A prenatal ultrasound uses high-frequency sound waves to obtain images of a pregnant woman's fetus, placenta and amniotic sac. It can be used to determine how far along you are in your pregnancy and assess whether your baby is growing normally. Read more: Prenatal Ultrasound Article
Multimedia: Slideshows, Images & Quizzes
Stages of Pregnancy: Week by Week
See pictures on the various stages of pregnancy. See and learn what changes a woman's body goes through and view fetal images of...
13 Early Signs & Symptoms of Pregnancy
What are the early signs and symptoms of pregnancy? Can you know before your missed period? Read about nausea and vomiting...
Pregnancy: Multiple Births, Twins, Triplets, and More
Multiple births occur when a woman bears twins, triplets, or even more babies during pregnancy. More multiples are born today...
Fetal Development Stages: Embryo to Fetus, in Weeks
Take a peek inside the womb to see the stages of fetal development. Learn how embryos develop and grow during pregnancy. See week...
Am I Pregnant? Test Your Early Pregnancy IQ
What are early pregnancy symptoms? In some women, symptoms range from a missed period to feeling lightheaded. Others may...
Pregnancy Myths and Facts Quiz: Test Your Pregnancy IQ
Being pregnant is a delicate time for both mother and baby. Take this quiz to separate the myths and facts about being pregnant,...
Related Disease Conditions
Bleeding During Pregnancy (First Trimester)
Bleeding during pregnancy is never normal. Causes of bleeding during the first trimester of a pregnancy may be caused by implantation bleeding, ectopic or tubal pregnancy, subchorionic hemorrhaging, infections, and miscarriage. Bleeding during the second and third trimesters of pregnancy can be caused by a variety of factors.
Ectopic Pregnancy (Tubal Pregnancy)
An ectopic pregnancy is a pregnancy located outside the inner lining of the uterus. The majority of ectopic pregnancies occur in the Fallopian tube. Signs and symptoms of an ectopic pregnancy may include abdominal pain, lack of menstrual period (amenorrhea), vaginal bleeding, fainting, dizziness, and low blood pressure. Treatment options for an ectopic pregnancy include observation, medication, or surgery.
Pregnancy (Week by Week, Trimesters)
Signs and symptoms of pregnancy vary by stage (trimester). The earliest pregnancy symptom is typically a missed period, but others include breast swelling and tenderness, nausea and sometimes vomiting, fatigue, and bloating. Second trimester symptoms include backache, weight gain, itching, and possible stretch marks. Third trimester symptoms are additional weight gain, heartburn, hemorrhoids, swelling of the ankles, fingers, and face, breast tenderness, and trouble sleeping. Eating a healthy diet, getting a moderate amount of exercise, also are recommended for a healthy pregnancy. Information about the week by week growth of your baby in the womb are provided.
Placenta previa is a condition during pregnancy when the placenta lies low in the uterus either partly or completely blocking the uterus. Women with placenta previa generally deliver their baby via cesarean delivery. There are several types of placenta previa: 1) a low-lying placenta, 2) a partial placenta previa, and 3) a total placenta previa, which covers and blocks the cervical opening. Women who are at risk of placenta previa are women who have delivered a previous baby by cesarean section, and are also at risk of placenta accreta, placenta increta, or placenta percreta.
Fetal Movement (Quickening): Feeling Baby Kick
Pregnancy can be one of the most joyous time in a couple's life. Learn what your baby's first movements may feel like week by week, how often you may feel them, what time of day the baby is most active, and what to do if you feel your baby is not moving as much as you feel it should be moving.
Gestational Diabetes (Diabetes during Pregnancy))
Learning how to avoid gestational diabetes is possible and maintaining a healthy weight and diet before and during pregnancy can help. Discover risk factors, tests and treatments for, and signs and symptoms of gestational diabetes.
Getting Pregnant (Tips for Trying to Conceive)
Trying to get conceive, or become pregnant can be challenging, frustrating, and an emotional rollercoaster for some couples. A couple can chart their progress, which may ultimately lead to a successful healthy pregnancy, or, when necessary, lead to discussions with a fertility specialist.
Symptoms of 12 Serious Diseases and Health Problems
Learn how to recognize early warning signs and symptoms of serious diseases and health problems, for example, chronic cough, headache, chest pain, nausea, stool color or consistency changes, heartburn, skin moles, anxiety, nightmares, suicidal thoughts, hallucinations, delusions, lightheadedness, night sweats, eye problems, confusion, depression, severe pelvic or abdominal pain, unusual vaginal discharge, and nipple changes. The symptoms and signs of serious health problems can be caused by strokes, heart attacks, cancers, reproductive problems in females (for example, cancers, fibroids, endometriosis, ovarian cysts, and sexually transmitted diseases or STDs), breast problems (for example, breast cancer and non-cancer related diseases), lung diseases (for example, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or COPD, lung cancer, emphysema, and asthma), stomach or digestive diseases (for example, cancers, gallbladder, liver, and pancreatic diseases, ulcerative colitis, or Crohn's disease), bladder problems (for example, urinary incontinence, and kidney infections), skin cancer, muscle and joint problems, emotional problems or mental illness (for example, postpartum depression, major depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), mania, and schizophrenia), and headache disorders (for example, migraines, or "the worst headache of your life), and eating disorders and weight problems (for example, anorexia or bulimia).
Pregnancy Planning (Tips)
Pregnancy planning is an important step in preparation for starting or expanding a family. Planning for a pregnancy includes taking prenatal vitamins, eating healthy for you and your baby, disease prevention (for both parents and baby) to prevent birth defects and infections, avoiding certain medications that may be harmful to your baby, how much weight gain is healthy exercise safety and pregnancy, travel during pregnancy.
Embryo vs. Fetus (Differences Between Stages Week by Week)
The embryonic stage of pregnancy occurs from the moment of conception until the 11th week pregnancy, or first trimester. During this time the embryo develops major body structures, for example, the organs, heart, and main blood vessels. At this stage the baby's heart begins to beat. The fetal stage, or second trimester is next, and begins during the 11th week of pregnancy, and continues through to week #40. During this time the baby's organs and structures continue to develop, the fetus' gender can be identified, and fetal movement begins. The fetus is about 2 pounds by the 27th week. During the third trimester the baby is the size, and has the characteristics of a newborn. The greatest risk of miscarriage is during the very early stages of pregnancy before a woman even knows she is pregnant.
Doula vs. Midwife
A midwife and doula are not the same thing. A doula's job is to provide non-medical, emotional, and personal support to a woman throughout her pregnancy, labor, delivery, and postpartum experience. A certified nurse midwife is a medical health care professional that manages the overall general health of the mother and baby; for example, performs exams, orders laboratory tests, and procedures, and performs fetal monitoring from the pregnant woman's first prenatal visit to post-partum and aftercare. A midwife can deliver the baby, whereas a doula cannot. A midwife usually tries to minimize the use of unnecessary technological interventions. A midwife cannot perform C-sections, use vacuums or forceps during labor and delivery.
Treatment for bladder cancer depends on the stage of the disease, the grade of the tumor, and the type of bladder cancer. Options for treatment include surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, and biological therapy.
Early Signs and Symptoms of Pregnancy
The signs and symptoms of pregnancy differ from woman to woman. All the signs of pregnancy may not be seen in one person. Additionally, the signs may appear in different persons at different times.
Pregnancy and Gestational Diabetes
Gestational diabetes is a form of diabetes that can occur during pregnancy. Pregnant women with gestational diabetes have not had the condition prior to becoming pregnant. Usually, gestational diabetes has no symptoms or signs and of gestational diabetes. Gestational diabetes can cause insulin resistance, hypoglycemia, hypoglycemia, and diabetic ketoacidosis. Treatment of gestational diabetes is managing the condition by checking your blood sugar as recommended, diet changes, getting enough exercise, and monitoring your baby's growth.
Get the facts on Down syndrome, a genetic disorder caused by an additional set of chromosomes in a developing fetus. Down syndrome signs and symptoms include distinctive facial features, growth retardation, and decreased mental function and IQ. Blood tests and ultrasound may be used to screen for Down syndrome but chromosome analysis of the fetus is needed to diagnose the condition. People with Down syndrome age more quickly and may develop Alzheimer's disease as young as age 40. Sometimes people are diagnosed with mosaic Down syndrome, in which case they have more than one type of chromosomal makeup.
Urine Blockage in Newborns
There are many syndromes and defects that may cause urine blockage in newborns. Defects in the urinary tract that may cause urine blockage include vesicoureteral reflux, ureteropelvic junction obstruction, bladder outlet obstruction, posterior urethral valves, nerve disease, and ureterocele. Syndromes that may cause urinary blockage include congenital heart defects, esophageal atresia, and prune belly syndrome. Treatment for urine blockage in newborns depends on the cause of the blockage.
Care Before and During Pregnancy--Prenatal Care
Second Source article from Government
Pfeiffer syndrome, a rare genetic disorder, is characterized by craniosynostosis and other birth defects. There are three subtypes of Pfeiffer syndrome. In type I Pfeiffer syndrome the individual usually has a normal lifespan and typical intelligence. Individuals with types II and II have more severe birth defects that can affect brain development and function. Signs and symptoms of Pfeiffer syndrome include a high forehead, prominent lower jaw, protrusion of the eyes, beaked nose, and short fingers and toes. There is no cure for Pfeiffer syndrome.
Pregnancy Diet (Menu Plans)
When a woman is pregnant, she needs more vitamins, minerals, and other foods in her diet to stay healthy and deliver a healthy baby. A healthy pregnancy diet menu plan should consist of lots of fruits, vegetables, lean meats (unless you are vegan or vegetarian), and dairy. Examples of healthy pregnancy diet meal plans include holistic pregnancy diet, vegan or vegetarian diet, and low-carb diets. Begin your healthy eating plan around three months before you begin trying to conceive, and follow the same eating plan until after you have stopped breastfeeding. If you are overweight or obese, being pregnant is not the right time to try to lose weight. Discuss your options with your health care professional.
Anencephaly is a neural tube defect that prevents abnormal development of the brain and bones of the skull, and are missing large areas of the brain; some may have and incomplete skull. Ancecephaly affects the thinking, hearing, vision, emotion, and coordination areas of the brain. A combination of genetic and environmental factors are believed to to cause this condition. There is no treatment for anencephaly.
Cerebral palsy (CP) is an abnormality of motor function and postural tone acquired at an early age (even before birth). Cerebral palsy is generally caused by brain trauma. Types of cerebral palsy include: spastic, dyskinetic (dystonic or choreoathetoid), hypotonic, and mixed types. There is no cure for cerebral palsy, and treatment is generally managing the symptoms of the condition.
A common form of short stature, achondroplasia (dwarfism) is a genetic condition causing a disorder of bone growth. Complications of achondroplasia that need monitoring include (this is not all inclusive) stenosis and compression of the spinal cord, a large opening under the skull, lordosis, kyphosis, spinal stenosis, hydrocephalus, middle ear infections, obesity, and dental crowning. Achondroplasia is caused by mutations of the FGFR3 gene.
Can You See Trisomy 18 on an Ultrasound?
A fetal ultrasound during pregnancy can show features that are suggestive of trisomy 18, and the detection rate is about 90% during 14-21 weeks of pregnancy. However, an ultrasound may not detect abnormalities until late into the second trimester.
Birth defects have many causes and currently, are the leading cause of death for infants in the first year of life. Some of the causes of birth defects include genetic or chromosome problems. Exposure of the mother to rubella or German measles during pregnancy, or using drugs or alcohol during pregnancy. The treatment for birth defects depends upon the condition of the effected child.
Spina Bifida (Anencephaly, Neural Tube Defects) in Babies and Adults
Spina bifida is the most common neural tube defect in the United States. There are four types of spina bifida; 1) occulta, 2) closed neural tube defects, 3) meningocele, and 4) myelomeningocele. The cause of spina bifida is not known. Theories include genetic, nutritional, and environmental factors. Lack of folic acid during pregnancy is highly suspected. Symptoms of spina bifida vary from individual to individual. Treatment depends on the type of spanina bifida the person suffers.
What Should I Expect at 11 Weeks Pregnant?
At 11 weeks, you are almost done with the tiring first trimester and are about to enter the second trimester or “golden period” of pregnancy. The signs of pregnancy around 11 weeks include nausea and vomiting, mood swings, altered taste sensation, sore breasts, indigestion and heartburn, dizziness, vaginal discharge, facial changes and skin changes.
Cystic hygroma is a birth defect that may be apparent while a fetus is still in the womb. It is a malformation of the lymphatic system. Symptoms and signs of cystic hygroma may include breathing difficulties, feeding problems, sleep apnea, and failure to thrive. Treatment usually consists of surgery. The prognosis of cystic hygroma is variable, ranging from good to poor, depending on a variety of factors.
When Can You Find Out How Many Weeks Pregnant You Are?
A woman can find out how many weeks pregnant she is at any time during pregnancy. There are several ways to calculate how many weeks pregnant a woman is and the estimated due date or estimated date of delivery (EDD). Some ways are more accurate than others.
When Should You Be Worried About Fetal Movement?
During your third trimester, you should be able to feel about 10 fetal movements within 2 hours. Paying attention to the patterns of your baby’s movements will help you notice if there’s a change in frequency.
What Is a Limited Obstetrical Ultrasound?
An obstetric ultrasound or sonography is a procedure that uses high-frequency sound waves to produce pictures of a baby inside the mother’s womb. It also shows pictures of the mother's uterus and ovaries. An obstetric ultrasound is an important part of ante-natal (before the delivery of the baby) care.
Pregnancy and Drugs (Prescription and OTC)
Taking prescription medications or over-the-counter drugs or supplements should be discussed with your doctor. There are some medications that have been found to cause no problems in pregnancy, however, medications such as Accutane for acne, should never be taken during pregnancy.
Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS)
Consuming alcohol during pregnancy may cause fetal alcohol syndrome, a group of conditions associated with mental, growth, and physical problems. Children with fetal alcohol syndrome may have a small head, short stature, low IQ, and abnormal facial features. Early intervention programs can lessen the impact of motor, cognitive, and language impairments.
What Are the Most Common Birth Defects?
A birth defect is a health condition that is present since birth. Birth defects may change the shape or function of one or more parts of the body. They can cause problems in overall health.
Cleft Palate and Cleft Lip
Cleft palate and cleft lip are facial and oral defects that occur early in pregnancy. A cleft lip is a split of the two sides of the upper lip, and a cleft palate is a split in the roof of the mouth. Cleft lip the fourth most common birth defect in the U.S. Repair of a cleft palate or cleft lip may require multiple surgeries.
What Should I Expect at 6 Weeks Pregnant?
Six weeks is the first trimester of pregnancy. You may or may not be yet aware that you are pregnant, but certain signs will be common. At 6 weeks of pregnancy, your belly will probably look just the same from the outside.
What Should I Expect at 5 Weeks Pregnant? 13 Changes
The fifth week of pregnancy is usually the time when you have just discovered that you are pregnant. This is the time when you have missed your periods, and you take a urine pregnancy test that turns out to be positive.
Can the Flu Shot Harm My Unborn Baby?
Getting the flu shot will not harm your unborn baby at any stage of pregnancy. The flu shot is both safe and recommended to protect you and your baby from the virus. Don’t however, get the nasal spray vaccine, which is not recommended for pregnant women.
What Does Amniocentesis Test For?
Amniocentesis is a procedure in which a small amount of amniotic fluid (the fluid present around the unborn baby in the uterus) is removed for testing or treatment purposes. The amniotic fluid contains fetal cells and various proteins.
How Do You Do an Obstetric Ultrasound?
Cervical cryotherapy is a medical procedure that involves freezing and destroying the abnormal tissue in the cervix (the lower part of the uterus). The procedure may cause some discomfort. Women report some cramping or pressure and a sensation of cold in the vaginal area. Some women do not feel any discomfort or pain during the procedure. It is generally a relatively painless procedure with little or no scarring in the area treated.
When Should You Have an Obstetric Ultrasound?
There are no special precautions that you need to take before coming for the ultrasound. You might be asked to drink water up to six glasses or until you feel like peeing. You would not be allowed to go to the washroom before you get your ultrasound done. Your full bladder helps the doctor to visualize your baby more clearly.
Local ResourcesFind a local Obstetrician-Gynecologist in your town
Treatment & Diagnosis
- CT Scan vs. MRI
- Pregnancy: 7 Common Third Trimester Tests
- Endoscopic Ultrasound
- What Is the Principle of Ultrasonography?
- Amniocentesis Test
- Pregnancy Flu Shot Side Effects and Safety
- Chorionic Villus Sampling
- Is Amniocentesis Painful?
- Pregnancy: Prenatal Care and Tests
- What Is the Purpose of Performing an Obstetric Ultrasound?
Medications & Supplements
Prevention & Wellness
- COVID Vaccination in Pregnancy May Pass Helpful Antibodies to Baby
- Here's to a Healthy Pregnancy
- Obamacare Helped More Young Women Get Prenatal Care: Study
- Scans Show Range of Zika-Linked Infant Brain Defects
- Lung Ultrasound Can Spot Risk of Respiratory Failure in Pregnancy: Study
- Don't Order Fetal Ultrasound Videos As Souvenirs: FDA
- Prenatal Test Presents Dilemmas to Expectant Mothers
- Third Trimester of Pregnancy
- Birth Defects: Testing For Birth Defects
- Prenatal Portraits: Darling or Dangerous?
- Prenatal Testing: Amnio Alternatives
- Placenta Previa
- Fetal Alcohol Syndrome
- Ultrasound: A Womb With a View
- Fetus to Mom: You're Stressing Me Out!
- Pregnancy: A User's Guide to Prenatal Tests