top of page

Be Prepared for Your Ultrasound 

Every mom is uniquely designed and each baby's environment can be different. Use the tips below to be prepared for your ultrasound according to your baby's gestational age and the scan being performed. Some scans require a full bladder and you want to make sure that you are prepared at the time of your appointment. All scans require HYDRATION! Appointments are booked based off time and we do not have additional time during your appointment to prep as someone else may have an appointment scheduled after your scan.


If you do anything to prepare for your scans, this is the most important! Our bodies transmit ultrasound much better when our cells are HYDRATED! Drinking water everyday will help hydrate your body and increase amniotic fluid levels. It can also help clear up the amniotic fluid for better visualization. Amniotic fluid is needed for us to see the baby in 3D/4D and 2D scanning as well! Most importantly, amniotic fluid is vital in the development of the baby, so staying hydrated is very important. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) recommend 64-96 ounces of water everyday during pregnancy. Waiting to drink water to hydrate the day of your scan will NOT help with imaging. Good hydration is done over time. 

Gender Scan

Along with being hydrated, a full bladder is needed for your gender scan! Please have a full bladder at the time of your scan. Keep reading further to see how to adequately fill your bladder.

Surprise Gender Scan Info:

If you are not finding out the gender in the room and are planning a gender reveal for later, please know that we will not be able to show you the lower part of the baby in the case that the baby moves and accidentally reveals themselves. We do our absolute best to keep the gender a secret, so during this scan, you will not get to see baby's legs or anything below the waist. Our views and images that we take are limited when we are restricted to move the probe around. Also, keep in mind the more people you bring with you, the more people that will have eyes looking to see if they can catch a glimpse of the gender. 

How to Fill Your Bladder

Sounds silly, doesn't it? But there is a technique to it other than just 'holding it'. To adequately fill your bladder, you should empty your bladder first! It sounds silly but holding your bladder for a long time will only make you 'feel' like you have to go and then when we check, your bladder really isn't that full. Empty your bladder and then about 30 minutes BEFORE your scheduled appointment, drink about 32 ounces of water. It takes about 30 minutes for the bladder to fill and longer if you are dehydrated. Drinking during your scan will not help in that moment as it takes, on average, about thirty minutes for fluid to get to your bladder. Try to avoid filling your bladder with caffeinated drinks. Caffeinated drinks can promote early urgency and make you feel like you have to go and your bladder may not be truly full for the scan. Also, if your body is dehydrated, it may take extra time to fill your bladder and more water may be required, so take that into consideration as well. 

First Trimester

We can do abdominal ultrasounds here as early as 8 weeks gestational age.  Of course hydration is important for any scan, but A FULL BLADDER is needed in order to keep overlying bowel from shadowing over the uterus and baby. A full bladder will help displace overlying bowel in order to view the baby at this early stage in pregnancy. A full bladder is needed for any scan in the first trimester!

If your bladder is empty, we do not have time to fill it during your appoinment. Please be sure to prep BEFORE your appointment time. 

**If your uterus is retroflexed or tilted, it may make it more difficult to get good images of the baby before 12 weeks, but a full bladder will help!

Third Trimester 3D/4D Scans

A full bladder is NOT needed. Actually an empty bladder is better in the third trimester. The most important thing to do before your 3D/4D appointment is increase your water intake and HYRATE, HYDRATE, HYDRATE! You should start hydrating at least a week prior to your scan. Drinking water the day of will not help increase amniotic fluid. So, please start hydrating ahead of time for best results.

In order to see the baby in 3D, amniotic fluid must be in front of the baby's face. Whatever is in front of the baby, will also be seen on the ultrasound. Hydrating will help increase the amniotic fluid and will also hydrate our body so that sound is able to travel. If there is a loop of umbilical cord in the baby's face or the placenta, it will also show up on the ultrasound. Each baby's environment and position is different. In the time allowed for the scan that is booked, we will position you according to your baby's position for the best views to try to get the cord, hand, placenta, etc., out of the image. 

3D4D during pregnancy

Please keep in mind that the baby will look different all throughout your pregnancy. If you are doing a quick peek in the first trimester and early second trimester, the baby is still tiny and you cannot expect to see a full face with detailed facial features. However, it's still fun to look and that's just an added bonus of our quick peek scan! When it's time to see those chunky cheeks, you'll be closer to the third trimester and that's when you'll want to schedule your 3D4D scan. It's the Grand Scan where we will take more time to focus on the details of the baby's features. At the beginning of the third trimester, baby will have more facial fat and not appear as skeletal as they did in the first and second trimester. If you do the Can't Get Enough Scan, it allows us to be able to learn your baby's environment and determine the best time  to come back for each 3d/4d scan!

bottom of page