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19 weeks

Q&A: Mid-pregnancy Ultrasound?

I'm scheduled to have an ultrasound soon, in my 20th week. What should I expect to happen, and what's my doctor looking for?

During the mid-pregnancy ultrasound (also called the standard ultrasound), usually around 20 weeks, your doc is basically checking to make sure baby's growing and developing properly. This generally includes taking baby's heartbeat, checking for physical abnormalities, confirming any suspicions of twins or other multiples, measuring the amount of amniotic fluid (to much or too little could signal a problem), checking the location of your placenta to be sure it isn’t covering the cervix, and taking lots of measurements to make sure baby is the right size for his gestational age. (If your babe measures very large or very small, you may be given a new due date!)

The truly exciting part about your 20 week ultrasound (well, besides the assurance that you’re growing a healthy baby)? This is your chance to catch a glimpse of what the little one looks like in there, and you’re likely to get a couple of printouts to show off to the fam! And, if you want to know baby’s sex, this is the moment of truth — your doc should be able to detect your little one’s girlie or boyish bits on the ultrasound screen (if baby isn’t covering the goods with his or her arms or legs).

By Erin Walters