What is an Ultrasound? : Purpose, Procedure, Cost & Preparation

What is an Ultrasound?

An ultrasound scan is a medical test that uses high-frequency sound waves to capture  live images from the inside of your body. It is also known as sonography. 

At Fetal Fotos we do not perform ultrasounds for medical purposes. We can however  show you your sweet baby and point out body parts, movement, number of babies,  listen to the heartbeat, and determine the gender if desired. 

What is the purpose of an Ultrasound?

Within pregnancy the purpose of an ultrasound can provide parents a look at their  unborn baby in the womb. It can bring comfort, education, and moments to bond with  your baby. An ultrasound can help determine the gender of your baby and to hear the  heartbeat. Many mothers say they love to see what their little baby is doing in the  womb. As the baby gets bigger, it is exciting to see how the baby is positioned and the  body part of the baby you could be feeling. There are so many changes that happen throughout your pregnancy and being able to witness your baby grow and move around  through ultrasound is so special!  

What is the Procedure of the Ultrasound?

When you come to Fetal Fotos we strive to provide a relaxed stress-free environment  that is comfortable for you and your family to enjoy seeing your baby. When you come  in and are finished filling out paperwork, an ultrasound technician will take you back into  the ultrasound room. Once in the room, you can lie down on the ultrasound bed. The  Technician will ask you to pull your shirt to your ribs and to place your pants on your  hips to expose a small portion of the stomach. The technician will then use warm gel on  your belly and start the session. They will pull the baby into view and explain each part  of the baby, so you are aware of what you are looking at. The technician will point out  the heartbeat and play it for you and your loved ones to hear. Depending what session, you choose, we will take time to look for gender or show you the baby in 3D/4D. The  technician will be thorough and work with your baby so that you can receive the best  images and be confident in the ultrasound scan. The scan will be paced so you can  watch your sweet baby wiggle, yawn, and kick. Sometimes we will even catch smiles,  open eyes, hiccups, and tongues sticking out. 

Once the ultrasound scan is over, the technician will softly wipe the gel from your  stomach with a towel and offer you a paper towel to wipe off any excess gel. The  technician will then print off the desired images of your baby as a keepsake. You can  expect the session to last anywhere from 10-30 minutes.

What is the preparation?

For the best images of your baby, we recommend being well hydrated for your  ultrasound appointment. Staying well hydrated is always important, but the few days  leading up to your appointment can make a big difference in what images we are able to  get during your session. 

If you are between 8-13 weeks of pregnancy, we suggest you keep your bladder full.  The purpose of this is to help see the baby. A full bladder can help the baby be in better  view for the ultrasound technician. If you are past 14 weeks, we no longer need your  bladder full. We ask that you still stay hydrated, but you are welcome to use the  restroom before the appointment. 

Plan to arrive 5 minutes early for your appointment to fill out the needed paperwork and  give plenty of time for the ultrasound technician to scan your baby. We want you to get  the most out of your appointment and babies can often be in difficult positions. We want  to make sure we have the time needed to get the best images of your baby. 

What is the cost of an Ultrasound?

At Fetal Fotos we want you to have the best experience at an affordable price. We have  several different packages you can choose from that will best fit your needs. Our  packages range from $50 to $179. Each package is tailored to the week of pregnancy  you are currently in. Depending on the package they include printed black and white  images, digital uploads of both the video and all the images taken in the scan, colored  images, as well as various retail items that are included in some of our packages. 

The ultrasounds we offer can provide comfort for a worried mama, excitement in finding  out the anticipated gender as early as 14 weeks, and the joy in seeing your baby grow  and develop at each stage of pregnancy. 

Choosing An Ultrasound Imaging Center That Is Right For You

It is an exciting time to find out you are pregnant! Once you see that positive pregnancy test, you start to feel all the emotions! Being able to see the baby on an ultrasound is one of the most memorable experiences during pregnancy. You can see the baby’s heartbeat, find out the gender if you desire, watch them wiggle, yawn, smile, and even see what they are going to look like. Being able to bond with your baby, and share that with your family is something you will look back on and cherish forever. How do you choose an Ultrasound Imaging Center that will best fit your needs?

Here are a few things to consider

At Fetal Fotos we place the highest priority on you and your family during this special time in your lives.  Fetal Fotos is Utah’s Original Prenatal Imaging Center and has been serving our community since 1994. We are known for early gender determinations ultrasounds, starting at 14 weeks gestation, and have a long standing history and reputation with the community for our thorough gender checks. If we aren’t 100% certain of the gender of the baby, we will have you come back for another ultrasound free of charge on a different day. We provide a comfortable, fun environment for your family to come and see your growing baby. Our clients frequently comment on how comfortable our ultrasound bed is, and how our technicians take their time to look at the baby in a relaxed environment. It is important to remember that coming to Fetal Fotos is never an alternative to your routine prenatal care, and we do not provide any diagnostic information during your appointment. Fetal Fotos will always be committed to providing women and their families with increased awareness and a meaningful bonding experience with your baby as an addition to your prenatal care.

You may wonder if doing a blood test earlier in the pregnancy is an accurate way to determine the gender. While we don’t discourage using blood tests, we ask that you keep an open mind when you do an at home test. It is not uncommon for us to correct them when you come in for your ultrasound appointment. So while it is a super fun way to try to determine the gender earlier in the pregnancy, it is not always a sure thing until we see the gender on an ultrasound.

In the 26 years Fetal Fotos has been in business, we have helped many women and families bond with their baby and prepare for their future. Our 3D/4D HD ultrasounds are state of the art and the newest technology ultrasound has to offer.  We do everything we can to get the best pictures of your sweet baby. Similar to the recheck on the gender scan, if you come in for a 4D/HD session and your baby is being shy we let you come back again and try for better pictures on a different day. Some things are out of our control but we always take our time to get the best images possible.

As women, and the owners of Fetal Fotos in American Fork we aim to provide you with a memorable experience and a connection to a community you can be a part of even beyond your pregnancy. We believe in the power of self care and the difference that strong confident women can make on our community. In addition to our prenatal ultrasounds we also offer prenatal, postpartum, and couples massages. It takes a toll on the body and mind to carry a baby and we want you to have time to take care of yourself and feel relief from the aches and pain of pregnancy, and the stresses of life.

We are also excited to now offer Newborn Photography Sessions as part of our services. Once your baby is born, schedule a photography session with one of our amazing newborn photographers. Our in-house studio is a safe, relaxed, customizable experience that allows you to remember the early newborn stage forever.

Our boutique is stocked with gender reveal items, like cannons and balloons, and curated with all mamas in mind to include the best newborn products for your baby.

When you choose Fetal Fotos, we are confident that you will leave your experience feeling taken care of and know you have a community of women cheering you on throughout your pregnancy. We are genuinely excited for you and your family and hope to see you again and again.


Chelsea & Kira 

Pregnancy Verification Ultrasounds

Let’s talk about our Pregnancy Verification Session. 🙂

The Pregnancy Verification Ultrasound starts at eight weeks gestation. Here’s why!

If you are like us, the first thing you want to see when you find out you are pregnant is your little baby and his or her heartbeat. You call your doctor and they typically want you to wait until you are between ten and twelve weeks before they have you come in for an appointment. Sometimes that wait can seem like forever! You may feel a combination of excitement, and maybe even a little nervousness wanting to see the baby and hear the heartbeat! You do some research and find out that Fetal Fotos does ultrasound sessions at eight weeks. But does it really matter if you are eight weeks, or can you come in earlier?!

It does matter. 🙂 Before eight weeks at the doctor’s office they use a vaginal probe to see the baby and the heartbeat. Here at Fetal Fotos, we only use an abdominal probe and in most cases eight weeks is the earliest we are able to see the baby and verify a heartbeat. By eight weeks the baby is measuring .63 inches long and is the size of a raspberry. In most cases by eight weeks we are able to clearly see your growing baby and their heartbeat. We want you to be able to come in as soon as you can but we also don’t want you to worry if we aren’t able to see the baby yet because you aren’t quite far enough along. There are many factors that go into being able to see the baby early on in the pregnancy, but once you hit eight weeks, you’re at a perfect time to come in and see your baby and listen to the heartbeat.

When you are ready to schedule and come in for your appointment, you will be asked to keep your bladder full. Pregnancy Verification ultrasounds are the only sessions we ask for you to do this. You don’t need to drink a whole bunch of water before your appointment, just don’t use the restroom right before you come in, and you should be fine! Keeping a full bladder gives us the best chance to see your baby during this early stage.

People are often surprised how much we are able to see during the Pregnancy Verification ultrasounds. At eight weeks, you are able to see the baby and a heartbeat. Around 10 weeks, you will start to see small movements, and by 12 weeks you can see a clear profile, fingers, toes, and usually lots of wiggling!  It’s an exciting time to be able to see your baby and the beginning stages of growth and development. We love being able to provide this early ultrasound service, and for you to start bonding with your new baby.


Fetal Fotos