If you’re expecting a baby around six weeks of age, you’ll most likely be scheduled for your first pregnancy ultrasound. A six-week ultrasound can tell you whether your baby has a heartbeat and will help you determine your due date. It can also detect multiples, determine the baby’s position within the womb, and track the baby’s growth. If you’d like more detailed information, a “dating ultrasound” can be performed around weeks 10 to 13 of your pregnancy. These scans can provide you with the same information as your six-week ultrasound, including estimated due date, fetal heart rate, and crown-rump length.
Your sonographer will likely look for a couple of things at the first scan. During this scan, he or she will measure the baby’s crown-rump length. This is important because this is the age at which the baby will be born. The sonographer will also look for a heartbeat or multiple embryos, which may indicate twins or a multiple pregnancy. If the baby is more than one inch long, this scan will tell your doctor whether you’re pregnant with twins or a singleton.
While an early ultrasound isn’t medically necessary, it can be a great comfort to expectant mothers-to-be, especially when the fetus is small and moving. During the scan, the wand used to examine your unborn child will typically be passed through the abdominal wall. However, you may need to undergo a transvaginal scan if the abdominal one proves to be too difficult.