Women's Health Services | Level II (Targeted) Ultrasounds

You may be referred by your obstetrician’s office to the Prenatal Testing Center for a "Level-II" or "Targeted" ultrasound exam.

What makes this ultrasound different from the ultrasound exam at your obstetrician’s office? At the Prenatal Testing Center your ultrasounds will be performed by sonographers on a very sophisticated ultrasound machine. These sonographers are specially trained and nationally registered in assessing normal and abnormal fetal development. They work closely in conjunction with the perinatologists.

Level II ultrasounds are generally performed between 16-20 weeks, however, they may be performed at any time during the 2nd and 3rd trimesters. There are no special preparations needed for your ultrasound exam. It is not usually necessary to have a full bladder unless specifically asked by our staff.

Upon entering the ultrasound exam room you will be asked to lay flat on a hospital bed while a warm clear gel is placed on your abdomen. The ultrasound probe, known as a transducer, will then be placed on your abdomen. There are times when a vaginal probe/transducer must be used. This can only be determined following the abdominal exam.

At the Prenatal Testing Center you may bring a support person to your appointment, however, we ask that you do not bring small children or that you have an adult to watch them in the waiting area.

You can expect 2 or more people to be present during the ultrasound exam. They will include a sonographer, and a perinatologist and may also include a resident physician.

All ultrasound findings and suggested pregnancy management issues are discussed with you at the time of your appointment. Hopefully all your questions will be answered before you leave the testing center. Your doctor is also notified of the result.

Ultrasounds have been used since the early 1970’s and studies have been performed to determine their safety. No study has ever shown that ultrasound is harmful to the baby or the mother.

At the end of your ultrasound exam you will be provided pictures of your baby.


These tests are ordered to offer reassurance that your baby is doing well during your pregnancy:

First Trimester Screening
Most babies are born normal. All women, however, have a very small chance of having a baby with a chromosome problem such as Down Syndrome.

Fetal Movement Counting
Along with the tests that are performed on our unit, we commonly request that you also conduct a daily test of fetal health in your home.

Level II (Targeted) Ultrasounds
You may be referred by your obstetrician’s office to the Prenatal Testing Center for a "Level-II" or "Targeted" ultrasound exam.

Prenatal Screening for Down Syndrome
Women over age 35 have an increased risk of giving birth to babies with Down syndrome and other chromosomal conditions.

If a risk factor is discovered during your pregnancy, a specific individualized program of testing will be ordered by your obstetrician and/or the Prenatal Testing Center. Some of these tests may include:

Non-Stress Test (NST)
The NST has become the most common method of antepartum screening for fetal well-being.

Amniotic Fluid Index (AFI)
An ultrasound examination can diagnose either too little or too much amniotic fluid.

Fetal Biophysical Profile (BPP)
A biophysical profile (BPP) is a prenatal ultrasound evaluation of fetal wellbeing, involving a scoring system.

After your baby is born there are several procedures, screening and tests performed to ensure your baby’s health and safety:

Newborn Screening
The following procedures and tests are routinely done on all newborns. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact your pediatrician before you deliver.

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