Getting your first ultrasound is such an exciting experience! Seeing your baby waggling its arms and legs, maybe rolling over, away and towards the probe; it is the first real chance to understand the magnitude of pregnancy, and that you are creating life.
In most cases, ultrasounds take place around 12 weeks gestation (approximately 10 weeks after fertilisation) but this can vary depending on how early you booked in your pregnancy and how busy the department is, the average being between 11-14 weeks. Before this, baby can be a little too small to measure accurately.
This 12-week ultrasound is your Dating Scan. The sonographer will take a measurement of baby’s CRL (crown to rump length) and its length will generate a gestation. This will be considered your final due date and will replace the estimated due date that was calculated by either ovulation or the first day of your last menses.
Along with checking baby’s gestation, your sonographer will also have a look at baby’s heart and make sure baby is doing well.
You should be able to take home some pictures from your scan, but keep in mind that these are rarely free, antenatal sonography departments normally put the proceeds towards bettering equipment. Make sure you take some cash and ask your midwife how much they charge during your booking in appointment.
The process can be daunting, especially if you have already been through a pregnancy loss or know someone who has, but the chances are things will go well, so let yourself get excited- you’re about to meet your baby.