You’re almost to the finish line! Only a few more weeks until you meet your sweet baby in person.
We know the wait can be nerve-wracking, but you’ll be holding your newborn in no time.
Your final third-trimester ultrasound might be bringing about some maternal anxiety. Since this is the last time you can see your baby on a screen, you just want to know what to expect when your baby comes.
The third-trimester ultrasound is typically performed as a routine evaluation. It’s very common for doctors to make sure your baby is growing, developing, thriving, and ready for the world!
There are a few things doctors check for during the last ultrasound. These include:
- Fetal anatomy: your baby might have been stubborn during other checkups; this is when they can see your baby’s eyes, nose, fingers, and toes! You may even be able to get a 3D ultrasound to capture your baby’s features.
- Fetal position: your baby should be head down by around 32 weeks gestation. This is called cephalic presentation, and it’s the ideal position for birth.
- Fetal health: your baby’s movements, heart rate, spine, and blood flow can all be evaluated to ensure your baby is developing normally.
- Fetal size: your baby’s weight can be estimated by measuring parts of their body.
Keep reading to find out more about the circumstances that would warrant an extra ultrasound.
Expecting a Smaller or Larger Fetus
Fetal anatomy ultrasounds are usually performed in the second trimester, between 18 and 20 weeks. At this time, doctors can check the possible weight and size of your baby.
Larger babies have a more difficult time moving, which could prevent them from making the cephalic presentation. Smaller babies, on the other hand, will need to be checked for umbilical or chromosomal issues that cause fetal growth restriction.
Doctors will perform a third-trimester ultrasound to make sure these babies are especially thriving.
The Fetus isn’t Moving as Much
Less fetal movement doesn’t always mean something is wrong, but it’s better to err on the side of caution.
You’re in the third trimester, and wiggle room is beginning to decline, so this could be entirely expected! Still, doctors will want to make sure this isn’t because of an umbilical cord or stress issue.
Some concerning conditions would merit an ultrasound in the third trimester. Doctors will want to make sure the mother and the baby are ready for birth.
In some cases, adjustments will need to be made to safely bring the baby into the world.
Medical conditions that justify an extra ultrasound are:
- Vaginal bleeding
- Premature labor
- Pelvic or abdominal pain
- Previously discovered abnormalities involving the fetus, uterus, or amniotic fluid
Bonus: Stress Relief!
Not all pregnancies require a third-trimester ultrasound, but they’re certainly nice to have.
You can check your baby’s heart rate at any time with a Cradle Me Baby prenatal fetal doppler. Why wait for your third-trimester ultrasound? Give yourself some peace of mind knowing your baby is doing just fine in there!
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