory class taught by a lactation consultant to learn more about breastfeeding.
As with other appointments, your doctor will:
- Check your weight and blood pressure
- Measure the height of your uterus to gauge your baby's growth
- Check your baby's heart rate
- Ask you to leave a urine sample to check your sugar and protein levels
Be Prepared to Discuss
- Your diet. Your doctor will ask if you're eating nutritious foods. They will check to see if you're on track to gain a healthy amount of weight. Women with a BMI between 18.9 and 24.9 should gain between 25 and 35 pounds (or up to 45 if you're having twins).
- Your skin. Some areas of your skin may darken during pregnancy, such as the linea nigra, which runs from the belly button to the pubic area. Your doctor will recommend using daily sunscreen if you're getting blotches of darker skin on your face.
- Your energy levels. You should find it easier to work and exercise now. If you're dragging, you may need more sleep.
Ask Your Doctor
- Does everything look normal on my baby's ultrasound?
- How often and for how long should I track baby's kicks?
- What should I do if the baby is moving less?
- Will my baby be more active at a certain time of day?
- What are the benefits of breastfeeding my baby?
- Will linea nigra or face blotches fade after pregnancy?