Your eight week ultrasound can be an exciting and apprehensive moment.
If this is your first ultrasound you will be understandably anxious. Getting a glimpse of your baby for the first time is big.
It’s important to remember that you have control of any decisions made about your pregnancy. You are allowed to refuse any tests suggested by a healthcare professional if you feel unsure about them. If you don’t understand something that has been suggested for you, always ask for more information. Pregnancy healthcare professionals are used to lots of questions so ask away!
The purpose of an 8 week ultrasound
From anywhere between eight and 12 weeks pregnant, your healthcare professional might suggest that you schedule your first ultrasound appointment. This is also called your “dating” scan.
The main reason for this scan is to confirm the gestational age of your baby. This date is based on your baby’s size and will be a very close estimation.
Some eight week ultrasounds might be performed for other reasons, including:
- If you are experiencing bleeding
- If multiple pregnancies are suspected
- To check the size of your embryo
- To confirm that your baby has a heartbeat
- To check the health of your ovaries and fallopian tubes
- To rule out an ectopic pregnancy or other problems
If you have just discovered you are pregnant but you aren’t sure when you became pregnant your chosen healthcare professional might also recommend an ultrasound.
Eight weeks pregnant is an early stage to perform an ultrasound and you wouldn’t ordinarily need one so early.
What to expect during your 8 week ultrasound
Depending on your healthcare professional and your personal preferences, your eight week ultrasound can be performed using a wand across your abdomen or another type of wand inside your vagina. A vaginal ultrasound is helpful if your bladder isn’t full enough or your uterus is still too small to see.
At this point in your pregnancy, an ultrasound can confirm that your baby is healthy and progressing as it should be.
If you are having twins (or more), you might be able to see multiple yolk sacs and multiple heartbeats. However, as it is still early days one baby may be missed at this stage.
Don’t be afraid to ask your sonographer questions. If this is your first ultrasound it’s very normal that you would be curious about what you see on screen.
Your baby at 8 weeks
At eight weeks pregnant, your baby will measure about 1.6 centimetres and it will be losing its little tadpole tail. Keep in mind that your baby’s big forehead and tiny body will still make him or her look rather disproportionate at this stage.
Your little one will also start to make involuntary movements, similar to a slight flicker or a jump. These movements are extremely tiny so you won’t be able to feel them.
Inside and out, a number of your baby’s body parts will start to become more defined as well, including their: