What you’ll find out at your baby’s anatomy ultrasound

Even if you don’t plan to find out baby’s sex, the anatomy ultrasound is a big deal.

What you’ll find out at your baby’s anatomy ultrasound

Even if you don’t plan to find out baby’s sex, the anatomy ultrasound that occurs near the midway point of pregnancy is a big deal.

For you, it may very well be the last time you’ll get to see the little one dance it up on the screen. ?

For the ultrasound technician (and the doctor who reviews the scanned images), it’s a chance to study how baby is developing to make sure everything is on track — which can be nerve wracking for you.

We know this may be easier said than done, but to keep that anxiety in check ahead of time it could help to understand what the technician will be looking for and to plan what questions you’ll ask.

The mid-pregnancy ultrasound is used to carefully check the baby’s anatomy for problems, see if the placenta is in the proper place, determine the amount of amniotic fluid and even screen for birth defects such as Down syndrome.

Some ultrasound technicians or doctors will talk you through every step while others may keep quiet during the scan.

If you have one of the latter variety, don’t be afraid to ask questions. Here are a few to get you started...

How’s that little heart? ?

According to the March of Dimes, nearly one perfect of infants are born with some type of heart defect.

The good news is that these conditions can often be detected during the anomaly scan, which can help you and your doctors adequately prepare for treatment.

Boston’s Children’s Hospital recommends asking a few heart-specific questions during the ultrasound.

Those include whether there are four chambers, whether the valves are in the proper places, if the vessels cross where they exit, if the wall between the lower chambers is intact and if everything else appears normal.

What does her brain look like?:

The big brain defect the ultrasound technician will be looking for is anencephaly, which means part of the brain or skull isn’t present and is almost always fatal shortly after birth.

Also ask if there appear to be any cysts. Even if there are, it isn’t a huge cause for concern—these happen with an estimated one-in-50 healthy babies and often disappear before birth.

However, in less than one percent of the cases where a certain kind of cyst is present, the baby also has trisomy 18 or three copies of chromosome 18.

For that reason, if a cyst is detected, your doctor may recommend further tests.

Can I see babys sweet little face?:

The ultrasound technician should see if baby appears to have a cleft lip, which is one of the most common birth defects.

Just ask to make sure this is checked out because determining if there is a cleft lip in advance will give you time to get in touch with specialists who can help after birth.

What’s inside baby’s abdomen?:

With so many major organs, there is a bunch the tech will be looking at during this part of the test.

For starters, you can ask if two kidneys are visible, if the bladder appears to be working properly and if the stomach, liver and abdominal wall are all in place.

On the back side, the technician will check the spine to make sure it’s covered by skin and the vertebrae are aligned.

Can we see that chest?:

A little bit higher up, the tech should take a good look at baby’s diaphragm and lungs.

Most congenital lung defects can be diagnosed at this time, so it’s important to make sure the technician is taking a good look at the lung tissues, whether there are any masses and if everything seems to be forming properly.

Try not to worry, and enjoy the view of your little one, mama!

Products that solve your biggest breastfeeding challenges

Including a battle plan for clogged ducts!

When expecting a baby, there is a lot you can test-run in advance: Take that stroller around the block. Go for a spin with the car seat secured in place. Learn how to use the baby carrier with help from a doll. But breastfeeding? It's not exactly possible to practice before baby's arrival.

The absence of a trial makes it all the more important to prepare in other ways for breastfeeding success—and it can be as simple as adding a few of our lactation aiding favorites to your registry.

MilkBliss chocolate chip soft baked lactation cookies

MilkBliss lactation cookies

Studies have shown the top reason women stop breastfeeding within the first year is because they are concerned about their milk supply being enough to nourish baby. Consider MilkBliss Lactation Cookies to be your secret weapon. Not only are they wholesome and delicious, but they were formulated specifically for breastfeeding moms based on the science of galactagogues—also known as milk boosters. They also come in peanut butter and wild blueberry flavors.


Evereden multi-purpose healing balm

Evereden multipurpose healing balm

Also up there on the list of reasons women stop breastfeeding: the toll the early days can take on nipples. Made from just five ingredients, this all natural healing balm is ideal for soothing chafed nipples, making for a much more comfortable experience for mama as her body adjusts to the needs of a breastfeeding baby.


Lansinoh milk storage bags

Lansinoh milk storage bags

For a breastfeeding mama, there are few things more precious and valuable than the milk she worked so hard to pump—and it's the stuff of nightmares to imagine it spilling out in the fridge. With these double-sealed milk storage bags, you can be assured your breastmilk is safe and sound until baby needs it.


Belly Bandit bandita nursing bra

Belly Bandit bandita nursing bra

Nursing a baby is a 24/7 job, which calls for some wardrobe modifications. Because Belly Bandit specializes in making things more comfortable for the postpartum mama, they've truly thought of every detail—from the breathable fabric to the clips that can be easily opened with one hand.


boob-ease soothing therapy pillows

Boob Ease soothing therapy pillows

For nursing moms, duct can quickly become a four-letter word when you suspect it's getting clogged. By keeping these soothing breast pillows in your breastfeeding arsenal, you can immediately go on the defense against plugged milk ducts by heating the pads in the microwave or cooling them in the freezer.


Belly Bandit perfect nursing tee

Belly Bandit perfect nursing tee

A unfortunate reality of nursing is that it can really seem to limit the wardrobe options when you have to think about providing easy, discrete access. But by adding functional basics to your closet, you can feel confident and prepared for breastfeeding on the go.


Bebe au Lait premium cotton nursing cover

Bebe au Lait cotton nursing cover

Nursing in public isn't every mama's cup of tea. But babies can't always wait until you've found a private place to get down to business if that's your preference. That's where a nursing cover comes in handy. This one is made from premium cotton and features a patented neckline that allows for airflow and eye contact even while you're covered.


Lactation Lab basic breastmilk testing kit

Lactation Lab breastmilk testing kit

Curious to learn more about the liquid gold you're making, mama? The testing kit from Lactation Labs analyzes your breast milk for basic nutritional content like calories and protein, as well as vitamins, fatty acids and environmental toxins to help boost your breastfeeding confidence.


We independently select and share the products we love—and may receive a commission if you choose to buy. You've got this


5 brilliant products that encourage toddler independence

Help your little one help themselves.

One of our main goals as mothers is to encourage our children to learn, grow and play. They start out as our tiny, adorable babies who need us for everything, and somehow, before you know it, they grow into toddlers with ideas and opinions and desires of their own.

You may be hearing a lot more of "I do it!" or maybe they're pushing your hand away as a signal to let you know, I don't need your help, Mama. That's okay. They're just telling you they're ready for more independence. They want to be in charge of their bodies, and any little bit of control their lives and abilities allow.

So, instead of challenging your toddler's desire for autonomy, we found five of our favorite products to help encourage independence—and eliminate frustration in the process.

EKOBO Bamboo 4-piece kid set

EKOBO bamboo 4-piece kid set

This colorful set includes a plate, cup, bowl and spoon and is just right for your child's meal experience. Keep them in an easy-to-reach cabinet so they'll feel encouraged (and excited!) to get their own place setting each time they eat.


Puj PhillUp hangable kids cups

Puj PhillUp hangable kids cups

Before you know it, your little one will be asking (okay, maybe demanding) to fill their own water cups. This amazing 4-pack of cups attaches directly to the fridge (or any glass, metal, tile or fiberglass surface) making it easier for your child to grab a cup themselves. Just be sure a water pitcher or dispenser is nearby, and—boom!—one task off your plate.


Wise Elk puzzle tower blocks

Wise Elk puzzle tower blocks

These beautiful blocks, made from sustainably-sourced wood and water-based, non-toxic, lead-free paint, will keep your little one focused on their creation while they're also busy working on their fine-motor skills. The puzzle design will encourage patience as your kiddo creates their own building, fitting one block in after the next.


Lorena Canals basket

Lorena Canals Basket

This *gorgeous* braided cotton basket is the perfect, accessible home for their blocks (and whatever else you want to hide away!) so your kiddo can grab them (and clean them up) whenever their heart desires.


BABYBJÖRN step stool

BABYBJ\u00d6RN Step Stool

Your kiddo might be ready to take on the world, but they might need an extra boost to do so—cue, a step stool! An easy-to-move lightweight stool is the must-have confidence-boosting tool you need in your home so your growing tot can reach, well... the world.


We independently select and share the products we love—and may receive a commission if you choose to buy. You've got this.


This viral post about the 4th trimester is exactly what new mamas need right now

"We are alone. Together. You are surrounded all the other mothers who are navigating this tender time in isolation. You are held by all of us who have walked the path before you and who know how much you must be hurting. You are wrapped in the warm embrace of mama earth, as she too settles into this time of slowness and healing."

Artist and teacher Catie Atkinson at Spirit y Sol recently shared a beautiful drawing of a new mom crying on a couch—leaking breasts, newborn baby, pile of laundry and what we can only assume is cold coffee, included. Everything about the image is so real and raw to me—from the soft stomach to the nursing bra and the juxtaposition of the happy wallpaper to the palpable vulnerability of the mother—I can almost feel the couch underneath me. I can feel the exhaustion deep in this woman's bones.

My heart feels the ache of loneliness right alongside hers. Because I remember. I remember the confusion and uncertainty and love and messy beauty of the fourth trimester so well. After all, it's etched in our minds and bodies forever.

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