Prenatal Care

Article Date: Sep 13, 2011

Lindsey West getting another glimpse of her baby at 20 weeks.

West says, "I've had pretty much the easiest pregnancy thus far. I had no morning sickness."

West says she wanted to find out if she was having a boy or a girl as soon as she could.

Usually, parents get the news at the 20 week ultrasound, but in Lindsey's case, an ultrasound at 16 weeks gave them a clear picture.

West says, "I had a feeling from the beginning that it was a boy so I wasn't completely surprised."

West's OB/GYN, Dr. Molly Beran, has been with her since the beginning.

Dr. Beran says typically she advises between two and three ultrasounds for low-risk pregnancies.

Dr. Beran says, "First trimester screenings, the combined or sequential screening, and the third trimester screening, all of those are just a combination of ultrasound findings and maternal blood screening."

Dr. Beran says these screenings are vey safe. Some patients opt to get even more tests and those carry a small risk.

Dr. Beran says, "It's when you get into the diagnostic tests, and by those tests I mean the amniocentesis, or chronic villus sampling - those are more invasive procedures that may actually touch on the pregnancy itself."

These are the kinds of tests that can identify certain genetic disorders early in a pregnancy.

West's ultrasounds and screenings have all been normal but she still keeps a close watch on the baby's heartbeat.

West says, "I do have a Doppler at home so I do get to hear his heartbeat all the time, but it's nice to get to see him."

Dr. Beran says it's very easy to spot "normal" ultrasounds. It's when one comes back abnormal that doctors need more time to figure out exactly what is going on with the unborn baby. In these cases, a specialist is called in.

Rebroadcast with permission of WOWT.

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