Pregnancy Scan Hacks
Preparing for your scan is the best way to increase the likelihood that you’ll get great ultrasound images at your scan. Many women have special rituals they do before a scan, some stranger than others, but different things work for different people. We once heard that a bag of peas on your tummy can help you get clearer images, but we’ve also heard that if you eat lots of sweets while pregnant you’ll have a girl. With so much strange information floating around, we decided to compile a list of tips and tricks for increasing your chances of getting a great quality scan. These tips are from actual science and not from someone’s great aunt!
Our private baby scans are a great experience for expectant families and we want to help you make the most of it. Following these tips should give you a better chance at some super clear images. Good ultrasound imaging quality is especially important during Gender Determination scans because extra clarity gives extra accuracy.
Extra clarity is also great for 3D/4D Ultrasound Scans, allowing us to get the enviable crystal-clear images of your baby.
There are many factors that can influence the quality of the scan images, including:
- Dehydration, as this makes your amniotic fluid cloudy
- BMI, a higher Body Mass Index may cause the ultrasound signals to be weakened
- Your baby’s position if they are facing inwards
- Your baby’s activity level, if they are reluctant to move into a better position
Sometimes your baby will not be in the mood to put on a show, regardless of how much gentle encouragement we give them, but don’t worry, if we can’t determine the baby’s gender we’ll try again one week later free of charge.
One of the main advantages of having a baby scan in our private ultrasound clinic is having the extra time to really try to get the best images possible. We want your experience to be as special as possible and we know that the main thing that will make it memorable is achieving super clear images of your baby. These are some of our top tips for helping us to achieve super clear images:
1 - Drink lots of water
I know, I know, you’re sick of people always saying this! But, it’s really important for clear ultrasound images. The more hydrated you are, the clearer your amniotic fluid will be. When you are dehydrated your amniotic fluid is cloudy which distorts the images produced by the ultrasound. It is recommended that you drink at least 2 litres of water per day during pregnancy. If you try to meet this goal every day for two weeks leading up to your scan at UltraScan then you’ll give yourself a good chance at getting crystal clear scan images.
If the idea of drinking 2 litres of water per day seems like an impossible goal (the tummy area is pretty crowded right now) then try to incorporate foods that have a high water content such as cucumber and watermelon.
Unfortunately, as you know, an increase in water means an increase in bathroom trips. However, your constantly full bladder can actually be useful during your scan. Your full bladder helps to move the uterus up and the bowel away, resulting in better scan images. Keep in mind, when we say “full” we don’t mean absolutely bursting! Your abdomen will be lightly pressed during the scan and you may feel uncomfortable if your bladder is too full.
2 - Eat before your scan
There are a lot of foods that people might tell you are the “secret” to ensuring your baby is active during your scan. The popular suggestions include fizzy drinks, sweets, caffeine or high protein foods. All of these suggestions stem from one thing: a rise in blood sugar levels. Even before your baby is born they can get a sugar rush which makes them energised and more likely to move around a lot. However, your blood sugar rises after meals and snacks too, so no need to eat lots of junk before your scan if you don’t want to.
You can achieve the same level of activity by having a regular meal just before your scan, or by having a healthy snack shortly before your UltraScan appointment. Bananas are especially good as a snack before your scan as they are high in natural sugars which will gently boost your baby’s energy rather than a big boost of energy all at once.
3 - Pay attention to your baby’s routine
Many babies have a routine even before they are born. You might notice that your baby is very active in the evening, but very still in the morning time. Once you identify a pattern, try to schedule your scan during the time when your baby is most active. With UltraScan you can choose what time of day suits you and your baby’s routine. We open until 9 PM on Tuesday and Wednesday to facilitate the babies who put on their best show at night!
You may find that your baby is most active when you are not active. This is because your movement usually rocks the baby to sleep, then when you stop moving around they wake up. With this in mind, take some time to do nothing before your scan, if possible.
4 - Relax
You’ll be in the best possible environment to bond with your unborn baby, we’ll work with you to get the best possible images and videos. When you have a private maternity scan the emphasis is on you getting an opportunity to bond with your baby. You will be free from the usual hectic atmosphere in the public maternity hospitals and you can just focus on your baby. You can just lie down and let our amazing staff do what they do best.
Once it’s time for your scan, all that’s left to do is enjoy. The extra effort will be worth it when you see your baby in HD live on our large screens. We’ll capture images and videos of your baby which will all be sent to you via Whatsapp or email, ready to share immediately with friends and family. You’ll also get 5 glossy black & white photos from the ultrasound machine and you can choose your 2 favourite photos to be professionally printed at the reception.
Pop over to our Facebook page to see great examples of our work and check out our reviews – we’re extremely proud to be rated 5/5.
We hope to welcome you and baby very soon to our beautiful clinic in Fashion City, Ballymount.