The First Scan of Pregnancy: What comes next?

The First Scan of Pregnancy: What comes next?

Congratulations – you’re pregnant! You’ve now possibly had the chance to see your developing bub on the Ultrasound Care monitor screen and may even have heard your baby’s heart rate for the first time.

Changes during the first trimester of pregnancy

The first trimester of pregnancy can be challenging with the changes occurring to your body. Some women experience nausea and vomiting during pregnancy, some extreme tiredness and others nothing at all. It can be very difficult not knowing which symptoms are significant, and which are normal first trimester events. The Ultrasound Care team provide multiple diagnostic tests and procedures to pregnant mothers at every stage of their pregnancy and will be able to discuss all elements of your pregnancy during the first trimester with you when you attend for your scan.

What should I expect next in my first trimester?

One of the first steps to expect in your first trimester is that you will be referred for your antenatal screening bloods and urine test by your doctor. Your General Practitioner will also be able to discuss the different options of care available to you during your pregnancy which include:
  • Obstetrician Led Care
  • General Practitioner Shared Care
  • Midwifery Care via your hospital. (Some hospitals offer a Midwifery Group Practice option where you are cared for by a small group of Midwives).

What other tests should I consider or might I request in my first trimester?

You may be referred for a genetic carrier screening test to assess you and your partner’s risk of passing on genetic illnesses; and you may be referred for a first trimester chromosomal assessment where the risk of Down syndrome and other chromosomal abnormalities can be assessed. If you have concerns about these conditions, you can also choose to ask your family doctor to refer you for these tests.

The first scan of pregnancy: miscarriage

There’s something incredibly exciting and stressful about the first scan of pregnancy. Exciting because for many parents it is the first opportunity to meet their future child (or children)! However, it would be wrong to suggest that all parents have a wonderful time at the first scan. Sometimes there is disappointment when there is no obvious progression on a pregnancy scan and sadly, sometimes there is a clear miscarriage. Miscarriage is a common event, however there is minimal discussion in the community about how commonly it occurs. We know that approximately 1 in 5 clinical pregnancies end in miscarriage. Women and their partners don’t talk about the sadness of receiving a miscarriage diagnosis and so the conspiracy of silence continues. This leads to more sadness for the family concerned. At Ultrasound Care Australia, we acknowledge the sadness and disappointment when a miscarriage occurs. We strive to contact your referring doctor so that they are also aware of your sad news, so they can plan your next steps and provide the compassion that a family experiencing a miscarriage deserves. Even more importantly, the Ultrasound Care team looks forward to being able to deliver happier news in subsequent pregnancies.

The first scan of pregnancy: success!

An early scan ensures the pregnancy starts on the right footing. It is a valuable and exciting time for everyone concerned. The noise coming from the ultrasound machine sounds raspy and rough, but regular and fast. My patient asked “what is that sound?” to which I replied “it’s your baby’s heartbeat”. Happy smiles, tears even. The wonder of the world to come! The first scan is a critical moment for both the families involved, as well as the care-givers of that family. It is an opportunity to assess the number of fetuses, the size and expected date of delivery, and most importantly the heartbeat. At Ultrasound Care, our specialist obstetricians and sonographers carefully assess the pregnancy to ensure that we give your referrer the most important information about your early pregnancy, to ensure you get the right care during your pregnancy journey. Sometimes this involves only a scan on the abdomen, but often we perform an internal scan to be able to get the best quality images. When do I tell my family and friends? Perhaps the hardest part of the first trimester for a pregnant mother is when to tell family, friends and workplace that you are pregnant! At Ultrasound Care, we value your privacy, and are aware that you deserve to share your exciting news when you are ready. If you have just learned you are pregnant, please call the Ultrasound Care practice convenient to you to make an appointment for your first scan. Our team will be happy to help work out a time that is suitable for you.