What is: Limited Obstetrical Ultrasound?

When someone walks into the PHI Center who is or might be pregnant they may eventually receive an ultrasound. But this ultrasound is different than the ultrasound a pregnant mother receives at her doctor’s office. Ours is a “Limited Obstetrical Ultrasound.” Before becoming pregnant most people would be unable to define words like obstetrics, ultrasound, Caesarian, or Braxton-Hicks contractions; if those terms are unfamiliar to you, welcome to the club. Even your baby’s doctor didn’t always know what these terms meant so it’s okay if you don’t have them mastered. Since we provide Limited Obstetrical Ultrasound we want to make sure you know what it is.

In another post we’ll answer the question, “How does and ultrasound work?” This post will simply explain the difference between the ultrasound a mom receives from her doctor and the one she could receive at the Pregnancy Help and Information Center.

Cute, but we don’t use these.

Ultrasound is sound waves traveling at a frequency higher than a human can detect. “Sound” is the regular stuff we hear: dogs barking, people talking, and that kid tapping his pencil while we’re trying to concentrate. Sound that travels too slowly for us to hear is called infrasound and sound that travels too fast for us to hear is ultrasound. A dog whistle, for example, is a form of ultrasound. To the dog it’s just sound, because he can hear it. The human ear cannot pick it up because the sound waves are moving too fast. But we won’t be blowing a dog whistle at you in your ultrasound. Instead of a K-9 ultrasound, ours is “Obstetrical” ultrasound.

Obstetrics is the medical field that specializes in caring for women’s reproductive system and developing baby during a pregnancy (prenatal), childbirth, and once the child is born (postnatal). You might have noticed the letters OB-GYN after your doctor’s name, the “OB” comes from OBstetrics. “Natal,” by the way, comes from the old Latin word for birth, so prenatal and postnatal simply mean pre-birth and post-birth. I’m glad we changed it, because “Happy Natal-day” just doesn’t have the same ring to it. So, Obstetrical Ultrasound is ultrasound used in the medical care of pregnant women and their growing baby.

When the OB-GYN’s office performs the ultrasound they’re looking to discover all kinds of information: status of the amniotic sac, placenta, and ovaries, the presence of more than one baby, the age of the baby, the baby’s health, the location of the placenta, the amount of amniotic fluid, the baby’s position, and his or her size.1 Their team are trained in all aspects of Obstetrical Ultrasound and are qualified to observe and diagnose anything happening within the mother’s reproductive system and with the baby.

At the PHI Center, our nurse is trained in “Limited Obstetrical Ultrasound.” Limited simply refers to the questions our nurse seeks to answer when she performs the ultrasound and what she’s qualified to share with you. The questions you’ll have answered in our Limited Obstetrical Ultrasound are:

1. Is there a baby in the uterus?

2. Roughly how old is the baby?

3. Does the baby have a heartbeat?

Basically, we can confirm you’re pregnant and that the baby’s heart is beating. The cool part for you is getting to see your baby on the flat screen TV mounted on the wall. It’s one thing to experience morning sickness and feel the baby wiggling inside you; it’s a whole new level of joy to see the little one star in his own reality TV show. We want you to meet your child as soon as possible and a Limited Obstetrical Ultrasound allows us to make that introduction.

Hi, baby!

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1) http://www.webmd.com/baby/ultrasound

 

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