Pregnancy ultrasounds are fascinating. You get to take a sneak peek at your baby, and it is basically the coolest feeling ever. An ultrasound can strengthen your connection to your baby, as it provides a more tangible, visual confirmation of your baby inside you, and it can also relieve your stress and anxiety. But as good as it feels, you can’t see your baby via ultrasound everyday. So how many ultrasounds do you get during pregnancy?
According to the American Pregnancy Association (APA), there is no exact number of ultrasounds that a mother will have during her pregnancy because all pregnancies are different. Some are more complicated than others, and physicians will order ultrasounds depending on whether they feel it is medically necessary. The APA noted that, because of this, the average number of ultrasounds will be different for every physician.
Dr. Kathryn Wright, OB-GYN at Facey Medical Group, tells Romper that you can request additional ultrasounds during pregnancy, and if your doctor is doing the ultrasound on their own, they might even take a look. But it’s no guarantee. “Most docs don't have the time for unscheduled in-depth ultrasounds and need an indication to order a formal ultrasound," she explains, "otherwise, insurance may not pay for the ultrasound.” She insists there’s no harm in asking, but just don't get pushy if the answer is “no."
While ultrasounds are safe during pregnancy, Dr. Adrienne Zertuche, OB-GYN at Atlanta Women’s Healthcare, says that doctors are not 100 percent certain that the energy delivered to your baby via the ultrasound probe is entirely innocuous. “For this reason, your obstetrician will consider a number of factors when deciding the frequency and timing of ultrasounds during your pregnancy,” explains Zertuche, “and it is important that you adhere to his or her recommendation.”
Your first ultrasound may or may not be at your first prenatal visit either, she explains, but your doctor should give you an idea of how many you will have throughout the course of your pregnancy. The APA noted that you may have one ultrasound in the first trimester to verify the pregnancy, and another in the second trimester to evaluate dates, growth, and the well being of the baby and pregnancy.
The number of ultrasounds will vary because all women, physicians, and pregnancies are different. The best answers lie with your OB-GYN, so talk to them about any concerns or requests when it comes to getting an ultrasound.