Important Things You Should Know About Fetal Echocardiography

Important Things You Should Know About Fetal Echocardiography

Sep 01, 2020

When you first find out you are pregnant, the excitement and the anxiety about the new phase of your life can be overwhelming. Soon enough, you begin to plan out your life with the inclusion of one extra being. The anticipation builds up as you go along with your pregnancy.

The thought that something may be wrong with your baby is nothing any mother wants to have. Unfortunately, with pregnancies, the fragile nature of the process makes it vulnerable to so many things. In that light, is a fetal echocardiography something you should dread or celebrate? Read on to learn more.

What Is Fetal Echocardiography?

It is a sophisticated ultrasound test that involves fetal imaging to find out more about the health of a fetus during pregnancy. This test can be used to determine any heart irregularities of a fetus, as soon as four months after conception.

The main purpose of the sensitive ultrasound is to detect any congenital heart disease in fetuses. Unfortunately, this is the most common birth defect for children in America. When this test is done, it allows your attending doctor to prepare for emergency situations during the birth of your child.

How Does It Work?

This ultrasound uses sound waves that “echo” the features of a fetus’s heart. The sound waves are then analyzed by a specific machine, which produces images or echocardiograms of the heart’s structure. The pictures will depict all the important information about the functioning of your baby’s heart, including the blood flow through the fetus’s heart.

Typically, this test should be done in the second trimester of your pregnancy, that is, between 18-24 weeks.

When Is the Ultrasound Recommended?

During your clinical visits, the obstetrician will continuously be checking the progress of your pregnancy and the health of your fetus. When an irregular heart rate is detected during one of your ultrasound scans, it raises the alarm. At that stage, you have no reason to freak out.

The fetal echocardiography is the next step for analyzing the health of your fetus. This scan is only ordered as a precautionary measure. The idea of it is to ascertain that your fetus is in good health while trying to find an explanation for the irregular heart rate.

The results of the fetal echo scans do not necessarily have to be negative. Usually, the risks are only higher is you have an underlying health issue like diabetes, which can increase the risks of heart problems. Aside from that, if you have any history of having children with birth defects or have been undergoing any serious medication, all these may affect the outcomes of the fetal echo.

​Important Information You Should Know

  • You should not panic if your obstetrician at Paramus, NJ recommends a fetal echo. This test is only a precautionary measure to ensure that your doctor is properly monitoring you and your baby during the pregnancy.
  • Many issues can be detected from the test. The fetal echo scans offered in Children’s Center for Holistic Heart Health may be for checking for a congenital heart defect of the fetus, but that is not all. Some other issues, like arrhythmia, tumors, among other cardiac abnormalities, can also be detected.
  • The test is risk-free. One of the many worries of expectant mothers is the risk they put on their unborn babies. With the fetal echo scans, you have nothing to be scared of, particularly when it comes to risks. It is like a regular ultrasound, which does not cause any harm to the fetus or to you. It is only used to diagnose heart-related problems of the fetus as early as possible.
  • It prepares you even better. This scan for your fetus allows you to fully prepare for your pregnancy. This way, you can plan in advance to be in a hospital that can care for your child properly after birth. It also helps you lead an even healthier pregnancy, as you care for your fetus.

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