During your pregnancy, your healthcare provider will track your baby's growth and progress. Unless there is a medical reason for another ultrasound, you will have just one — between 18 and 22 weeks.

The technician performing the ultrasound is called the ultrasonographer. The ultrasonographer will use the ultrasound machine to look at all of your baby's anatomy, including the brain, face, body, arms, legs, hands, feet, heart, kidneys, bowel, bladder, and umbilical cord. An ultrasound also can be used to take measurements of your baby to help confirm your due date. 

An ultrasound can provide valuable information regarding baby's heart rate, the amount of amniotic fluid around the baby, the position of the baby, the physical health of the baby, and the location of the placenta. 

A maternal fetal medicine (MFM) specialist will be present in the ultrasound suite; and if the ultrasonographer has any questions about your ultrasound, they will call the MFM specialist into the room. The MFM specialist reads every ultrasound and writes a report that will be available to your referring healthcare provider.

Some parents wish to know the sex of their baby. While the ultrasonographer can attempt to look at genitalia, you should know that this is not 100% certain. At this point in the pregnancy, genitalia are small, and the baby's position or movements might make it difficult to see. It is possible you will not know your baby's gender until after delivery.