First ultrasound at 16 weeks?!!?! — The Bump
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First ultrasound at 16 weeks?!!?!

Hello, I'm 5 weeks pregnant, my first pregnancy! :) We are stationed at Ramstein in Germany. I just got my appt. packet and it says that my first ultrasound will be at 16-20 weeks?! Is that normal? I know my sister (non military) had u/s at 8 and 12 weeks. Is it just because that is all tricare will cover? or is that just because that's how they do it at this base? I can't believe I have to wait that long to see our little peanut!
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Re: First ultrasound at 16 weeks?!!?!

  • I am guessing that is just how they do at your base. We are stationed in Yokosuka, Japan and they do the first ultrasound at 10 weeks. Then one at 18-22 weeks. Sorry you have to wait so long. I hate waiting to see baby :)
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  • I'm guessing its how your doctor does it. I had my first at almost 10 weeks. 
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  • With my son we only had one ultrasound at 19ish weeks. He was born at Blanchfield Army Community Hospital on Ft. Campbell. It sucks but that's just how they do it some places. Now my husband is a recruiter so I will be seeing a civilian OB and I already have an U/S scheduled for my first appointment on Wednesday.
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  • It has little to do with Tricare and everything to do with your practitioner. Civilian and military alike often only do one scan throughout the entire pregnancies. Others do a dating scan in the first trimester and a growth scan in the third. It just depends where you're at. I've always had multiple ultrasounds with military doctors or with civilians.
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  • Standard of Care in OB is 1 ultrasound at 20ish weeks for a normal, low risk, healthy pregnancy.

    Tricare will cover all medically necessary ultrasounds.  It is all about what the doctor considers "necessary" and how he/she codes them.  Some doctors do a viability scan at 10-12 weeks and code it so that Tricare covers it. 

    I had literally dozens of ultrasounds during both of my pregnancies.  I had Blue Cross/Blue Shield as my primary insurance my first pregnancy (I was working full time and had my own insurance) and Tricare Standard my second.  Tricare covered every single ultrasound my doctor ordered (just like BCBS did).

    You can ask your OB about the NT scan at 12 weeks.  Tricare will cover the NT scan if you opt to have it done.  It is an ultrasound where they measure the nuchal fold of the baby and draw blood from you.  You get results that give approximate risk for trisomies (particularly Down Syndrome). 

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  • I guess that just depend on your base. 

    We are at Fort Drum, NY. I am almost 9 weeks. We had an appointment with the nurse at 8 weeks which was just paper work, my first ultrasound will be on the 21st, which will be right before I am 12 weeks.  Then they do another at 20. Unless it's high risk. That is a really long time. I would freak out if I had to wait that long. Waiting 12 weeks is killing me as it is. They wouldn't even check the heart beat before that. :/ Yet they tell you to be calm and not stress. Good luck with everything! and Congratulations by the way! :))) 

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  • Sweetpea:

    Thank you! I have a rough GYN medical history, so it just made me nervous that I won't see the baby or hear the heartbeat until that far into the pregnancy. Perhaps once I speak to my doctor about this, they will opt to do it sooner. It's good to know that Tricare will cover it, if the doctor deems it necessary!
    Thanks for the info!


    P.S. those pictures of your husband and daughter are ADORABLE! :)

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  • Thanks everyone... I guess it makes sense since Ramstein is huge. There probably just isn't the resources to do them more often.

    Bummer :/

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  • You most likely won't have to wait that long for the heartbeat. When I went in for my first real appointment (the one after the paperwork appointment), I was 11 weeks based on my last cycle. They used a doppler to try to find the heartbeat and couldn't pick one up, so then they did an ultrasound. It turns out I was not as far along as I thought - the ultrasound put me at 9 weeks instead.

    The paperwork I got at the beginning also said I'd have only one ultrasound at 19-20 weeks, but I got that unexpected one (I even got a picture!) and I'm going in for the NT scan today, so I'll be on my third ultrasound by the time my "only ultrasound" appointment comes around. Hopefully it'll all work out for you, too!

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  • I was recently preggo at ram stein and I had a dating ultrasound done at my first appt. I then opted for the nt scan (not required) so that was another u/s. the. I had the anatomy scan.  So u should at least get the dating u/s!
  • I'm at Ramstein as well, and came from WPAFB. The deal at both places has been that they will do the dating screening ONLY if you don't know the first date of your last period, or have an irregular cycle. Echoing PPs- you can opt for the NT screen at 12 to give you an earlier ultrasound, otherwise waiting until the Anatomy Scan at 16-20 weeks is totally normal. I know that you want to see the baby, so it's tempting to schedule it at the 16 week end of that window, but if you wait until 20 the results of the gender check will be much more accurate if you choose to find out what gender the baby is. They will start checking for a heart rate though every appt from now on, just with a little wand from the outside of your belly. I think I'm going to the hospital intro stuff at the beginning of June, I know that will be really early in your pregnancy but if you decide to go and want to meet up, let me know Smile
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  • That's crazy!  I live in Wiesbaden and had an ultrasound at 5,7,10 and will again at my 14 week, German doctors do an ultra sound at every appt.
  • I had a baby at Landstuhl last March!!  I didn't get to Germany until about 27 weeks though, so I can't tell you how the first few months of pregnancy worked.  I can tell you that I loved the care I received there and loved having my baby there!  I was at Ft. Bliss when I got pregnant and had an ultrasound at 10 weeks for dating and then didn't have another until the 20 week anatomy scan.  I did get 2 or 3 more at Landstuhl once I got here to make sure baby had flipped and to check on a low lying placenta.
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