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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.

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    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.

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    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.

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    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

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      • 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.

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      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

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      Published on November 12, 2020

      How to Identify And Play to Your Child’s Strengths

      How to Identify And Play to Your Child’s Strengths

      As you sit there, perhaps on a sofa, maybe a lounge chair, or while you’re sharing a meal at the table, you glance over to the pride and joy you are happy each day to call your child. They smile back, running around the table they learned to stand up using or kiss you on the cheek as they snatch your car keys for their first (or second, but what feels like hopefully the last) errand using your car. You watch as they take their plate from the table, ask if anyone needs anything on their way to the sink, and then finally meander towards the living room saying to you, “Bed fort after dinner?”

      How respectful! How creative! Such initiative!

      What you may not realize is that because we don’t often think about this in the day-to-day of parenting, your child’s strengths—the initiative, creativity, drive, passion, and introspective nature that turns other people off—are cultivated daily!

      If you’ve never given thoughts to your child’s inherent strengths, that’s okay. As is all too common, you’re conditioned to only look at what they need to fix.[1]

      Turns out, identifying, cultivating, and managing your child’s strengths isn’t very difficult. In fact, much of those three steps can occur during a visit to the park. Let’s discover simple and effective ways to highlight your child’s strengths.

      Identifying Strengths

      Now, I know what you may be thinking: between office meetings, Zoom sessions, laundry, and grocery shopping, when exactly do I have time to become a psychologist?

      I get it. But really, identifying your child’s strengths is not difficult. In fact, a simple exercise usually suffices—participate in their play!

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      Participate in Their Play

      Play can take many forms and is usually defined as an activity that does not bring extrinsic value to be enjoyed—us adults typically refer to these activities as “hobbies.” Whether your child is two or thirteen, children are children, after all, and play is essential.

      According to a report from the University of Utah, play is a way for children to practice “problem-solving, self-control, and learning how to share.”[2] Aren’t those powerful strengths that we should identify and cultivate in our supportive role of helping children thrive as adults?

      When children engage in play, they naturally show how they lead, how they empathize with others, and how they work with others (or not) to solve problems. If you spend time being present with your children during play, you will be able to see how your child’s strengths manifest in the simplest of activities. Seeing your children play allows you to see how they make mistakes, too, which is a powerful indicator of their sense of self.

      Allow (Supported) Mistakes—and Often!

      Identifying your child’s strengths has nothing to do with demanding them to be perfect. Far from it, actually. Remember—you are guiding them to becoming a self-sufficient and nurturing adult, and there aren’t many of us out there that are perfect!

      Highlighting moments when your child has made some mistakes and working through how to bounce back or fix that mistake can be wondrous when they are working towards understanding their effect on others, themselves, and the world.

      Just like parents that tend to focus too much on the negative, children too often learn more from their mistakes than their successes. Catch your child softly during a mistake, and work through a plan to get themselves out of it. Your goal is not to fix their issue, of course, but to build within them the capacity to make a better choice next time.

      When you take on this mindset of an engaging and present parent that is looking for ways to build your child’s strengths, you’ll be surprised at what you see them able to do.

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      Some solid examples of inherent child strengths to look for include:

      These are the soft skills that are being developed as young as preschool and even before. In today’s global workplace environment, ensuring that your child is developing in these (and other) areas will set them up for success.

      Okay, great. You’ve watched your children at the park or tag along with your teenager to a volunteer event and notice how gracious they are. How do we keep that going?

      As is normally the case, you’ll see that cultivating strengths is no more difficult than identifying them.

      Cultivating Your Child’s Identified Strengths

      Imagine this scenario: Thursday evening, and you’ve worked your fourth ten-hour day. Your partner is late getting home from work, and your three kids are all wanting different things for dinner that should have been made yesterday.

      At the exact moment you’re about to snap from the pressure, your middle child says, “Hey, maybe we can all act like chefs tonight and make our own dinners? Might be fun!”

      Um, yes, please?

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      As you settle in bed later that evening and reflect on that exchange in the kitchen, you start to highlight other times that child—and, as you doze, your other children in their own ways—stepping up and leading. You know this cannot be by accident, so what’s going on here?

      Provide Many At-Bats

      Just because a child can take their plate to the sink doesn’t mean they are responsible enough with Grandma’s China set. But when you provide the “at-bats” for children to build capacity using their strengths, you see the road to them handling more difficult scenarios becoming less and less cluttered with obstacles.

      There will come a day, and perhaps soon, that your child will be able to navigate that China with extreme grace. Today just ain’t that day, but with some work, it’ll come!

      Providing opportunities for your child to build on their strengths is a great idea. Everyone likes to feel competent, and your child is no different! Setting up scaffolded opportunities for them to showcase their budding personalities decreases the stress and increases the chance that, next time, they will perform even better.

      Teach Them to Trust but Verify

      Good leaders don’t have all the answers. Neither should you and of course, we don’t expect our children to know everything. But we should build within them the capacity for understanding what they don’t know and figuring out ways to get the information they need to work through their situations.

      You cannot always have the answers, either. So, what should you do?

      Exposing them to the world of information that exists is a good start. Great, you’ve identified your child is empathetic, but must they assist and provide supportive care to everyone they encounter? Or should there be some healthy boundaries established?

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      Working with your children to mold and curate these more nuanced approaches to their strengths will provide them with a good road map to use when they ultimately leave you and lead their own lives.

      Turning Weaknesses Into Opportunities

      While not exactly the elephant in the room, I can’t possibly write an article about child strengths without also addressing the fact that our children aren’t possibly capable of being good at everything.

      Perhaps one of your most important roles as a parent is to decide what strengths your child has and to inspire them to cultivate those strengths using the tips and suggestions in this article. However, there will be a wide variety of opportunities for you to work through the challenges your child experiences.

      I don’t want this to sound too harsh but the fact is, everyone has competencies on a spectrum: you can work, hustle, and grind to develop parts of your personality or skill set to whatever gain you set for yourself. Allowing children to operate with a mindset of progress, not perfection, will help their journey. You cannot be weak, after all, if you are constantly striving for improvement.

      So, the next time you take your kiddo out to the park, attend a professional sporting event, or perhaps when you’re playing cards in the living room on a cold winter night, pay attention to how they maneuver around.

      How are they asking for what they need? How are they offering support? How are they handling conflict? How are they bouncing back from missed opportunities or mess-ups?

      In each of those moments—and many more—the opportunity to cultivate strength in your child is just around the corner!

      More Tips on Developing Your Child’s Strengths

      Featured photo credit: Nathan Dumlao via unsplash.com

      Reference

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