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Having a scan in the first few months of pregnancy can be a thrilling experience.
It's amazing to see the little blob with a heartbeat that will soon become your baby.
The software has certain measurement scales based on data from large populations, and your baby’s measurements are put into this scale.
In other words, by comparing your baby’s measurements to the data from this large collection of measurements, the ultrasound can then tell how far along your baby is.
Ultrasound has become so helpful that obstetricians now refer to the time before it was used routinely as “the olden days.” We use it to diagnose twins early on; we use it to document appropriate growth as the pregnancy progresses; we use it to determine fetal health; and we use it to guide conversion of breech to vertex (head-first) position and to guide amniocentesis.
Of all of these uses, dating the pregnancy is the most common reason to use ultrasound, particularly when the expectant mother cannot remember the date of her last period (as in breast-feeding or irregular cycles).