OB > 14 weeks pregnant
Getting pregnant is one of the most exciting events in a women’s life! Making sure your baby is healthy and growing appropriately is the main reason why an Ultrasound is performed. As you can imagine, the development of a fetus or baby rapidly changes and so evaluating your pregnancy at different stages in development is key.
You have made it passed the first trimester (0 to 13 weeks pregnant) and now are progressing into your second trimester or third trimester.
Ultrasound of a pregnancy that is 14 weeks or greater requires a thorough understanding of fetal anatomy and physiology. Depending on the stage in pregnancy or the gestational age of the baby, ultrasound can provide amazing, helpful information for your physician as to the health and wellbeing of your pregnancy.
OB Ultrasound 14 weeks to 18 weeks can be a challenge. The baby is developing at a rapid rate, however, many structures are not big enough to properly evaluate with ultrasound. The baby is formed entirely and can be evaluated with ultrasound; however, there may be some limitations with regards to heart visualization or other structures. The prime time to evaluate for fetal anatomy is 18 to 22 weeks. There are some instances, however, where your physician may feel it important to perform an ultrasound prior to or after this prime ultrasound timeframe.
When your physician orders an OB (Obstetric) Ultrasound, the information they hope to acquire is a survey of your baby’s anatomy from head to toe as well as size measurements.
Here are some of the typical structures that are evaluated during an OB > 14 weeks ultrasound.
Fetal Heart & heartbeat
Abdomen Organs (stomach, kidneys, bladder)
Gender determination (if requested by patient)
Limbs (arms and legs)
Umbilical Cord (connection between the placenta &baby)
Amniotic fluid (the fluid sac around the baby)
Placenta (the food source for the baby)
- Head & brain anatomy
- Measurements of the Fetal Head, Belly, Humerus (arm bone) and Femur (leg bone)
All of this information is compiled into a report that the physician will interpret to determine if your baby is on track as far as growth and development. If you have multiple fetuses, (twins, triplets etc.), each baby will be evaluated separately for the above parameters.
Because babies do have a mind of their own even in the womb, it may be difficult to obtain some of the necessary anatomy pictures needed to complete the ultrasound. If that occurs, you may be asked to walk around to try and get the baby to change positions. If this is unsuccessful, you may have to come back a different day and try again.
This type of Diagnostic ultrasound requires a physician or provider order prior to performing exam.
OB > 14 weeks pregnant prep
We do ask that you please arrive for your Ultrasound appointment with a full bladder. You can accomplish this by drinking 32 ounces of any type of fluid. If you drink this fluid and finish it one hour prior to your exam time, this will allow your bladder to receive that fluid and become full.
The staff at Picture Perfect Ultrasound does understand that filling your bladder may be uncomfortable, especially in late pregnancy. However it is essential to arrive with a full bladder to help elevate the baby head from the low pelvis and this also allows proper visualization of the placenta location. We do assure you that your bladder will NOT be full very long. Our protocol at Picture Perfect Ultrasound is to acquire the essential images needed with the full bladder right away at start of the exam and then you are free to empty your bladder. This will allow you to relax and enjoy the majority of your Ultrasound exam.
Because you are far enough along to see the baby through the top of your belly, the Ultrasound will only be performed through the top of your skin. The only exception to this would be if your physician was concerned about an incompetent cervix and then a vaginal ultrasound may be warranted.
You will be asked to lie on your back on the exam table. We will offer you a cushion for your knees to help support your back and lower legs. Picture Perfect Ultrasound does want you to enjoy your ultrasound experience and so please let us know if you need to switch positions or roll on your side if you are feeling nauseous.
An OB ultrasound of a pregnancy greater than 14 weeks along typically takes 30 to 45 minutes to perform. You can stay fully dressed and the sonographer will drape your pants margin with a towel to keep your clothing dry. Warm Ultrasound gel is then placed on your belly and a hand held ultrasound probe maneuvers across your abdomen. If possible, it is easier to wear pants that can be loosened or pulled down slightly in order to access the lower part of your belly. Often the baby’s head or feet are resting low and the only way we can see them is to pull your pants down slightly.
All of the images from your ultrasound will then be sent to a Radiologist (interpreting physician) for a report to be generated for your referring physician. You will receive the results of your Ultrasound from your referring physician or the provider who ordered this ultrasound to be performed. Please refer back to the physician's office who sent you to obtain results of your ultrasound exams.