Many Hands Make for a Good Pregnancy: The Main Players
Ultrasound is an integral diagnostic tool during pregnancies. It creates waves of sound that enter the body and then bounce back. The returning waves create an image. Ultrasound is a safer way of imaging than X-rays.
Ultrasounds in Pregnancy
Most ultrasounds are performed during pregnancies. They can help your OB-Gyn to visualize your baby in utero and study the environment, including the amniotic fluid, cervix and placenta.
Ultrasounds in the first trimester confirm the viability of the fetus, and check gestational age. The gestational sac can be seen at four to five weeks after your last normal period. The heartbeat and a fetal pole can usually be seen at six weeks.
Special Exam and Fetal Survey
Between 11 and 14 weeks, a special exam will determine if your baby may have Down’s syndrome. At 20 weeks, a qualified technician can complete a full evaluation of your baby. After that survey, your physician will examine the spine, organs, brain, heart and skeleton. He or she can evaluate the cervix, umbilical cord, placenta and amniotic fluid.
Other important measurements are done at 20 weeks, as well. They ensure that your baby is properly growing. The body parts of a baby are large enough to be seen at this time, and the ultrasound waves can penetrate the bones easily. The Fetal Survey is the perfect time to determine your baby’s sex, too.
Why Choose a Pediatrician before the Birth of Your Baby?
You are no doubt excited during your pregnancy, filled with preparation lists and anticipation. One of the most important things to do before your baby is born is to select a pediatrician. All pediatricians are trained to help new parents in raising healthy children. However, each one will have an individual style and approach.
What Is the Role of a Pediatrician?
Your pediatrician is responsible for:
- Making sure your baby is healthy, growing well and eating well
- Keeping your child’s immunizations up to date
- Tracking the development and growth of your family
- Finding problems before they can become too serious
- Keeping you informed about raising a safe and healthy child
- Prescribing medications for your child when needed
- Answering the myriad of questions you probably have
- Interacting with specialists if your baby gets sick
When Should You Choose a Pediatrician?
You should select a pediatrician while you are pregnant. Sometime between weeks 24 and 32 of your pregnancy is a good time. You may deliver your baby early, and you should allow time to meet several pediatricians and then make your choice.
Your pediatrician’s bedside manner should keep you comfortable and at ease. Some doctors take charge more readily, while others may allow you to have more of a voice in making decisions about your baby.
You may choose a pediatrician who works alone, or with a practice. There is some benefit to choosing a doctor in a group practice, just in case your physician is not available at some time. With a group practice, there is probably someone standing in if your regular pediatrician is unavailable.
The choice of a pediatrician is an individual and personal decision. Whomever you choose will help you to raise a healthy and happy baby.