What is a 4D Sonogram
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Imagine being able to watch your baby suck her thumb in real time--before she's even been born! That's a 4D Sonogram for you.
Transcript: You may already be familiar with the sonogram pictures your doctor takes of your baby. Now, modern technology...
You may already be familiar with the sonogram pictures your doctor takes of your baby. Now, modern technology is taking the sonogram to a whole new dimension. A normal sonogram uses a probe to transmit sound waves into your belly. The probe then "listens" for an echoing sound, which it uses to create a three dimensional picture of your fetus. Recently, doctors have discovered an even more advanced viewing technology: The four dimensional sonogram. A 4D sonogram works in the same way as a 3D one, but adds a fourth-dimension-time-to the picture. The result is a live-action "video" of your baby in real time. With a 4D sonogram, you can watch your baby wriggle, smile, suck his thumb, and more. Doctors like 4D technology, too, because the movement patterns can help a doctor quickly discern how a baby is developing. The 4D sonogram is also a valuable diagnostic tool because it can identify problems with a fetus sooner than would otherwise be possible. After a 4D sonogram, your doctor can use a process called volume rendering to take moving images and compile them into still-frame photos. Because 4D sonograms are still relatively new, they are not available in all hospitals - nor are they necessary for most pregnancies. If you're interested in learning more about this viewing technology, talk to your doctor.More »
Last Modified: 2012-11-17 | Tags »
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First trimester sonogram can help a doctor determine the size of your baby and its growth. Find out what kinds of sonography procedures are used in this video.
Transcript: Quick - how is having a baby like submarine warfare? If you said that submarines and doctors both use...
Quick - how is having a baby like submarine warfare? If you said that submarines and doctors both use sonar technology, you move to the head of the class! An ultrasound is a procedure that uses high frequency sound waves to scan your uterus.Those waves are then translated into an image of your developing baby. This technology is very similar sonar, which is used to locate and map things which are underwater, like submarines or sharks. In the first trimester, your doctor may perform a traditional abdominal ultrasound... But more commonly, she'll place sound probes in your vagina for a transvaginal sonogram, which can provide a clearer picture early in pregnancy. During about the sixth week of your pregnancy, either type of ultrasound can confirm that you are indeed pregnant. Your doctor will be able to measure the baby's size at this point, and can therefore estimate its gestational age. If your baby's gestational age is a full 6 weeks, it might be possible to detect your baby's heart rate. This sonogram will also be able to check for an ectopic pregnancy, whereby a fertilized egg implants outside the uterus. During your eighth week, another sonogram is performed. By this time, you should see able to see the heart beating strongly. At any point during the first trimester, a sonogram may also be ordered to check for a suspected miscarriage. And while all of this can be scary, know that most babies are fine and there is no reason to believe that yours won't be, too!More »
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Your third trimester ultrasound will help you and your doctor prepare for delivery. Find out how by watching this video.
Transcript: Congratulations, you've hit the final stretch! Here's what your sonogrammer will be looking for this...
Congratulations, you've hit the final stretch! Here's what your sonogrammer will be looking for this month. By week 24, your doctor will be able to use a sonogram to determine how your placenta is positioned. In most pregnancies, it will be high in the top of the uterus. Sometimes, however, a placenta will be "low lying," which can be a concern. That's because, if the placenta does not move up from the bottom of the uterus, it can cover the cervix and make delivery difficult. This is known as placenta previa. During the last trimester of your pregnancy, a sonogram will also be able to determine which way your baby is positioned. This is important in the weeks leading up to pregnancy, as the baby should be resting with his or her head down. A sonogram can confirm that this is the case, and can also show if the baby is breeched, or lying feet first. During the last trimester, though, sonograms will mostly be used to determine that the baby is growing appropriately. However, if your delivery is overdue by a week or more, a sonogram can also be ordered to confirm the well being of your baby.More »
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The nuchal translucency test is important for pregnant women to have in order to determine certain illneses your baby may be at risk for. Watch this video to learn more about the test.
Transcript: The Nuchal Translucency Screening can be both confusing and scary to a mom-to-be? The Nuchal Transluscency...
The Nuchal Translucency Screening can be both confusing and scary to a mom-to-be? The Nuchal Transluscency Screening, or NT, is a pre-natal ultrasound scan which assesses your babys risk of being born with certain illnesses, including chromosomal abnormalities like Down Syndrome and certain heart problems. If you choose to have an NT test, it will be performed during weeks 11 to 13 of your pregnancy. Heres how an NT works: An ultrasound technician will start by determining your babys gestational age by measuring him from crown to rump. Then, shell measure the thickness of the fluid under the skin at the back of your babys neck, the area known as the nuchal fold. When a baby has greater amounts of fluid built up in the nuchal fold, the clear space on the sonogram behind the neck is larger than average. Babies who have chromosomal abnormalities generally exhibit this build up of fluid, but not every baby who exhibits a buildup of fluid behind their neck will have an illness. A complete assessment needs to take into account several additional factors. In addition to the Nuchal ultrasound, most women will provide a blood sample for screening. The results of these tests, plus the babys gestational age and the mothers age, are all incorporated into the results. The mothers age is a factor because women who are older than 30 are significantly more likely to deliver a baby with Down Syndrome. Once you have the results, you will need your doctor to help you interpret them. Remember: The Nuchal Translucency Screening does not definitively say if there is a problem with your baby. Instead, an NT test shows youwith about 70 to 80 percent accuracy how likely it is that the baby has a genetic abnormality. If it looks like your baby may have a problem, your doctor might recommend that you undergo amniocentesis, which requires taking a sample of your amniotic fluid. But because amniocentesis comes with a 1 in 200 chance of miscarriage, many women choose not to undergo this step. A Nuchal Translucency Screening can provide critical information about your babys health. Ultimately though, how you use that information, and whether you want the test at all, is a personal decision.More »
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Pregnant women who have specific health concerns about their baby may consider amniocentesis. Find out more about amniocentesis by watching this video.
Transcript: Amniocentesis is a prenatal test that is given on a case-by-case basis. Here's how to determine if it's...
Amniocentesis is a prenatal test that is given on a case-by-case basis. Here's how to determine if it's right for you. Amniocentesis, which is used to screen for chromosomal and genetic disorders, is usually conducted during weeks 16 to 20 of your pregnancy. The procedure is invasive and involves the insertion of a long, thin needle into your abdomen. The needle is used to obtain a small sample of your amniotic fluid. During the procedure, some women feel slight cramping or pinching, although others notice no symptoms at all. So why would you want to get an "amnio" done on your baby? Many women decide to get this procedure if they have had other tests which suggest that their baby may have abnormalities, including...Tay-Sachs disease, cystic fibrosis, Down Syndrome, Turner's Syndrome, sickle cell disease, spina bifida and others. Other women get the test simply because they have a higher genetic or age risk for these abnormalities. Women who choose to have amniocentesis do so in hopes of receiving the peace of mind that the procedure can potentially offer them if their baby is fine. When the news is not good, the test results allow parents to make an informed decision about terminating the pregnancy, or at least provide the parents with time to prepare for the birth. Some women, however, have no desire to know whether their baby has an abnormality, since termination is not an option for them. Still others shy away from the procedure due to the risk involved-about one in 200 amniocentesis procedures results in a miscarriage. Because amniocentesis can be a controversial procedure, the decision to make it is totally up to you-and no choice is right or wrong.More »
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You may wonder what over the counter medications are safe to take during pregnancy. Check out this video to find out more.
Transcript: Pregnancy can sure be a headache! But is it safe to take an over-the-counter medication to soothe the...
Pregnancy can sure be a headache! But is it safe to take an over-the-counter medication to soothe the strain? If you're suffering from a headache or muscle pain during pregnancy, it's fine to take Tylenol, also known as acetaminophen. Other medications which are considered safe include: Nasal decongestant spray for a cold or sinus infection... and antacids-including prescription strength ones-for heartburn. Even cold medications containing small amounts of alcohol, like Nyquil, are probably fine during pregnancy. Even with safe medications, however, it is still wise to use them in moderation. In addition, you should never consume any medication at doses larger than those listed on the packaging. One class of drugs to avoid entirely is the NSAIDs, or Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. Drugs in this class include Aleve, Aspirin, and Ibuprofen, which is sometimes marketed as Advil or Motrin. Some of these medications can potentially cause birth defects, and all of them can increase how much you bleed, which is particularly important as you approach labor. If you still have questions about an OTC medication, it's smart to call your doctor to ask about its use.More »
Last Modified: 2013-10-02 | Tags »
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Are you pregnant and worrying about the medications you take for specific conditions? Find out more medicating while expecting by watching this video.
Transcript: You know Tylenol is OK while you're pregnant, but what if your condition is more pressing than a muscle...
You know Tylenol is OK while you're pregnant, but what if your condition is more pressing than a muscle ache? When you are pregnant, you'll still need to deal with all of the day-to-day health issues that plague all of us. One common question women have is whether it's safe to take an over-the-counter anti-diarrheal medication. In fact, taking Imodium while you are pregnant can be a smart precaution, since consistent diarrhea can lead to dangerous dehydration. Some women complain of motion sickness during pregnancy, and want to know what treatment options are safe. If you're among them, it's fine to take an OTC aid, like Dramamine, to combat nausea. Yet another common pregnancy condition is insomnia. Unfortunately, no sleeping aids have been shown to be completely safe for a fetus. While two medications-Ambien and Benadryl-are probably fine, studies on their effects have thus far been limited to animals. More intense sleep medications, like Lunesta and Sonata, may cause metabolism and brain damage to a fetus, and should be avoided. If you are unfortunate enough to get a migraine headache while you are pregnant, it is probably okay to take narcotics, like codeine, to ease the ache. But older migraine medications, like Depakote and Fiorinal, could lead to neural birth defects or paralyzation. It's always smart to be cautious during pregnancy, so talk to your doctor before taking any kind of medication.More »
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If you have concerns about what medications to take during pregnancy, you'll be pleased to know that not ALL medications are off limits. Check out this video for more information about pregnancy and medications.
Transcript: For many women who rely on prescription medication, pregnancy offers a tough decision: Should I risk...
For many women who rely on prescription medication, pregnancy offers a tough decision: Should I risk harming my baby to keep myself well? The good news is that some common prescription medications are fine to take while you're expecting. These include most allergy and thyroid stimulation medications. However, some doctors advise women to steer clear of newer, less-researched allergy meds, like Allegra. Other prescription medications may not be as safe for a baby, yet can be vital to a mother's health. For example, anti-depressants may lead to lung problems, limb malformations, or heart defects in a fetus. But these side effects are very rare, and a mother may find that keeping her depression under control is worth the risk. Similarly, anti-epilepsy medications can lead to stillbirth or serious birth defects in a fetus. These problems, however, are seen in less than 10-percent of babies born to women on these medications, and... some doctors believe that seizures during pregnancy pose a more serious risk to the fetus than the potential side effects of anti-epilepsy medications. Because every woman's condition and pregnancy is different, however, it's vital to talk to your doctor about which prescriptions you can take while expecting.More »
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Alcohol and pregnancy do not mix. Drinking alcohol while you're pregnant puts your fetus at risk for serious health complications. Watch this video for details.
Transcript: Fast fact: More than 10 percent of women in the U.S. drink during pregnancy. Here's why that's harmful....
Fast fact: More than 10 percent of women in the U.S. drink during pregnancy. Here's why that's harmful. An unborn baby and booze don't mix, and you'd be hard pressed to find a doctor to disagree. When consumed during pregnancy, alcohol travels through your blood to your placenta and reaches your baby. Because a fetus breaks down alcohol much more slowly than an adult, it will often have higher blood alcohol levels than its mother. As a result, a baby that is given alcohol in the womb is more likely to develop any number of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders. In fact, the Center for Disease Control lists exposure to alcohol as the number one most preventable risk for birth defects. The most severe illness that can result from in utero exposure to alcohol is Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, a lifelong condition characterized by...poor growth (both in the womb and after birth), abnormal facial features, mental retardation, behavioral problems and delays in development. Even when Fetal Alcohol Syndrome doesn't occur, alcohol exposure can still lead to miscarriage, very early birth and a host of other mental and behavioral problems. If you're pregnant, it's important to stop drinking as soon as you find out-your child's future depends on it.More »
Last Modified: 2013-06-07 | Tags »
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Smoking during pregnancy will harm your fetus's health. Watch this video for details on cigarettes and pregnancy.
Transcript: Up to 13 percent of women still smoke during their pregnancies. Cigarette smoke contains over 4,000 chemicals,...
Up to 13 percent of women still smoke during their pregnancies. Cigarette smoke contains over 4,000 chemicals, all of which enter the blood stream and head straight for your baby. Two of these in particularcarbon monoxide and nicotinenarrow the blood vessels in the umbilical cord. Since this is the babys source of oxygen, when this happens it becomes much harder for him to breathe. Oxygen deprivation in the womb can lead to stillbirth, premature delivery, low birth weight, learning disorders and a lower IQ. If youre a non-smoker, but your partner lights up, your baby is still subjected to serious risks. In fact, the CDC says that women exposed to secondhand smoke have a 20 percent greater chance of delivering underweight babies than women who arent exposed. Even women who spend a great deal of time around wood fires may experience similar negative effects due to inhalation of carbon monoxide. This risk, however, is smaller than the risk of smoking, and not something to be worried about if it occurs in moderation. If youre pregnant and cant stop smoking, talk to your doctor about quitting. If you can do so by week 14, youre about as likely as anyone to have a healthy baby!More »
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All you want is sleep, right? But you want to sleep safely for the little one your carrying. Check out this video to learn more about safe sleep during pregnancy.
Transcript: Forget ice cream, you just crave sleep! Here, tips to make snoozing safer for your little one. It is...
Forget ice cream, you just crave sleep! Here, tips to make snoozing safer for your little one. It is most commonly recommended that a pregnant woman sleep on her left side. This position improves the flow of blood and nutrients to the placenta. It also helps your kidneys efficiently eliminate fluids from your body. In turn, you'll sidestep some swelling in your feet and ankles. During the first twenty weeks or so of pregnancy, it's ok to sleep on your back. After that though, you should try not to, because the weight of your uterus could press on the artery which leads from your legs to your heart, resulting in reduced blood flow to your baby. You can also sleep on your right side, or your stomach, if that is comfortable for you. But by the third trimester, most women would rather sit up than lie on their bellies! Regardless of the position you sleep in while you are pregnant, if you're cold at night, you may wish to use an electric blanket. This is fine as long as you don't allow your body temperature to rise above 103 degrees, which can harm your baby. No matter how you sleep, make sure you do. Growing a baby is a lot of work!More »
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Although pregnancy can be a time of cravings and indulgences, pregnant women should be careful about what kinds of foods they're consuming--seafood especially. Learn more about seafood during pregnancy by watching this video.
Transcript: With all of the alarming news about mercury, pregnancy diet decisions can be difficult for a girl who...
With all of the alarming news about mercury, pregnancy diet decisions can be difficult for a girl who likes her seafood. How's this for confusing: The omega-3s provided by seafood have been shown to help your baby's developing brain thrive. But eating fish contaminated with mercury, PCBs, dioxins and pesticides has been shown to cause pre-term labor, miscarriage and birth defects. Before you fret, know that most doctors agree that the benefits of eating some seafood-up to 12 ounces weekly-far outweigh the risks. To be safe about what you consume, take high mercury fish like shark, mackerel, swordfish and tilefish off your plate for now. However, lots of fish are relatively pollutant-free. You can enjoy scallops, shrimp, flounder, sole, clams, oysters, tilapia, catfish, crayfish, whitefish and sardines with relative safety. Tuna can be safe, but some forms are safer than others. For example, tuna steaks are high in mercury, and should be avoided, but canned light tuna is ok, as long as you limit yourself to six ounces a week. It's smart to vary what you eat while you're pregnant-don't have any one type of fish more than once a week. In addition, because most fish have a high concentration of toxins in their skin, it's beneficial to remove the skin before cooking, and you can remove even more toxins by always cooking the fish all the way through. Unfortunately, the possibility of raw toxins does mean that sushi is off the good list for now-so why not enjoy a sardine snack in the meantime?More »
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Mercury can be extremely dangerous for your unborn baby. Find out more about this by watching this video on pregnancy and mercury.
Transcript: You love tuna and other fish dishes, but, oh mercy, the mercury! Mercury compounds, like methylmercury,...
You love tuna and other fish dishes, but, oh mercy, the mercury! Mercury compounds, like methylmercury, are chemical byproducts dumped into our oceans and rivers, which can contaminate some of the fish we eat. While mercury hasn't yet been shown to significantly harm adults, it can be extremely bad for babies. When a pregnant woman ingests mercury from fish, it can pass easily through a mother's body into her baby's placenta. This metal is toxic to a baby's nervous system and can result in disabilities ranging from cerebral palsy to mental retardation. For this reason, it is wise to avoid large, high-mercury fish while pregnant, including: shark, swordfish, king mackerel and tilefish. Another worrisome fish is tuna, which tends to have a moderate level of mercury. Tuna isn't completely off-limits, but pregnant women should limit their consumption of it, and avoid tuna steaks and filets, which have been shown to be high in the toxin. Instead, stick to light, canned tuna, and don't consume more than six ounces of it a week. You can feel safe about consuming smaller fish, like sardines, catfish and tilapia. Most shellfish is fine, as well, with the exception of lobster, which, like tuna has moderate mercury content. Unfortunately, methylmercury remains in your system for up to a year after it is consumed. A. Because mercury consumed even prior to pregnancy can harm a fetus, B. it's wise to minimize dangerous fish if you're trying to conceive. However, if you became pregnant unexpectedly and know that you've consumed large amounts of mercury, don't panic - it most likely won't have any consequences. However, you should stop eating fish that have mercury, and talk to your doctor. If you are concerned, you can always have a test performed to ascertain the level of mercury in your system. Today's pregnant woman needs to be very careful to minimize her mercury intake, but remember, just because mercury is bad for you doesn't mean you should stop eating fish.More »
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