What you need to know about normal 12 week ultrasound, pregnancy ultrasounds.

Hi guys, welcome back to another post, I hope you all have an amazing new year so far and beautiful holidays, you must be very excited if you reach 12 weeks, girl you are about to finish the first trimester, eyyyy….

So as usual on this article, you will find good info about your 12 week pregnancy plus how and what to expect on your 12 week Ultrasound, if you want to learn something cool today keep reading.

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Things are changing rapidly at 12 weeks, your hormones are likely to tone things down a bit, hopefully making you feel better about your pregnancy symptoms. It also means you may be ready to share your pregnancy news with family and friends, finally the moment of truth.

How Big Is Baby at 12 Weeks?
At 12 weeks pregnant, the baby is as big as a plum. The average fetus at 12 weeks is about 5.4 cm to 6.6 cm on the CRL measurement. Now at this point, your baby has all his or her important organs developed already, his or her main job is to keep on growing.

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12 weeks pregnant symptoms.

As your hormones start to calm a bit, your morning sickness and fatigue may start to feel better as well, however headaches and dizziness may replace them. Here’s more info about what’s happening to your body at 12 weeks pregnant:

Headaches: These may start to intensify around week 12 of pregnancy. Headaches may be caused by hormonal shifts, drops in blood sugar, dehydration, lack of sleep, or stress. To deal with this pay attention to what might be triggering your headaches and try to avoid those things. If you notice a drastic increase in headaches or a type of headache you’ve never experienced before (such as a migraine), let your OB know.

Spotting: Spotting or bleeding during pregnancy at 12 weeks could be something or it could be nothing at all, it could be something as silly as a polyp in the cervix or a cyst in the ovary, the simple fact of having sex could cause light bleeding that’s harmless, however its always good to check, so If you’re experiencing spotting or bleeding, definitely tell your doctor. If the bleeding is accompanied by cramping or the flow is heavy then it can be serious, call your doctor right away.

Dizziness: Hormone shifts and blood pressure changes could cause dizziness at week 12. You can help prevent this symptom by snacking frequently and drinking plenty of water. if the dizziness doesn’t let you function or you start feeling other weird things let your doctor know.

Increased vaginal discharge: This clear discharge might seem gross to you, but it’s normal and has an important purpose, to protect your vagina from infection. But if you have yellow, greenish, pink, or brown discharge during pregnancy week 12, call your doctor immediately. Those colors could be a sign of infection or preterm labor.

As usual, I will link the most recent previous post down here in case you want to check them out.

What you need to know about the normal 11 week ultrasound.

What you need to know about the normal 10 week ultrasound.

And now the juicy stuff ” What to expect on your 12 week ultrasound scan”

We still perform this Ultrasound Transvaginally, starting with Mommy first then the baby.

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Ultrasound image of the CRL, the measurement that we perform on the baby at this time.

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Ultrasound image of a baby in which you can define clearly the profile view of the face, the body and the leg, how cute is that!!!!

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The profile view of your baby’s face is becoming more clear and clear as he or she keeps growing!!!

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Ultrasound image of your baby’s strong heartbeat, the normal beat expected to trace at this time is between 160 to 175 bpm.

 

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OMG, I couldn’t resist to include another picture of the fetal profile, this picture is just precious!!!

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Ultrasound image showing a defined hand.

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As well as the legs are clearly defined at this point.

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3D image of a 12 week baby, you can appreciate this picture, the baby’s head, arms, and legs, the insertion of the umbilical cord as well.

 

Guys, I receive a lot of questions about having 3D ultrasounds, Ultrasound, in general, is a very safe imaging technique for mom and baby and a valuable tool for the doctors to evaluate the development and growth of your baby,  however 3D is not recommended to have more than 4 on the entire pregnancy, because intense sound waves are used in 3D or 4D ultrasounds so is higher the amount of heat produced on this type of ultrasounds, so is better to do it when is medically necessary, and the best time to obtain the best pictures are between  26-32 weeks of pregnancy.

 

Facts about your baby!!!

*Baby at 12 weeks is opening and closing his or her fingers and curling toes. And baby’s brain is still developing fast!

*Baby’s now developing reflexes, you’ll likely see movement on ultrasounds.

*The fetus begins to produce thyroid hormones.

*The pancreas is beginning to make insulin, and the kidneys are starting to produce urine as well.

 

Already so this concludes this week post, by now you are probably done with the first round of genetic and chromosomal testing, you still should expect other labs on the doctors appointments, by now you are only required to visit your doctor once a month unless there is a medical condition that they need to monitor closely, as always thanks for reading my post, I will be talking to you next time.

zadi, XO

 

What you need to know about normal 10 week ultrasound, pregnancy ultrasounds.

Hi guys, welcome back to another post, this time about Normal 10 week ultrasound, as usual, I will talk about the important things you need to know at this time and finally we will go to the Ultrasound part, so let’s get started…

At 10 weeks your baby is as big as a strawberry, measuring about 3.1 to 4.1 cm long and weighing about 0.14 ounces.

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10 weeks pregnant symptoms.

Wondering what to expect at 10 weeks pregnant? As your baby grows, your ligaments and muscles are starting to stretch on your pregnant belly, your breasts are getting bigger, they are probably sore too and some other changes are also happening. Here are some of the most common 10 weeks pregnant symptoms:

Morning sickness: Still strong at 10 weeks, morning sickness is caused by high levels of hormones in your body, this symptom gets better after you pass the first trimester.

Fatigue: Remember that you are under the effects of many hormones, especially increased levels of progesterone that is responsible for making you sleepy and also your body is producing more blood to carry nutrients to your growing baby, therefore, your blood pressure and blood sugar levels are lower, the best remedy for this symptom is more REST.

Mood swings: Because of the hormones and also because other symptoms, you may find your emotions more difficult to control. Remember is okay to slow down and take breaks throughout your day ( to do whatever makes you feel good and relax), also try to avoid stressful situations.

Round ligament pain: At this time you start feeling some aches and pains in your abdomen as it stretches to accommodate your growing baby. While some moms-to-be don’t really feel this pain for other mothers is very uncomfortable. If you’re 10 weeks pregnant with twins, round ligament pain could be even more noticeable. Let your OB doctor know if your discomfort is intense.

Growing breasts. Your breasts have probably gotten bigger by this time since they’ve been prepping for breastfeeding for weeks already!

Increased vaginal discharge. An increased blood flow to your vagina coupled with an increase in estrogen production could cause more of clear, odorless discharge. Might seem a little gross, but this substance is simply nature’s way of getting rid of bacteria. If it’s colored, tinged with blood, has a foul odor, or causes discomfort call your doctor. Those could be something else.

Visible veins: Another thing you may start noticing at this time is all those blue lines that suddenly has appeared on your skin, these veins are doing a very important job which is carrying the increased blood supply needed to nourish your growing fetus.

Other symptoms discussed on my previous post like Frequent urination and Headaches, combined with other symptoms like indigestion, bloating and gases are also happening right now, be patient, I promised it will be better soon, links for my previous posts are down below in case you want to check them out.

What you need to know about the normal 8 week ultrasound.

What you need to know about the normal 9 week ultrasound.

What to expect on your 10 week ultrasound scan:

As usual, we start with the maternal organs first then is baby time…

Remember the 10 weeks scan is still done transvaginally.

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Ultrasound image of a fetus at 10 weeks, the round area surrounding the baby is called the Amnion, this structure is more visible at this time, placenta is still developing, yolk sac is visible at this time as well, your fetus is starting to look more like a baby, arms and legs are clearly seen, and movements are more noticeable too.

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Ultrasound image of a 10 week fetus, the measurement that is done at this time is still the Crump Rump Length(CRL)

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And remember we always need to get a signal on the doppler, that’s the heart of your baby beating!!!!!

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 Image of a 3D ultrasound on a 10 week fetus.

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Ultrasound image of Fraternal twins at 10 weeks, you can see the thick membrane separating the babies.

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Ultrasound image of Identical twins at 10 weeks, these babies share the same sac.

Remember the possibility of a Miscarriage is still high, Ultrasound will always check for Subchorionic bleedings or any other abnormalities, after ultrasounds you should be seeing your doctor for the results.

Facts about your baby!!!

At 10 weeks your baby has working arm joints, and cartilage and bones are forming. Your baby’s vital organs are fully developed and they’re starting to function as well. Fingernails and hair are starting to appear too! And your baby is already swallowing and kicking inside your belly!!!

At 10 weeks you will start having genetic testing to rule out diseases, the first test will be the Harmony, this test analyzes cell-free DNA in maternal blood and gives a strong indication of whether the fetus is at high or low risk of having trisomy 21 (Down syndrome), trisomy 18 (Edwards syndrome) or trisomy 13 (Patau syndrome). If the Harmony test shows that there is a high risk that the fetus has trisomy 21 or 18 or 13 it does not mean that the fetus definitely has one of these defects. If you want to be certain if the fetus has one of these defects you should have CVS or amnio.

I will explain more in deep CVS , AMNIO and Nuchal Translucency on my next post which will be published next Thursday because Tuesday will be Christmas day, I wish all my readers and followers a very Merry Christmas, thanks for being with me in this new adventure, I hope to have you around next year and the following years to come, Next post will be Normal 11 week Ultrasound, I see you there….

IMG_3222A picture of me and my family on Christmas last year!!!!

XO Zadi.

Twin pregnancy, all you need to know. Multiple pregnancies, twin pregnancy ultrasound.

Hey there, welcome back to another post. Today I will be talking about Twin pregnancy ultrasound, I love doing this post because to me personally I love scanning twin pregnancies, so let’s go…

As in any pregnancy, single or multiple the ultrasound protocol is the same, the first ultrasound is performed to get measurements for dating purposes , also the heartbeat should be obtained, checking the yolk sacs, amnion and Chorionicity on twins is essential to know how to proceed with the pregnancy , in case you haven’t seen I will link down below the previous post where I explained the normal protocol for the first scan.

Normal first-trimester ultrasound, scan at 6 weeks of gestation.

Well as you probably know by now being pregnant with one baby is difficult, imagine with 2 or more babies, the risks of complications on multiple pregnancies is a lot higher than single pregnancies.

If you are pregnant with twins you need to know that:

  • Morning sickness is worse due to high levels of hormones in your body.

  • Vaginal spotting and/or cramping is more common during twin pregnancies which means you will be having Ultrasounds more often.

  • Higher chances of having medical conditions like Gestational diabetes, preeclampsia etc.

  • Labor and delivery will be sooner and most likely be by C-section.

Now there are different types of twins

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So below I explain the most important types of twin pregnancies seen on ultrasound, I will start with the rarest and most dangerous one which is the MONOAMNIOTIC-MONOCHORIONIC, follow by DIAMNIOTIC-DICHORIONIC, and finally, I will briefly talk about the DIAMNIOTIC-MONOCHORIONIC.

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Ultrasound image of an Early gestation, about 7 weeks, you see the 2 fetuses inside the sac with NO membrane separation which means this is a Monoamniotic-Monochorionic twin pregnancy or Identical twins, this type of twins form after a SPLIT occurs on a fertilized egg, this type of twin shares ONE amniotic sac and ONE placenta.

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Ultrasound images on picture #2 and picture #3 are also Monoamniotic-Monochorionic but at a different gestational age,  10 weeks and 11 weeks respectively.

So because Monoamniotic-Monochorionic twin pregnancy shares ONE amniotic sac and ONE placenta, the risks associated with this pregnancy is higher than other twins, some of the risks are listed below:

  • Cord Entanglement: since there is no membrane separation between the babies their umbilical cord could get entangled, cutting off the blood supply to one of the babies.

  • Cord compression: As they share the same sac they might press against the others umbilical cord while making internal movements. Prolonged pressure may cut off blood supply and nutrients to one of the babies resulting in fetal death or weight discrepancies.

  • Twin to Twin Transfusion Syndrome: This syndrome happens when one of the twins receives the majority of the nourishment in the womb, causing the other twin to be undernourished. That is detected on regular scanning based on the physical development of both babies.

  • Preterm labor: always occurs on mono-mono twins due to the high risks on cord entanglement and compression, is usually done by C-section between 34 to 36 weeks, however, some mono-mono can be delivered at 26 weeks if there are other complications.

Other facts about Mono-Mono twin pregnancies:

  • Mono-Mono babies are always the same gender since they originate from the same fertilized egg.

  • Mono-Mono twins are rare, ONLY 1% of twins are mono-mono.

Now let’s talk about DIAMNIOTIC-DICHORIONIC.

img_30131Diamniotic-Dichorionic at 7 weeks.

img_3011Diamniotic-Dichorionic at 9 weeks.

img_3012Diamniotic-Dichorionic at 11 weeks.

The last 3 ultrasound images are Diamniotic-Dichorionic twin pregnancies, This type of  twins can be Monozygotic or Dizygotic which means that can occurs after 2 different eggs are fertilized by 2 different sperms or ONE fertilized egg DIVIDES into 2 blastocysts and Reaches the uterus and is implanted, this type is the most common type of twins about 72 to 80% of all cases.

Complications of Diamniotic-Dichorionic twins:
While the complication rate is still much higher with twins than with a singleton pregnancy, a Diamniotic-Dichorionic pregnancy carries the lowest rate of complications amongst twin pregnancies however some of the complications can include:

*Increased risk of intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR): Means that one baby is not growing appropriately compared to the other twin.
*Placental related problems such as increased risk of velamentous cord insertion, marginal cord insertion or placenta previa.

Now let’s talk about DIAMNIOTIC-MONOCHORIONIC.

This type of twins is about 20% of all twins, forms after ONE single fertilized egg SPLITS, this type of twin shares ONE placenta but have 2 different Amniotic sacs.

img_3029Ultrasound image that shows SINGLE SHARED placenta seen on the bottom of the picture, clear membrane separation between the babies is seen in the middle.

img_3030Ultrasound image of a mono-di twin pregnancy again showing a SINGLE SHARED placenta that is located on the left side of the picture, you can see also the membrane in the middle of the babies.

So remember that this type of twin shares ONE placenta, so there are complications associated with it:

Potential complications that can occur with this type of pregnancy include:
problems related to abnormal placental vascular anastomoses
*twin to twin transfusion syndrome.
*twin embolization syndrome
*twin reversed arterial perfusion sequence.
*demise of one twin: often associated with some adverse outcome to the other twin.
*Other placental insertion related problems such as increased incidence of velamentous cord insertion and/or increased incidence of marginal cord insertion.

Other types of multiple pregnancies can also occur (Triplets, quadruplets etc.)  the most important purpose of the Ultrasound is identify Chorionicity, one placenta vs two placentas can make the world of the difference.

The ultrasound protocols are always the same for any type of pregnancy.

And remember that being able to grow inside your body one life is precious but being able to grow more than one life at a time is even more precious, as I called it ” the miracle of life”, you are blessed and every baby is a blessing.

OK so this is the most relevant info about TWINS, I will start the weekly scanning on my next post, from week 7 to week 40 of pregnancy with ultrasounds, as usual, see you on my next post.

XO zadi.