Advertising
Advertising

Doppler Ultrasound In Pregnancy

Doppler Ultrasound In Pregnancy

A Doppler Ultrasound in pregnancy is a scan that can be given alongside the typical ultrasound scan, with the Doppler measuring the flow of blood to the parts of your unborn babies’ body. To find out more about the scan please read on.

What Is A Doppler Scan?

A Doppler Ultrasound in pregnancy should not be confused with the typical ultrasound scan that most women have more than once during their pregnancy. The typical ultrasound will allow you a first glimpse of your unborn baby and possibly tell you the sex, while the Doppler measures the flow of blood around the body of your unborn baby and shows if enough oxygen and nutrients are reaching the unborn baby through the placenta.

ultrasound_doctor_pregnancy_1

    A Doppler Ultrasound in pregnancy is conducted in the same way as an ultrasound scan and in fact the same equipment is used as the majority of scanners have the Doppler function on them.

    Advertising

    During the scan you will have to lie down on a table with your belly exposed and the technician will rub gel onto your tummy before then moving a device called a transducer, over your tummy. This will send sound waves which bounce off the flow of blood to the body of your unborn baby along with their blood circulation system. The technician is then able to read the screen and see how the blood is flowing and this gives an indication of how well the baby is doing.

    The Doppler ultrasound in pregnancy will add on just a few minutes to your regular ultrasound and the technician will advise you of the results there and then.

    Are Doppler Scans Safe?

    Providing the Doppler ultrasound scan is carried out in the hands of a technician who has been trained they are considered to be just as safe as a typical ultrasound scan and it should not pose any risk to the unborn baby when carried out during the 2nd and 3rd trimester.

    If you are at all worried about any part of the ultrasound scan or the Doppler scan you should talk with a medical professional or the technician beforehand.

    Advertising

    Why You Might Need A Doppler Scan

    There may be numerous reasons why your Doctor may ask you to have a Doppler ultrasound in pregnancy. Reasons typically include:

    • You are a smoker.
    • You had a miscarriage late in a previous pregnancy or lost a baby during birth.
    • You suffer from a high or low BMI, aka body mass index.
    • You have had a baby that was underweight.
    • You are having more than one baby, twins, triplets, for example.
    • Your baby doesn’t seem to be growing at a rate that is considered healthy.
    • Your baby has been diagnosed with slapped cheek disease, aka parvovirus.

    What Does The Doppler Scan Look For and Why?

    The Doppler ultrasound scan in pregnancy is undertaken so that the doctor can check if everything is going to plan to allow your baby to develop healthily. Depending on your situation the sonographer, the person doing your scan, will check over different areas. Typically such a scan is only offered to women if their doctor has any concerns about the baby and pregnancy.

    doppler ultrasound

      There are different scans and these generally include

      Advertising

      • Uterine artery Doppler scan – Checks the uterine arteries, which are the vessels that take blood to the uterus, aka womb. This is to check that there is enough blood going to the placenta.
      • Umbilical artery Doppler scan – This is to check the rhesus antibodies if your baby seems to be growing at a slow rate. It is to check the umbilical cord as the blood flows from the placenta.

      Should I Use A Doppler At Home?

      Just as with a typical ultrasound machine, there is a portable Doppler machine that you can purchase or hire for use within the home. Typically this is used for the parents to listen in to the heartbeat of their unborn baby. Generally the majority of midwives and doctors will advise against the use of one at home.

      Of course the machine can give the mother to be and partner great peace of mind by listening to the heartbeat of the baby. However there are some downsides and these include:

      • Finding the heartbeat is not always easy and this can cause undue stress and worry in the event you cannot find the heartbeat.
      • A common mistake can also be made with the machine at home and this is that you can pick up the sound of blood going through the placenta and think this is the sound of the heartbeat.
      • A more sound and reliable way to get peace of mind if you are worried is to contact your midwife instead of trying to find the heartbeat of your baby at home.

      What Is a Cardiotocograph?

      There is another type of Doppler ultrasound in pregnancy that can be used and this is the Cardiotocograph. While it may have a fancy unpronounceable name, it simply monitors the heartbeat of the baby to make sure that the heart is beating normally. It doesn’t produce an image, it only uses sound.

      If the pregnancy is going as normal and there is no cause for concern then you probably won’t have the CTG. This type of scan is not typically used until after the 13th week as earlier than this and there is a lot of difficulty in finding the heartbeat.

      Advertising

      How Is A CTG Used During Labor?

      The CTG can come into its own during labor, where it is typically called electronic fetal monitoring, aka EFM. Here its typical use is in monitoring the contractions along with the heartbeat of your unborn baby. However if all has gone well with the pregnancy this type of monitoring may not be used as there are other ways that are less invasive to monitor mother and baby.

      The CTG may however be used when you are first admitted onto the ward in labor, typically for around 30 minutes, with the readings being used as a base if it is needed at a later stage in the labor.

      Featured photo credit: Flickr via flickr.com

      More by this author

      All You Need To Know About A Contraction Stress Test Answers About Urinary Tract Infections In Pregnancy Doppler Ultrasound In Pregnancy

      Trending in Parenting

      1 20 Energizing Brain Breaks For Kids 2 35 Easy And Healthy Dinner Ideas For Kids 3 50 Single Mom Quotes On Staying Strong And Loving 4 How Much Screen Time Should Kids Have And Why? 5 Parenting Tips from the Pros: How to Teach Children Not to Lie

      Read Next

      Advertising
      Advertising
      Advertising

      Published on May 7, 2021

      20 Energizing Brain Breaks For Kids

      20 Energizing Brain Breaks For Kids

      From coaching martial arts to children as young as four years old, I very quickly came to the understanding that if I wanted to help kids progress their skills, I needed to find a way to help them focus more consistently in my class.

      There are two key ways I found when it came to improving my students’ level of focus:

      1. Make what we’re doing more interesting. Nothing is off the table here—from having ninja clowns on the rampage in a lesson to including popular games with a martial arts theme, tapping into the student’s love of fun to help them focus.
      2. Introduce brain breaks.

      Brain breaks are small mental breaks that help the kids stay more focused. Think of the brain as a fuel gauge that shows the information you can consciously hold in your mind at any given moment. When the kids are focused and working hard on their tasks, the meter is usually full. They can easily concentrate and pass experiences into their long-term memory.

      But when the needle starts to drop, you may observe that your kids are feeling anxious or looking restless. New information, experiences, and knowledge are not getting processed from the staging area or working memory into the long-term memory.[1]

      It’s here that brain breaks make the most difference, as they allow us to “top-up the tank” or reset the gauge so that we can continue to learn and focus and at a higher level.

      If you’ve been home tutoring, you’ll appreciate that brain breaks can help kids in many ways. They can reduce stress and frustration. Think of those times when you’re helping your kids solve a difficult problem. It’s taxing for you both and when compounded with the energy loss after a day at school or watching TV. The stress effect can be compounded, and it’s here that brain breaks can be a lifesaver.[2]

      The following is a selection of brain break ideas for kids. You’ll see that some are physical activities while others are more relaxing. It’s always great to test them out to see which ones connect the best with your children.

      It’s okay to repeat the same brain breaks. Having a clear name and mission to a break can help keep your child excited, knowing that they’ll have the opportunity to take part in a future round of the activity.

      Advertising

      Active Brain Breaks

      Here are some active brain breaks for kids that you can try out.

      1. Swapsies

      Have the participants stand behind a chair. Call out a character trait, like “everyone with brown eyes.” You then swap places with someone else who has the same characteristic. If you have nothing that matches, you stay put!

      Examples: “Everyone with trainers on.” “Everyone who is left-handed.” “Everyone who is wearing yellow.”

      2. Dance Party

      Put five or six different types of songs on Spotify, including a classic like “baby shark or the hamster dance.” Dim the lights if possible and have the kids dance to the tunes. Then, change the tunes and change the dance style. It’s silly and fun.

      3. Freeze Dance

      Similar to Dance Party except that when the music stops, students have to stay perfectly still until the music restarts. You can make this even more fun by trying to make the students smile. If they smile, they are out and have to sit down.

      4. Keep It Up

      Students must keep a balloon from touching the floor. You can add multiple balloons. You can make it more competitive by having different balloons of two different colors and split people into teams. Whoever keeps the balloons up the longest or the team with the most balloons in the air with a timer of 60 seconds wins.

      5. Simon Says

      This brain break for kids is an old favorite. You can also mix it up with martial arts moves, Fortnite dances, superhero moves, etc.

      6. Animal Movement

      Move like different animals. It’s fun for younger children. We use Flamingo where you stand on one leg, crawl like a bear, stand like a meerkat, run like a cheetah, and walk like a penguin.

      Advertising

      7. Find It Fast

      “Find It Fast” is a scavenger hunt variation. Call an item out in the room and kids have to stand by it. For example, find a clock, find something with a face, find something smelly, find some money, find a phone, etc.

      8. The Frog

      Physical Challenges can be excellent fun. We have one in the martial arts class called “The Frog” where you squat like a frog, then lean forward so your head and feet are off the floor. These are all old yoga poses, so have a look through a booklet or website for some safe ideas. Other examples are grabbing your nose with your left hand and touching your knee with your right elbow.

      9. Pizza Delivery Time

      Give the students paper plates and tell them to hold the plates above their head on a flat hand. They then run around the room and try to keep the plate in their hand. You can make it more challenging by having other students try to knock others’ plates off. There’s usually a 3-star jump penalty if your plate touches the floor.

      10. Limbo

      We use martial arts belts and the students take turns going underneath the belts. Fun music creates an awesome atmosphere here.

      11. Human Knot

      Split the group of people and have everyone link hands under and over. That’s making knots between everyone in the group. Have the other students try to untangle them and return everyone back into a circle.

      12. Feather Balance

      This brain break for kids works well with gentle music, and you can use a balloon or a straw if you don’t have a feather handy.

      13. Stack them high

      The students should have plastic cups and paper squares. The goal is to make a tower as high as possible, or it could be to make a triangle or even a pyramid.

      Relaxing Brain Breaks

      We talked about brain breaks for kids that are being used to energize the students. But they can also be used to calm and relax them. We’re more familiar with the term mindfulness, but it’s the same idea. These are brain breaks for kids that reduce stress and anxiety.

      Advertising

      14. Meditation

      Meditation

      is a popular way to reduce anxiety. There are lots of great examples already pre-recorded on YouTube that you can follow along with. Below is a useful classroom meditation example.

      15. Kaleidoscope

      Kaleidoscopes are fun ways to relax. They are mesmerizing and like a peaceful vortex that sucks you into them. Below is a great example of a visual online one you can use.

      16. Reading/Listening to a Story

      When I surveyed the members of our martial arts club about how their kids employ brain breaks at home, there was a clear winner among the families—listening to a story or reading a story. The feedback was that the process of daydreaming a little helps the kids to recharge. But it goes without saying that the story needs to be engaging.

      17. Doodling

      My personal favorite way to brain break as a kid was to doodle. Doodling gives your child a few minutes to draw anything they want. It can be calming for them, and it’s a lot more fun if you have different types of pens or crayons available to use. Add some soft music, and you have a simple way to take some time to relax.

      18. Coloring Sheets

      Coloring sheets are another way to relax the mind. There’s lots of great coloring in pads available, but here are some links to public resources shared on the internet that are great examples.

      19. Deep Breathing

      Deep breathing

      is an epic way to help your child slow down. It is a quick way to relieve anxiety so that they feel more ready for the next task ahead.

      Advertising

      Try this: put your hands on your tummy, breathe in through the nose, and feel your belly expand like a balloon. Hold it here, then slowly breathe out through the mouth while feeling your stomach get smaller. Repeat this 10 times. Use the following counts: breath in for 4 seconds, hold for 4 seconds, and breath out for 4 seconds.

      20. Going Outside

      Go outside was the second most popular response from our parent’s survey about brain breaks for kids at home. Fresh air always feels nice. You can combine this with a treasure hunt, looking for different colored cars, types of birds, or even types of trees, if you’re familiar with these.

      My personal favorite is using a mushroom spotting app on our phones and finding a mushroom or toadstool, then using the app to identify its name. This is surprisingly engaging for children. But a few safety rules about not touching them is important. It gives kids a change of scenery and helps revitalize the senses, providing a welcome break from their homework.

      How Often Should You Introduce Brain Breaks?

      The key to brain breaks is their timing. If you can introduce them before you notice that your kids are entering deep fatigue or their loss of focus has set in. You’ll find a great balance between breaks and effort.

      I’ve observed from my martial arts coaching that younger students have a smaller amount of working memory than older kids. My formula is for five minutes of technical training, we provide five minutes of brain breaks for students under seven years old. Plus, we coach to 15 minutes of training to five minutes of brain breaks for children under 12 years.

      Final Thoughts

      Implementing calming brain breaks for kids is a really efficient way of introducing brain breaks. You have a quick way to allow your students to learn about regulating themselves. Balancing their mind and energy is a useful skill, and you can take this with you everywhere you go.

      Our martial arts center revolutionized our approach to coaching by using brain breaks for kids. We found that although we were teaching less technical skills, there was now consistent progress from the students. Plus, everyone was less anxious, happier, and are having more fun. This is a win overall.

      If you’ve been having challenges with your kids focusing at home, maybe try a mixture of the calming and active breaks to see which types work best for your kids.

      Featured photo credit: Robert Collins via unsplash.com

      Reference

      [1] SimplyPsychology: Working Memory Model
      [2] BrainFacts.org: Kids Need Brain Breaks — And So Do Adults

      Read Next