While a fetal ultrasound gives a unique early glimpse of the developing baby, the scan is not done just for parental indulgence. The procedure helps the doctor evaluate the child’s growth and development, determine how the pregnancy is progressing or even assess potential issues or help confirm a particular diagnosis.

That said, your health care professional needs to make sure that your pregnancy ultrasound generates quality images.

Do you need a full bladder before the ultrasound? Here are the things you need to know about the procedure:

How to prepare for a pregnancy ultrasound

Most ultrasound scans require little or no preparation. Still, your healthcare provider in Chicago may give you specific instructions, which you must follow. The doctor, for instance, may advise you on the type of clothing you should wear on the day of the appointment. You may also be requested to drink a certain amount of water and avoid going to the toilet until after your pregnancy ultrasound. These instructions are meant to improve the experience and the results.

Why do you need to drink water and avoid using the bathroom before an ultrasound?

Your health care provider may ask you to drink 2 to 3 glasses of water an hour before the ultrasound scan. The idea is to let your full bladder move bowels out from the pelvis into the abdomen. With the bowels out of your pelvis, the sonographer will have a better view of your pregnancy, uterus, and cervix. Drinking plenty of water and avoiding urinating before the procedure help improve the quality of the ultrasound images.

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When scheduling an ultrasound, ask your healthcare provider for specific instructions. Follow the doctor’s recommendations before and after the procedure to ensure your safety and the health of your baby.