The Wonder of an Ultrasound

When couples learn they are expecting, one of the first questions they ask is, “When can we see our baby?”

An ultrasound is a valuable tool employed to monitor your baby’s development. It is a painless test that uses high frequency sound waves that penetrate your uterus and return signals that are then interpreted into images of your baby. The procedure supplies the doctor with essential information pertinent to the baby in the womb.

With ultrasound we can:

• monitor and track the growth of your baby,
• detect if any abnormalities are present,
• determine if you are carrying twins,
• determine your due date,
• locate the placental position, and
• discover the sex of the baby.

During an early ultrasound, the baby’s heartbeat may be visible around seven weeks, but it’s not unusual to have problems viewing it. Do not be alarmed if your doctor asks you to return for a later scan. In this later scan, the doctor will be noting the changes in the pregnancy sac size, the developmental progress of the baby and the baby’s heartbeat.

In some instances, several scans may be necessary before your doctor can detect the baby’s current state and development. This uncertainty may be difficult for some women but unless otherwise instructed, this is a very normal condition.

Please feel free to ask questions you may have during and after your ultrasound. We understand how important it is for you to see for yourself how well your baby is doing.

Being Active While Pregnant

The Internet lit up with the image of expectant mother Natalie Portman hiking. When you’re expecting, it’s important to keep active. Why?

Pregnant women who exercise:

• Have more energy
• Less back pain
• Rebound to pre-pregnancy shape faster
• Have a better body image
• Experience less stress and depression.

The baby can also reap the benefit of mom’s activity. Researchers have found that a regular workout routine during pregnancy helped lower the heart rate of fetuses at 36 weeks. The follow-up of babies at one month found effects of mom’s exercising could still be seen in the babies’ heart rates after birth. Babies of active mothers are also more likely to have a reduced chance of diabetes and lower BMIs.

Exercise is an important part of a healthy pregnancy. If your doctor hasn’t put restrictions on your activities, you may find that 20- to 30-minutes of a moderate activity can give you a great physical and mental boost. But before you start any exercise program, consult your doctor. Once cleared for activity, try starting with a simple walk around the block or light stretches. You’ll notice your mood improves, you sleep better and you may have an easier labor and quicker recover. So lace up those shoes and enjoy your own walk about town!