Posted on August 15th, 2017 by wombwithaviewblog.com

Whether one baby or more, we have great expectations for your ultrasound at 6 Weeks! Not everyone can expect to have an ultrasound at this early gestational age. If you do, however, the first thing you can expect is a transvaginal ultrasound. Yep. Babies are just too tiny as you’ll see below, so we need the magnification and better resolution of the vaginal probe.

We expect to see some pretty amazing changes brewing! This post is dedicated to 6 Week babies x 2, aka twins!

 

Twins at 6 Weeks

 

If you have followed the twin pregnancy from Week 5, this post is a continuation. Did we see two babies? Two heartbeats? YES! Yay! This was a great milestone! This is a dichorionic pregnancy, meaning both babies came from two separate eggs. This particular pregnancy produced “fraternal” twins. This, of course, means these babies can either be the same sexes or one from each camp, Teams Pink and Blue. Woohoo – that would be a fun shopping trip!

The gestational sacs at 6 Weeks were still discrepant from one another. We could not explain why the gestational sac of Baby A was smaller or why that of Baby B was larger. This finding still concerned us. However, the fact that we saw two strong heartbeats and two babies who measured essentially the same were both very reassuring! See the images below for measurements of the embryos.

 

6 Weeks, 6 Weeks pregnant, twins 6 Weeks

Baby A Embryo

You’ll note here that Baby A was measuring a whopping 3.5mm!

 

Embryo measurement at 6wks

Baby B Embryo

Baby B measured about the same at 3.4mm.

 

Now check out the heart rates!

6 Weeks, 6 Weeks pregnant, twins 6 Weeks, heartbeat 6 Weeks

Baby A Heart Rate

This is the heart rate for Baby A. Note that it measures just over 100bpm which is a great start!

 

6 Weeks, 6 Weeks pregnant, 6 Weeks twins, heartbeat

Baby B Heart Rate

Baby B’s heart rate was just a tad faster at 109bpm. Both heart rates were just what we want to see – strong, steady, and rhythmic.

 

If you want to follow these twins, this link combines Week 7 and Week 8. you will be impressed at how much bigger they look in only one week’s time!

~*~

Best wishes for healthy, and feel free to comment below!

~You can email me at wombviewerblog@gmail.com with your questions~

 

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Posted on August 13th, 2017 by wombwithaviewblog.com

An unfortunate circumstance of pregnancy, especially a desired one, is the ectopic pregnancy. In this post, I’ll talk a little about what we look for with transvaginal imaging, and how they can sometimes be extraordinarily difficult to diagnose.

What’s An Ectopic Pregnancy?

An ectopic (pronounced ek-top’-ik) pregnancy is one that is displaced. This type of pregnancy is one that implants somewhere other than within the lining of the uterus – where it’s supposed to be. An ectopic frequently occurs within the tube, commonly referred to as a tubal pregnancy. I’ve also seen them within the adnexa, usually the area between the ovary and uterus. Very rarely, a pregnancy attaches abdominally. (Rare and bizarre!)

How Do We Know to Look for an Ectopic?

Your low hCG Levels

One sign that leads us to look for an ectopic with ultrasound is a very low hCG level. Now, this alone is not alarming. It is, however, when combined with other factors. Your level of hCG should essentially double every two days in a normally-progressing pregnancy. If this isn’t happening, we become concerned that your pregnancy is not a good one.

LMP Dating Doesn’t Measure Up

Many women are unsure of their LMP. Maybe their periods are very irregular. However, if your periods are like clock-work and you are very sure of the first day of your last period, not seeing a pregnancy within the uterus at a time when we would expect to see one would worry us. For example, from about Week 5 on, we would expect to at least be able to confirm the presence of a gestational sac within the endometrium (lining of the uterus). See the image below for a super-early (~4 1/2 Weeks), normal intrauterine pregnancy:

If You Have Pain

If the above factors come into play and you also have pain, we increasingly become concerned for the possible presence of an ectopic. Too early in your pregnancy, even with an ectopic, you may not experience pain immediately. Even if you don’t, the other factors are enough to raise an eyebrow and spark the hunt. Typically, the pain occurs on the same side as the ectopic. You may be watched very carefully and followed with blood work and serial ultrasounds until we’ve either proven or disproven the ectopic. Physicians want these patients treated as soon as possible because they can pose a serious health risk for mom.

If We See Bleeding in the Pelvis

Another characteristic of an ectopic via ultrasound is the presence of free fluid or bleeding in the pelvis. A large collection of blood can be seen around the uterus and ovaries when the ectopic starts to bleed. We tend to raise both eyebrows when we see this and all the other factors mentioned above are part of the equation. The extra fluid tends to cause an increase in pain.

If We Find an Unexplained Mass in the Adnexa or Tube

Most of the time these pregnancies present as a mass somewhere outside of uterus, usually in the tube between the uterus and ovary. Either the pregnancy implanted in the tube on its journey to the uterus or it never made it to the tube at all. In these cases, the egg was released, but the “fingers” at the end of the tube failed to catch the little guy. Most often, these masses do not look like the typical normal pregnancy. The masses can be vague and difficult to see depending where in the pelvis they are located.

If You Have a History

Moreover, your doc may consider you at an increased risk of an ectopic if you present with all the above findings and a history. Your chances of having an ectopic may increase if you also have a previous history of an ectopic pregnancy, a history of endometriosis, a history of a tubal ligation, or get pregnant with an IUD in place. This may not be a complete list of risk factors.

My Experience as a Sonographer with Ectopic Pregnancy

I have had patients in the past where we just knew she MUST have an ectopic but try as we might, we just couldn’t see it right away. After a second, third, or even fourth scan were we finally able to confirm what we suspected.

I have also had the misfortune, only a couple of times in my whole career, of finding an ectopic pregnancy with an embryo and a heartbeat. Unfortunately, these pregnancies cannot be saved. They have to implant on their own and can’t just be “placed” inside of the uterus.

These scans can prove very challenging and definitely put one’s ultrasound ability and expertise to the test. Knowing what to look for and where is the biggest piece of the puzzle for all you newbie sonographers! (Google images of ectopic pregnancies. They will definitely help you if you’ve never scanned one before.)

What To Do

As I’ve said many times before, I cannot give specific pregnancy advice. However, I can confindently advise this. If you know you are early pregnant and begin feeling pain in your pelvis or back, call your doc ASAP! They will determine how soon they want to see you!

Best wishes for a healthy pregnancy!

Please email comment below if you found this post helpful!

And, as always, you can email me at wombviewerblog@gmail.com.
Feel free to leave your suggestions for topics you’d like me to address!

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Posted on July 27th, 2017 by wombwithaviewblog.com

Consulting Dr. Google About Your Abnormal Fetal Ultrasound

Don’t do it, Moms-to-be! As much as you may be tempted, I have to caution you to not web-surf regarding your abnormal fetal ultrasound. Here’s why…

Because you surf the net for these details, you end up finding an entire spectrum of possibilities ranging from normal to severely abnormal fetal findings. And most of them may not apply to your circumstances at all. The result is usually the same. Your imagination runs away with you, and you start to worry that everything you’re reading applies to you and your baby. I always know a mom has been consulting Dr. Google when I get questions like “Is my baby’s bladder inside its body??” My response is usually the same…I reassure her with an “It sure is!” Then with a little smile, I advise “Quit looking up stuff on the internet!” Moms’ responses are usually the same, too. “I know, I know…I just can’t help myself!”

In this day and age of anything we want to know at our fingertips, it is nearly impossible to NOT research something that piques our curiosity. So, naturally, when you get your ultrasound results from your doctor, and he mentions you have a lot of amniotic fluid (polyhydramnios) or your baby has cysts on its brain (choroid plexus cysts), you freak out a little (or a lot). It’s completely understandable! But these findings may VERY WELL not be a reason to panic!

If Your Doc Wants to Refer You

Sometimes, we sonographers (even the experienced ones) detect things we just can’t explain. This doesn’t mean something detrimental to your baby; it just means we can’t fully explain it. We know this is disconcerting to an expectant parent(s). Usually, if something requires the attention of a high-risk specialist (aka a perinatologist or MFM or Maternal Fetal Medicine), your doctor will tell you when he discusses your ultrasound results. In such a particular case, he/she will usually express that something noted on the examination stands out as abnormal (or possibly a normal variant – something that’s a little different but considered normal), and he would like a second opinion.

In my experience, if your provider feels it is not grossly worrisome, he/she will say so. Your doctor will then refer you to MFM so they can do a more extensive Level 2 ultrasound. The perinatologist should discuss this ultrasound with you, provide an opinion on the issue, and the severity of the problem. MFM will also let you know if they feel there really is no problem.

If Your Report is Normal

If you are not referred to a perinatologist, then it’s very likely that nothing worrisome enough was seen on your ultrasound. Your doctor will also let you know that your ultrasound was negative or unremarkable. At times, we can’t see something well because of Baby’s position or other factors. Usually, it’s something like Baby’s heart or spine. In these cases, your doc may want to look again to ensure a normal appearance. There are many minor findings that we may note on a regular sonogram which may not be alarming to your doctor. Mostly, they just require a follow-up later to see if the issue is resolved. They mostly turn out to be insignificant, especially if no other abnormalities are seen with your baby. In other words…they are likely not a big deal!!!

So don’t make yourself worry! Don’t ask Dr. Google, ask your doctor instead. Make a list of all your questions, and he/she will let you know if other tests are needed. I know it’s tempting, but this is only the beginning of all the things that drive us crazy as moms! Save your sanity for when your kid is a driving teenager!

 

As always, thanks for reading! Please feel free to email with any questions or comments at wombviewerblog@gmail.com.

 

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Posted on July 25th, 2017 by wombwithaviewblog.com

Ultrasound Preparation

To drink or not to drink! That is the dilemma, and the facility performing your test has the answer to your ultrasound preparation questions. Being required to fill your bladder depends on a few factors…how far along you are if you’re pregnant, what type of ultrasound you’re having, and the protocols of your doc’s office, hospital, or out-patient center where the ultrasound will be conducted. The protocol or policy for how to conduct your test varies from place to place.

I know what you might be thinking. Every site says something different. You’ll find the most comprehensive info here. Why? Because I performed these tests for years. The info here is accurate, and reflects most all scenarios. However, at the end of the day, the facility where the exam will be performed should be able to tell you exactly what ultrasound preparation they want you to do. And only what they say matters!

The Prep

The dreaded bladder prep may vary a little from one place to the next, but goes something like this:

 

  • Empty your bladder 1.5 hours prior to your exam
  • Drink 32ozs of fluid (preferably nothing carbonated) within 30 minutes
  • Have all fluid down 1 hour prior to your exam
  • Do not pee until exam is complete! 😩😵

 

To clarify, let’s say your appointment is 10am. You will pee at 8:30am, drink from 8:30 to 9am, and have all the water down by 9. Most bladders require the full hour to fill completely. Do not pee before your appointment time! This action, of course, defeats the whole purpose for drinking, but you would be suprised at how many do.

Will you feel like you have to pee before this hour is up? Oh, yes ma’am! Not many people allow their bladders to fill to this capacity before they feel the urge to tinkle. It might very well feel like the L O N G E S T hour of your life. Don’t even look at one of these 🚽, or listen to this 🚰 or this 🚿. I promise. You won’t be happy if you do!

There is a bit of good news to all this. Once full, the exam (for a very experienced sonographer) is pretty quick…5-10 minutes in most easy-to-see negative cases.

But Why a Full Bladder??

ultrasound preparation

Full bladder pelvic ultrasound

Blame the laws of Ultrasound Physics for this one. Sound waves travel more easily through fluid than tissue. Think of your pelvic anatomy from front to back. First is skin, then fat, then muscle, then intestines or bowel, then your bladder. Your uterus sits behind your bladder. So, if you drink lots of water and fully distend your bladder, it provides a window to the uterus. Also, your bowel contains air and gas which can limit what we see. Filling your bladder pushes the intestines aside. It’s actually kinda cool, but not so much if you’re the one doing the drinking.

Additionally, the uterus of most women tilts forward (anteverted) or toward the front of your belly. Filling the bladder aids in pushing the uterus backward a little – not up or higher, as I’ve read in some pregnancy books or sites. When the top of the uterus tilts back a little, a better angle is created to see more clearly. Occasionally, a uterus decides to go rogue and tilts too far backward instead (retroverted). Sometimes it tilts so far back that it folds over on itself (retroflexed). This is a totally normal variant. Often, however, the full bladder only helps minimally in these circumstances.

Transvaginal Ultrasound (Endovaginal) Approach

TV probe, how much water to drink for your ultrasound

Whether you are pregnant or not, the rules are the same for a transvaginal ultrasound exam. An empty bladder is required. The TV provides a more magnified view, so a full bladder just gets in the way. Inside the vagina, the probe is closer to your organs allowing us to see them more clearly. AND we don’t have to fight to see past your bowel like we do with the belly approach.

If you’re early in your first trimester, usually less than 11 or 12 Weeks, you will (9 times out of 10) have a TV. This is, BY FAR, the best way to see so early because Baby is so tiny. If your uterus is enlarged with fibroids (very common muscle tumors), your sonographer may try to scan you with TV first. However, if your uterus is too large to see well with the TV probe, she may end up attempting the abdominal approach. If this happens, you may or may not need to drink. Quite often, we can see what we need without making you drink an ocean of fluids.

I can’t speak for all private practices, but we only required a bladder prep for some GYN studies. Only those who were not sexually active or refused the TV exam needed to fill!

Trans-Abdominal Approach

In most hospitals and out-patient imaging centers, you’re going to be drinking, sister! Your exam is typically read by a radiologist in these facilities.

Most of the time, radiologists are of the mindset that certain anatomy will be better seen with a full bladder EVERY time and on EVERY patient. This isn’t necessarily true, but most of these docs want to start with a full bladder first. Commonly, they’ll have you empty for a vaginal scan if they want a better look. To be fair, I haven’t worked in the hospital setting in 15 years. Maybe they’ve adopted more modern policies! If they haven’t, they should. Filling the bladder has long been the standard practice, and radiologists are set in their ways (sorry, guys, you know you are!). They are trained to read the study presented to them, but the experienced sonographer knows how best to scan to obtain the images needed. I think the protocol should be opposite…TV first and only make the patient fill if absolutely needed! Unfortunately, I don’t make their rules.

Many of these places will also still require you to fill for your anatomy scan at 18-20 Weeks or even for ultrasound exams in the 3rd Trimester. In my opinion, that’s just pure evil. Expectant moms have enough pressure on their bladders as it is! A little fluid in the bladder may help us to evaluate the cervix. But most patients have a little fluid in there anyway. In cases where the cervix isn’t seen well, our friend, the TV probe, is called to action.

Cons to Filling the Bladder

  • Elderly patients (for GYN exams) have a hard time holding their urine
  • Most OB patients have a problem holding it due to pressure from Baby
  • Drinking the water too fast often causes the patient to vomit it right back up!
  • Many do not follow the ultrasound preparation properly. They either do not drink enough water, they don’t have it down in time, they drink more than they needed which results in over-filling the bladder, or they drink all the water then pee right before the exam
  • Not following the prep usually results in drinking more fluid or being rescheduled
  • Some say they weren’t given a prep
  • Sometimes schedulers really do forget to provide the instructions
  • Some patients are dehydrated, so the fluid tends to go where it’s needed and not the bladder
  • But most importantly, it’s MISERABLY painful for the patient!!

 

In my opinion, the cons far outweigh the pros for drinking water for an ultrasound exam. However, your facility could care less what I think and dictates what ultrasound preparation they want you to do for your test! Being able to pee when you want is a luxury. You just don’t realize it until somebody tells you that you can’t!

Best wishes for a happy and healthy pregnancy (and no bladder prep!) As always, thanks for reading and feel free to comment or email me with your questions at wombviewerblog@gmail.com

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Posted on July 18th, 2017 by wombwithaviewblog.com

Myth or Fact?

Myth, myth, complete myth! After 26 years in the biz, it would be news to me – and to every other physician, engineer, and manufacturing company in relation to the technology. Not to mention those who have conducted biohazard testing in the field since over the past forty years.

Despite what you may have read or heard, regardless of where, this is a total falsehood. Read more about it here below! And please do not let this scare you away from your diagnostic scans.

What Exactly is Ultrasound?

Ultrasound is just that. Ultra Sound, or sound waves that work at a frequency far beyond human hearing. Like a fish-finder one might use on a boat. Or sonar used by the military. Human hearing ranges from about 20Hz (Hertz) to 20,000Hz (or 20kHz). When it comes to creating an ultrasound image, we work in the MHz range or millions of Hertz. An OB probe ranges from about 2MHz – 13MHz.

Ultrasound is a department of Radiology within a hospital, but it does not emit radiation.

So, Who Thinks Ultrasound is Radiation?!

Apparently, someone who hasn’t done her homework. I was floored recently while doing research for my book when I came across a very popular pregnancy book (which will remain nameless…for now) who actually wrote that ultrasound is radiation.

She also claims that the Doppler used by physicians to obtain heart tones emits more radiation than scanning equipment! Wrong again, Doppler is ultrasound.

How does this happen? After all, she supposedly had the help of “knowledgeable” medical resources to write the book. Are they the only healthcare providers on the planet who don’t know Ultrasound is not X-Ray? And if not, why not?

I have no idea if this author has recanted this falsehood. I tried to Google it with no confirmation. If she did, I give her credit. If not, she owes an explanation and apology to her faithful readers and social media followers. She is incorrectly influencing millions of parents-to-be with this misinformation, and it’s not okay. She is adding needless fuel to the fire, and moms worry about enough as it is.

Additionally, she then goes on to advise moms to only have an ultrasound if they really want one but to not have more than they need. To me, this begs the question…is it radiation or is it okay?

I would like to think she did not intentionally mislead her readership. But as a published author, ignorance is no excuse.

What is Radiation?

It is a transfer of energy that also travels in waves. For example, radiation is found in light from the sun, microwaves, and X-Rays. But not sound waves. And, yes, exposure to radiation can cause cancer. One example is skin cancer from too much sun exposure.

Consider this. When you go to the dentist, what is the first thing asked of any woman? “Is it possible you might be pregnant?” If the answer is “Yes” or “I’m not sure,” they shield your belly to protect Baby from the minuscule dose of radiation from the super quick X-Ray of your teeth.

If an obstetrician’s job is to manage the health and care of Mother and Baby, and it is, why then would docs expose their patients directly to radiation? And what about sonographers? We all would be directly exposed numerous times a day, every week for the duration of our careers. None of us, patients nor sonographers times decades, have died from cancer due to ultrasound exposure.

Is Ultrasound Safe?

So far, with the prudent use of commercial technology, there have been no known bioeffects on the fetus, mother, or sonographer. Biohazard testing over decades has demonstrated the creation of heat in fetal tissues during higher than recommended settings and extended scanning times. The long-term effects are still being studied. Therefore, it is the feeling of ACOG (the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, ACR (American College of Radiology), and the AIUM (American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine) that the benefits outweigh the risk, and they justify the use of ultrasound only for diagnostic purposes.

They do not endorse the private entertainment ultrasound scan in the strip mall near you. These facilities are not regulated to maintain the same standards as medical practices for patient safety. They are not required to hire formally-trained and credentialled sonographers or to properly clean or maintain ultrasound probes or equipment. Be sure to do your research prior to scheduling your appointment in one of these facilities!

***

One of the reasons I started this blog five years ago is because patients were misinformed – by Dr. Google, family, or friends. I expect as much from a random non-medical blogger, and I became even more enraged to find misinformation doled out on popular pregnancy sites.

It’s one thing to express one’s opinion. But when you’re making tons of money by persuading expectant moms to adopt your line of thinking, you have the responsibility to get your info right. No one says anyone has to be a fan of ultrasound. And as a mom, you have the right to decline. Before you do so, speak with your provider. You need only to understand your choice. Any mom who ever delivered a baby with serious problems was happy to know about it in advance for planning and educational, emotional, and delivery purposes. This, in fact, is the purpose of obstetric ultrasound.

And if you’re all about moms and choices, and those choices are power? The power only comes from a parent who makes an informed choice, not one based on misinformation. It is my wish and goal to simply and accurately explain ultrasound for moms-to-be and stamp out the misconceptions. Understanding is also power:)

Here’s to a happy, healthy, and informed pregnancy! As always, thanks for reading! Please feel free to email your comments or questions to me at wombviewerblog@gmail.com.

 

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Posted on July 6th, 2017 by wombwithaviewblog.com

Gender Determination in an Ultrasound Report?

I’ve received questions lately regarding where to find fetal sex or gender determination in an ultrasound report. Can you always find this information in a report?
The short answer? No, not always.
Actually, we mostly do not record fetal sex, and it’s mostly not important to your doc. Typically, fetal sex is not pertinent information to the examination. Though parents may desire it, physicians don’t need the gender determination to manage your care and that of your baby if both are healthy. The above is true for most general OB practitioners in the US. However, every physician practices a little differently, and one can certainly dictate if he or she wants this info on all patient reports (if possible to determine). The case may be different if you are seeing a high-risk OB doc, aka a perinatologist. Their reports consist of much greater detail and may possibly include a fetal sex/gender guess.

Example of a Blank Report

gender determination
In the images of a sample report taken from a monitor, you’ll notice there is a whole host of blanks to fill, but fetal sex is not one of them. On the first page where you see Sex: Other, this refers to the patient. Patient demographics were not entered here, so the Sex option defaulted to Other. We always include your LMP or EDC/EDD – aka baby due date. The larger blue space would be filled with fetal measurements, estimates of gestational age, and fetal weight as they are obtained.

OB ultrasound report

OB ultrasound report
In the pages above, you’ll note the list of fetal organs and structures we attempt to document on a mid-pregnancy anatomy screen. We only fill out the section called BPP in the third trimester when your doc orders this particular examination. And the CVP is usually only filled out when performing a Fetal Echo or detailed heart examination.

Exception to the Gender Determination Rule

There always seems to be at least one exception to every rule. Because the responsibility of a sonographer is to search out structural malformations, we also have to report suspicions of abnormal external genitalia. In other circumstances, we may see particular abnormalities that we might group together, as in the case of certain syndromes. Sometimes, knowing fetal sex helps physicians either support or rule out a particular chromosomal or structural problem. Some of these are gender specific. In the pic below, we have a designated space on a Comments page to expound on our findings. We can add fetal sex here if we feel it is pertinent information to the findings.
OB ultrasound report
In some countries, fetal sex is neither reported nor discussed with parents due to the cultural preference of one sex over another. And some facilities are beginning to incorporate policies against providing parents with this news due to litigious reasons. Unfortunately, such is life in the good ol’ US. Facilities want to limit their liability for guessing incorrectly by simply not allowing their sonographers to guess at all.
So, if you don’t want to know your baby’s sex (or even if you do!), don’t expect your ultrasound report to disclose that information. Your sonographer creates the images and report. We only include what is needed and leave out what is not!
Best wishes for happy and healthy! As always, you can email me with your comments and questions at wombviewerblog@gmail.com.

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Posted on July 5th, 2017 by wombwithaviewblog.com

Baby Gender, How Do We Know?

Determining baby gender by ultrasound is not as easy a task as most think. Actually, gender misconceptions pertaining to ultrasound are so common that I thought it worthy of yet another post.

Making a male vs female determination requires far more expertise than just sticking probe to belly. And babies do not just automatically cooperate! Baby’s legs need to be wide open and other parts cannot be covering over external genitalia. If so, the chances of holding that “reveal” party are slim to none.

Another common misconception is that we can force Baby to move. I promise you that every sonographer on earth would use a magical “make Baby flip” button. A girl can a dream, but I think this technology lies in our distant future. Unfortunately, babies get comfy and only move into another position if they get the urge. And not a moment sooner!

Determining sex accurately is all about angles. Being far enough along with Baby in the right position is only part of the task..when I’m the one scanning, that is! Most of my emails come from people who want a second opinion. However, most of the time, it’s one I cannot give! Either Baby is too early or the image is just plain, well..terrible. In these scenarios, the truth is I just can’t comment on what I can’t see.

Most sonographers don’t mind telling you your baby’s sex, by the way! The problem for us comes when we can’t see what our patients want to know.  Even if we explain all the reasons, patients sometimes become upset or angry. I have scanned tens of thousands of babies. Anyone who has scanned as much can recognize when this information is obtainable and when it isn’t.

Tips For Your Baby Gender Ultrasound

So, here are a few recommendations for you to follow before your next ultrasound. No guarantees! But if you are busting at the seams to find out what you’re having, these tips just might work!

  • Try eating or drinking something about 30 minutes prior to the exam. Baby typically becomes more active after eating. Now, I’m not condoning a double espresso and Snickers combo (yummy, yes; smart, no). We don’t want your fetus launching into orbit. Instead, try enjoying a hearty and healthy lunch or breakfast prior to your scan.
  • Keep an open mind! Understand that not seeing the sex is definitely a real possibility. Whatever you do, not planning a gender reveal party for the same day is a smart idea.
  • Don’t shoot the messenger! In other words, your sonographer can only tell you what she sees. If that is an uncooperative fetus or if visualization is poor, she may not want to risk a guess. Remember, that you want an accurate guess, not just any guess. Most importantly, an experienced sonographer knows when not to guess. I so hate it for parents when they get excited about one sex, only to discover differently on a future scan!

Believe me! We would love to do our part to help you plan your party, shop for baby clothes, or decorate a nursery. It’s the most fun when we can! And when we cannot, it’s a real bummer – for you, because you leave disappointed and for us, because we’re (sometimes) blamed as the party poopers.

Textbook Baby Gender Images

I’ve posted these before, but below are a couple of really great images of external genitalia, first boy then girl.

male baby gender determination ultrasound

male fetal sex, around 28 Weeks

female baby gender determination ultrasound

female fetal sex, mid-second trimester

Also, if you send an email asking for a second opinion earlier than 18 Weeks, you may receive the links below to other posts containing very easy, no-mistake pics of boys and girls!

Female Gender Scan

16 Week Ultrasound

Boy vs Girl Ultrasound

Twin Gender Ultrasound

3rd Trimester Ultrasound – Male

Thanks for reading! You can email me with your comments at wombviewerblog@gmail.com!

You can also subscribe to receive a little something special (and free!) when my book on first-trimester ultrasound is published!

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Posted on July 1st, 2017 by wombwithaviewblog.com

Pregnancy Wives’ Tales – Are They True?

We’ve all heard them – pregnancy wives’ tales. As a result, maybe you’ve googled your fingers to the bone researching them. What wives’ tales do you have to share? I’ve heard them all and can say that NO one tale is consistently true! However, you can’t make your grandmother believe it.

So, let’s address a few of the old wives’ tales patients asked me about the most!

The ring or needle test can determine gender and/or the number of kids you will have

FALSE, but it is still fun to play. If you’re not familiar, you string a thread through the eye of a needle or your wedding ring and hang it over your belly, holding it by the string end. If the ring or needle moves back and forth in a line, you are carrying a boy. A circular motion means your baby is a girl. The number of different patterns of movement is supposed to define the number of kids you’ll have. Mine was wrong and right. It determined I would have two kids, the first a boy and second a girl. I had two girls:)

So, I wonder. How is a destiny of seven daughters determined? Does the needle just make an infinite circle pattern for seven minutes? Hmm…

The Drano test can determine sex

FALSE! I have no idea where this originated, and I can’t even recall what means boy or girl. It just seems the Drano was supposed to change color for one sex and stay the same for the other. What I do know is this. Don’t do it! This drain unclogger should not come in contact with your skin and can also cause some caustic fumes which could be harmful to you and your baby.

Experiencing heartburn determines whether your baby will have hair

FALSE! Lots of patients with heartburn have bald babies and vice versa. Women often times begin to feel the effects of some serious heartburn later in the 3rd trimester. This is typically because your uterus is growing up as well as out! This puts pressure on your poor stomach, so it has much less space than normal. You feel full sooner when eating, and that pressure causes our much-dreaded indigestion. I remember all too well that Tums turned into a staple of my daily diet with both my girls.

With ultrasound, hair can be easily seen at the nape of your baby’s neck as long as there is a good pocket of fluid there. If so, it’s pretty funny to watch it float when pushing on Mom’s belly, especially if it is long and thick! Ask your sonographer if your baby’s head is in a good position to see if your baby will have a wig full of hair at birth!

How you “carry” tells whether you will have a boy or girl

TRIPLE FALSE! Most noteworthy, I’ve encountered this one most often. I don’t know whoever decided to link these two things together, but they could not be more unrelated. How you carry has more to do with your stature, torso length, belly size, and whether you’ve done this before. The more pregnancies you carry, the weaker the muscle tone becomes. Of course, everyone is different, but Baby may feel a little lower with each pregnancy. And last time I checked, the lucky little swimmer who made it to your egg first still has final say!

You can determine Baby’s sex by which side your placenta is implanted, left vs right

Hmm, this is something I started getting questions about within the past couple of years. AKA The Ramzi Theory after the guy who discovered it. However, it’s been disproven. The placenta can implant anywhere in the uterus. The most common position is posterior, or along the back side of the uterus. But what about the placenta on the front side of the uterus (anterior)? Or along the top (fundal)? What about the complete previa (covering the cervix and bottom of the uterus)? And there are all sorts of variations of placental location in between, meaning they can be a combo of two or more locations. My advice is not to rely on this one!

The Nub Theory

pregnancy

12 Week Female Fetus

While this one is not so much a wives’ tale, it has been getting lots of hype lately, so I’ll address it. Basically, at about 12 Weeks, external genitalia either sticks up, if a boy, or out, if a girl. The angles and skill of the sonographer as well as Baby’s position all factor into this appearance and guess. (Read more about the Nub Theory)
At the end of the day, this theory is only about 73% accurate. Personally, I wouldn’t paint a nursery based on 70ish percent…but that’s just me.

A Local Favorite Pregnancy Myth

My mother always swore by this one, and her deep Sicilian roots tell her it’s true. Her little old Sicilian friend down the street, Mrs. Camilla, predicted every one of her children’s and grandchildren’s sexes…by the moon. She didn’t know a thing about her methods,  just that she got it right every time. There’s simply no arguing with a sixth sense, right? Or a Sicilian mother. Take my word for it. Don’t waste your breath. Don’t even try.;)

Right, wrong, or indifferent…share your own experiences with pregnancy wives’ tales and funny stories here! I’d love to read about them and, so would other moms. Just email me at wombviewerblog@gmail.com!

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Posted on June 28th, 2017 by wombwithaviewblog.com

Email Your Ultrasound Images!

ultrasound images

3rd Trimester Feet!

Got Some Precious Ultrasound Images?

Okay, so what do all you moms-to-be out there do before Baby gets here? Show off your great ultrasound images, right?!

Well, I’d love to see them, too. Email me those shots near and dear to your heart to wombviewerblog@gmail.com, and show off your little punkin’ to the world at the same time. Baby’s face, profile, 2D, 3D, hands, feet, or even your 4D video clips would all be perfect to post. And if you also have great shots of male or female fetal sex, send those, too!

I’ve personally taken some really great pics over the years. Baby yawning, sticking out the tongue, puckering those lips, and even flipping the bird! Who doesn’t love a cute set of baby toes? How about a ton of hair? If you got it, flaunt it! We moms like to brag on our cute kids, so it may as well start before they even get here.

(Full disclosure! Uploading your images means you consent to my using them for promotion of my blog or future books. As always, I keep your privacy private omitting all identifying info. Can’t wait to see them!)

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Posted on June 23rd, 2017 by wombwithaviewblog.com

Ultrasound Gender Determination – Pink or Blue?

Ultrasound gender determination can be tricky! Especially too early in pregnancy. Or any time they just won’t cooperate!

gender determination

Female Gender 16 Weeks

male gender, 16 Weeks pregnant

Male Gender 16 Weeks

 

How many times have all you moms out there, young and old, heard the story that goes, “They told her it was a ‘this,’ and they decorated an entire nursery, and it came out a ‘that’! Those ultrasounds are wrong sometimes, ya know!”

A dollar for every one of those comments would buy me my dream cottage on the Amalfi coast! However, I understand why this happens, and sonographers everywhere need to apply more discretion. First of all, you may already know that it’s not the machine that’s wrong. The sonographer or observer scanning you evaluates what she (or he) sees and determines Baby’s sex. The whole process is entirely subjective! And inexperience sometimes causes sonographers to excitedly guess or, otherwise, cave to the pressure from anxious parents. Unfortunately, sometimes guess incorrectly.

Advice Regarding Gender Determination for the New Sonographer

First rule of thumb for any newbie sonographer out there…don’t guess! Don’t put a percentage on your guess, and don’t say “I think.” Also, don’t say “It kinda looks like ‘this,’ but let’s wait until next time.” Parents may want you to guess, but they also want you to be right! Just a word of caution here – some patients may become upset with you if you don’t guess. But if you’ve exhausted your bag of tricks and you still are not sure of what you are seeing, you owe it to the patient to explain this. It’s something you have no control to change, and you would rather they not become attached to the wrong sex. Hopefully, they will understand!

Psychologically and emotionally speaking, most parents start to really become attached to one sex or the other. They begin to envision the first dance recital or baseball game by the time the next ultrasound exam rolls around. On more than a few occasions in my career, someone else guessed incorrectly (usually, too early!), and I had to be the bearer of bad news. After witnessing the affects of “mistaken identity” (shock, anger, tears, sadness, guilt), I adopted a personal policy long ago to only offer a guess when parts were obvious. In other words, Baby had to be in a great position to easily see a penis and scrotum or labia/clitoris. Even though my policy upset a number of my patients in the past, I truly believe refraining from tossing out any old guess is in their best interest and can save them some heartache later.

True Story!

One grandmother, so excited by the doctor’s early guess, flew right out and bought thirty-two dresses! Yep, 32. She did so despite the doc’s warning about his level of confidence and told her to wait for the sonogram with me. Fortunately, he got lucky with his baby girl guess, and grandma was a very happy woman (and a little less rich)! However, you can imagine the disappointment in returning all those frilly frocks if doc was wrong. I always hated giving such news!

Please, all you excited moms-to-be, remember your sonographer doesn’t withhold information about fetal sex just because! We’d actually really rather all our babies cooperate quickly and easily! It’s such a bummer for us both when they won’t. You can’t plan all the fun things you imagined you could. Shopping, party planning… And believe me, I always preferred when my patients left my room hugging me instead of cursing my existence. A magic trick to make Baby flip on command? It’s too bad we aren’t bestowed with super powers upon certification!

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