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Ultrasounds: what we recommend and offer

Ultrasound is an imaging technique that uses high-frequency sound waves to produce images of structures within your body. During pregnancy, ultrasound is used in obstetric and midwifery care to produce an image of your reproductive organs, placenta, as well as your growing baby. This can be helpful to understand how your baby is developing, as well as understand any potential complexity that may affect labor and delivery. The American College of OBGYN (ACOG) recommends only doing ultrasounds for specific medical purposes, though no current evidence demonstrates any harm or side effects from ultrasounds.

At Oula, we follow the scientific evidence to determine which ultrasounds should be required, and which are completely up to you! We’re here to help you explore the risks, benefits and alternatives of every intervention during your prenatal care.

First Trimester

Dating & Viability Scan (10-14 weeks)

Where: Oula or Hospital

What: We’ll offer you a “Dating & Viability” ultrasound during your first in-person visit at Oula. This will determine your estimated due date, confirm the presence of a heartbeat, as well as check if your baby is growing at the rate we’d expect. It’s also used to confirm a suspected miscarriage.

Nuchal Translucency (12-14 weeks) Optional

Where: Hospital

What: This is an optional additional scan for those interested in extra confirmation about genetic abnormalities. Your provider will offer to refer you for this if you are interested.

2nd Trimester

The Early Anatomy Ultrasound (16 weeks) optional

Where: Hospital

This Ultrasound provides the opportunity to see many anatomical structures of the fetus, earlier than the 20 week Comprehensive Anatomy Ultrasound  however there are often suboptimal views due to the growing fetus. This will be followed with another ultrasounds at 20 weeks. 

The Comprehensive Anatomy Ultrasound (20 weeks) required

Where: Hospital

This ultrasound is the gold standard for reassurance of proper development of the baby’s anatomy. If you haven’t previously chosen to learn the baby’s sex, this is another opportunity. It also lets us know where the placenta is located.

3rd Trimester 

Positioning Ultrasound (36 weeks) Required

Where: Oula

You’ll meet with an Oula OB-GYN at your 36 week visit, and they will perform an ultrasound at Oula to confirm which way your baby is facing, and give you an “all clear” for your birth preferences. They’ll also let you know if any additional ultrasounds will be indicated for your personal health history and pregnancy circumstances thus far. If there are no significant findings at your 20 week ultrasound and no further concerns, this ultrasound is likely to be your last one! 

Antepartum Surveillance (32+ weeks) As indicated

Where: Hospital

Certain risk factors and circumstances may require a referral for additional ultrasounds. This may include concern over the fetal growth, fetal position or placenta location. Your midwives will explain the risks, benefits and alternatives of a personalized ultrasound timeline.