What You Need to Know About Ultrasound Scans

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Renown Physician Assistant Tamson Carson provides valuable information for mothers to be about the use of ultrasound scans to monitor baby growth.

Ultrasound scans work by sending sound waves through your uterus (womb). These waves bounce off your baby as echoes, which are then turned into an image on a screen that shows your baby’s position and movements. Ultrasound scans are only recommended when there’s a clear medical reason, such as checking your baby’s development. These scans should be performed by a qualified healthcare professional.

How Not to Ultrasound

The recent developments regarding limiting ultrasound use during pregnancy is not surprising. Some moms-to-be are having “ultrasound parties” that can last up to an hour, as well as and having keepsake ultrasounds that aren’t medically necessary, but are simply for pictures or determining the gender. I am in full support of limiting ultrasound use, as we don’t truly know how this can affect the baby in the long term.

An ultrasound that examines the placenta, fetal anatomy and fluid levels are important, and should be done around 18 to 20 weeks gestation with every pregnancy. Also, your doctor may do an ultrasound at your first visit to determine how far along you are and to check for a healthy baby. These ultrasounds and even some done late in pregnancy to evaluate fetal growth, placental location or fluid levels are normal and can be medically necessary.

When you are looking at the baby for prolonged periods (an hour or more) or using 3D/4D ultrasound technology, you need to be careful. If you have any questions at all about ultrasounds, be sure to talk to your doctor.

For more information about your childbirth experience at Renown, click here.

Tamsen Carson, PA


Tamsen Carson is an OB/GYN physician assistant with Renown Health. She provides essential prenatal, pregnancy and post-pregnancy care to women, including delivering babies. Tamsen completed her OB/GYN Physician Assistant residency at Arrowhead Regional Medical Center in Colton, CA and has been a part of the Renown Health team for more than five years.

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