Common questions at 12-14 weeks gestation
An ultrasound at 12 to 14 weeks is a very exciting time.
We asked some of our experienced sonographers what some of the common questions mums ask at this time. Here is what they said:
Is the baby fully formed yet?
Almost! Here’s what you can expect:
The trunk, internal abdominal organs and arms and legs have developed.
The fingers and toes have developed.
There is still further development happening in the baby’s head. Some of the structures in the back of the brain do not finish developing till about 20 weeks, and the complex folding of the brain tissue keeps forming throughout your pregnancy.
Although most of the organs are present, many of them still need to grow and mature. For example, the lungs grow and become more elastic after 24 weeks.
Ultrasound shows us a lot of these structures and we will be able to talk about them during your scan and look at them again later in your pregnancy.
Can my baby hear me now?
At around 18 weeks of pregnancy, the ears have developed and matured enough to hear some sound.
Your body produces many sounds like your heartbeat, the movement in your lungs, and the gurgling of your stomach. Over time, your baby will be able to sense these sounds. But it is not until the third trimester that your baby might be able to sense voices. Your baby cannot hear ultrasound because the sound waves are too high for ears to detect.
Does the baby feel you scanning?
They are well cushioned in the uterus by you and the amniotic fluid in the sac, so we don’t think they can feel anything from the ultrasound probe itself.
Do you think I can tell my family and friends now that everything is okay?
The right time to tell family and friends is different for everyone and is a very individual decision. Some women announce their pregnancy from the moment they find out they are pregnant, whilst some wait until they have early screening test results, and others wait till their baby bump is showing.
We often hear women and families say they want to wait till the end of the first trimester before announcing the expected arrival of the baby. They commonly say that this is because of the risk of miscarriage or because they want to make sure everything is OK. Indeed, the risk of miscarriage is higher in the first trimester and falls in the second trimester, but there is no specific day that it falls. Instead, it is a gradual decrease with time.
The 12–14-week scan of the baby’s organs is an important milestone, but there is an equally important scan at 19-20 weeks where the organs are reviewed again. Sometimes, we find concerns at this scan or even later.
Is it safe to have an internal scan?
An internal scan is safe for you and the baby. In fact, in early pregnancy it gives us the clearest images and more information than a scan on the abdomen. The staff at Ultrasound Care are here to help you through any concerns you may have.