You are 11 Weeks and 1 Day 202 days to go…
In this final week of your
first trimester, you’ll probably have your first ultrasound scan and
see your baby for the first time.
Although on a scan it might look as though the baby is resting
on her back, the fluid in the amniotic sac means that she is floating in
a near weightless environment and can easily move into any position
within the uterus.
Your baby today
You and your partner have reached an exciting milestone.
You’ll have your first ultrasound around now and see your baby; this
may help you feel closer to her. For many men, seeing the baby on the
scan may be the first time the pregnancy becomes a reality.
At this scan, your baby’s length will be measured (see You are 11 Weeks and 2 Days)
and this will be used to figure out her age. Up until about 12 weeks of
pregnancy, all babies grow at around the same rate so irrespective of
whether you and your partner are tall or short, at this time your baby
will be the same size as others at this stage of development.
Figuring out your due date (see When will your baby be born?)
using the first day of your period, isn’t always accurate, especially
if your menstrual cycle is long or irregular. The dating scan can give a
more accurate expected date of delivery, but it by no means tells you
for certain—very few babies arrive on their actual due date.
You may be given a printout
of your baby. Don’t be surprised to find yourself looking at it again,
and again, and again! It’s also a great way to share the news with
It’s really happening!
As a dad-to-be, going to your first scan
will be a time of great excitement, but you may be anxious too. It’s
normal for you and your partner to wonder if your baby is okay and be
desperate to hear that all is well.
The first scan may
seem quite technical since it is used to detect your baby’s heartbeat
and take some measurements, but it’s also very emotional. In reality,
the first scan gives you the first look at this new life. It lets you
see your baby moving around, with legs kicking and arms flailing, even
though your partner can’t feel these movements yet.
Perhaps, as a man,
the biggest shock of the scan is the fact that it confronts you for the
first time with the physical evidence that your baby really exists.
Your partner is likely to be more used to the idea of pregnancy, because
she’s carrying the baby, but the scan will make the pregnancy much more
real to you, and you may be surprised at how emotional you feel.
First Ultrasound Scan
Your first scan at 8–14 weeks
can pinpoint the length of your pregnancy to within a five to seven day
window. Such accurate dating helps to estimate your due date and
determine the right time to perform tests later in pregnancy.
Your first scan
ultrasound helps to accurately establish your baby’s gestational age.
This is particularly useful if you are not sure when your last menstrual
period was, if you have irregular periods, or you became pregnant
immediately after you stopped using contraception such as the pill. At
this stage of pregnancy, your baby can be measured from crown to rump
(from the top of the baby’s head to its bottom). In addition to
establishing your due date and the timing of other screening and
diagnostic tests, accurate dating of your pregnancy is important since
it helps avoid misdiagnosis of problems such as poor fetal growth.
Your due date will usually be changed at this scan if there is more
than a five to seven day difference between your menstrual dates and the
dates based on the crown–rump length.
A scan may be given before 10 weeks if you have bleeding or pain to rule out the possibility of a miscarriage or ectopic pregnancy.
How the scan is done
ultrasound scan, high-frequency sound waves are emitted through the
abdomen via a handheld device called a transducer. As the sound waves
hit solid tissue, they translate into an image that is viewed on a
computer screen and interpreted by the sonographer.
At this scan, you will
need to drink plenty of water to raise the uterus and provide a clearer
image. The sonographer will put some cold gel on your abdomen to
maximize contact with the skin and will then move the transducer gently
over the area.
By 12 weeks the fetus has taken on a human appearance. The forehead, eye sockets, and small button nose are all visible in profile.
Measuring the diameter of your baby’s head (the biparietal diameter) helps assess your baby’s growth and date your pregnancy.
What the scan shows
What can be seen on a first scan?
In addition to confirming your dates, your first scan may reveal some other useful information.
This scan usually confirms whether you have a single or multiple pregnancy (twins, triplets, or more).
Uterine anomalies can be seen, such as a double uterus, although this is rare. Uterine fibroids (benign tumors) will also be identified.
The scan may reveal an ovarian cyst (corpus luteum) on the ovary that produced the egg. These are common and can persist in the first trimester.
Major anomalies may be seen, but most are diagnosed at the 20-week scan when the organs are seen.
You are 11 Weeks and 2 Days 201 days to go…
The dating scan is reassuring because it’s an opportunity for your baby’s progress and development to be thoroughly checked.
This image shows the yolk sac at the 12 o’clock position with
the placenta seen as a thickening to the lining of the uterus on the
left. The baby is in the lower part of the uterus and is positioned
lying on her back.
Your baby today
At your ultrasound scan, the pregnancy is dated
according to your baby’s length from crown (head) to rump (bottom)
because he is—and will remain—quite curled up. This is known as the CRL
Since your baby can
flex his spine and stretch his neck, this measurement needs to be taken
with your baby in a specific position so it can take some time to
achieve. The measurement is used to estimate your baby’s date of
delivery and this may be different than the EDD you calculated .
This first ultrasound
scan should be able to recognize all four limbs, your baby’s hands and
feet, the spine, some aspects of brain development, the fluid-filled
stomach, and the bladder. From now on your baby’s kidneys will be
producing small amounts of very dilute urine and the bladder will start
I’ve had quite a few pregnancy symptoms and don’t feel as
though my body is my own. How can I relax and enjoy being pregnant?
Not all women adapt well to pregnancy and for some dealing
with the symptoms and worrying about issues such as weight gain, makes
them feel out of control. The best way to cope with these feelings is to
embrace the changes and remain in touch with your body by exercising
and taking time to focus on what is happening inside you. We spend most
of our lives listening to all the things that happen on the outside, but
very little time focusing on the inside.
Take a few minutes
each day to practice deep breathing and relaxation and consider learning
some pregnancy yoga and meditation techniques (see image).
changes happening to your body may be mirrored in the wide swings of
emotions and feelings you experience throughout your pregnancy. Some
days you may feel excited and elated at the prospect of becoming a
parent, and on others you may feel overwhelmed and anxious.
Perhaps the nine
months’ gestation period is nature’s way of giving us time to get used
to the idea of becoming a parent, and allowing us time to deal with our
emotions and prepare for the birth. So try to relax but if you’re
feeling really anxious, speak to your doctor.
This simple yoga pose
allows you to fully relax your body and mind. Consider joining a
pregnancy yoga class since it’s a great way to learn techniques and also
an opportunity meet other moms-to-be.
Dating scans are only an estimate. The chance of delivering on your due date is only around 5 percent.
So keep the estimated due date in mind but don’t expect your baby to abide by it!