You may be waiting on pins and needles for your seven week ultrasound. During this appointment you will probably hear the heartbeat and get the first visual look at your growing little one.
Preparing for Your 7-Week Ultrasound
First trimester ultrasounds usually take place around week six to eight as a means of confirming your pregnancy, dating the baby's gestational age, and checking the general health of the baby. During this appointment your doctor will check in with you regarding your symptoms, general mood, and baby's health. Come prepared with any questions that you might have thus far regarding your pregnancy. You may be experiencing some nausea, have an increased need to urinate, and have some headaches. Be sure to report all of this to your doctor.
What to Expect at Your Appointment
Keep in mind that you no longer need to empty your bladder or drink lots of fluids before your ultrasound, although your doctor may take a routine urine sample.
- Transvaginal Ultrasound: Because your baby is so tiny during this time, your doctor will most likely perform a transvaginal ultrasound. Instead of using a wand on your abdomen, the doctor will insert a small wand into your vagina. This will give both of you a better look at the baby and your internal organs. Transvaginal ultrasounds focus in on smaller areas while giving the doctor or technician a clearer visual aid.
- Abdominal Ultrasound: Depending on your practitioner and facilities, you may have an abdominal ultrasound instead. Before beginning an abdominal ultrasound, the doctor or ultrasound technician will put a gel on your abdomen. This helps the ultrasound wand glide over your belly with ease.
During the Ultrasound
During your ultrasound you will be able to see your baby, which will look like a small peanut blob, and the yolk sac, as well as the umbilical cord. Your doctor will probably not be able to verify whether multiples are present, but you will have a better idea towards the end of your first trimester. Missing multiple babies is quite common as they can often be hiding behind each other, or so small that they are difficult to find within the growing uterus. Your doctor will print out the ultrasound picture for you to take home as a keepsake. You can add this to a frame or baby book if you like.
Baby's Heartbeat at 7 Weeks
One of the most exciting moments is getting to hear your baby's heartbeat. This may be done with a doppler, or with the ultrasound wand. Be patient; it may take a few minutes to find your little one. Remember your uterus is growing, but your nugget is still pretty small in comparison. Although the heart begins beating around six weeks, you may not be able to hear it until your eight-week ultrasound appointment. You may, however, see a rapid fluttering movement on the ultrasound screen, which can be equally thrilling.
Understanding Physical Development
At seven weeks pregnant, your baby is growing at a very quick rate. During this week, the umbilical cord shows up, and your baby's kidneys, mouth, and tongue have also developed.
Can I See Baby's Sex?
Baby's sex will not be detectable via the ultrasound this week. Many women find out the baby's sex during the second semester ultrasound screen which takes place around 18 to 20 weeks. If you do want to find out the baby's sex sooner, you can request the baby's gender during your Non-Invasive Prenatal Test, which is a blood screening done at about 10 weeks.
Although major diagnostic tests won't be done for another few weeks, at seven weeks pregnant, your ultrasound can detect a healthy heartbeat and ensure that your baby is the appropriate size for gestational age. If you have specific diagnostic concerns, be sure to bring them up with your doctor as soon as possible.
Baby is still looking pretty strange at this point. Hands are feet are beginning to develop, but they still look more like buds. The ultrasound image will look more like a blob than a baby, but all that will change very quickly. Most of baby's weight is in the head, and the body is still curved with a hint of tail. Baby is about 1/4 to an inch long.
Understanding Your Ultrasound
Ultrasounds are a great way to start connecting with your little one. At seven weeks you will be able to get a first hand peek at your baby's heart, their general size, and overall gestational growth.