Decoding Your 11 Week Ultrasound


As you visit the doctor almost every week, to get your ultrasound tests done, you probably miss out on lots of fine details regarding your baby’s development. The secret to understanding better, the growth track of the foetus, is to be able to decode it on your own! It is quite an easy task, provided you know just what to look out for, on that screen, and what to ask your doctor. By the eleventh week of your pregnancy, the foetus has gradually grown in size to such an extent that its parts can be visually decoded on the ultrasound screen.

The baby’s vital organs have started developing and even the limbs are growing to be more specific with the tiny fingers and toes on the edges! The heartbeat can be heard during the test, if you listen to it closely. Some ways in which you can easily decode the body parts of the foetus on your own are:

11 Week Ultrasound:  Tricks to Decoding an Ultrasound

decoding 11 week ultrasound

Check numbers

When you look at the ultrasound screen or even the printed document, you will find some numbers on the top corner. Knowing what these numbers signify makes you understand the test much better. Over there you will usually find your name, age, date of the scan, and some basic things like your blood cell count, your blood pressure, the baby’s overall conditions, and the level of hCG hormone in your body. These data will help you decode the baby’s health as the doctor will tell you what each of the points mean.

Know the black and white patterns

The ultrasound shows all the vital organs of the foetus, its development, and other fluids inside your body, in black and white. Hence, at times it might get quite confusing as to which is what. Remember one thing – the different shapes of white things inside the black areas are bones. The baby’s bones are shown on the screen as white, while the skin covering them and the blood underneath it is seen as black. By the eleventh week, the foetus has developed a significant amount of bones and its skeletal system is taking proper shape. You will be able to view this much better in a 4D scan, which you can get done by requesting the sonographer.

Know the pearly lines

By now, you are most likely to be accustomed to the strands of broken white lines. These are the bones. However, by the eleventh week, the spinal cord of the baby takes proper shape and is well visible on the screen. It will look like a pearl necklace on the backside of the baby. Follow the dotted line that looks like a series of white pearls, and you will be able to see the spine, which is ons of the most important developments in the foetus.


Listen to the heartbeat

From about week 8, you must have been able to view the foetus’ heart on the ultrasound screen. During the scan in week 11, you might even be fortunate enough to hear the beats very well. A tiny white part near the chest of the baby is the heart, as you might know by now. Keep following its beats in absolute silence and simultaneously watch the tiny organ pump blood into your baby’s body!

Know where the amniotic fluid lies

The internal parts that are not very dense, appear as pitch black on the ultrasound scan screen. The part of the sac where your amniotic fluid is present, will similarly appear black. You will be able to view the size of the sac containing the fluid and hence further consult your doctor regarding the quantity of fluid and what it might mean. It is extremely important for doctors to analyse the level of amniotic fluid to track internal abnormalities.

Detect the placenta and cord

The screen will show you the cord and the placenta inside your body, where the baby is lying. Amidst all the black and white contrast, you will be able to see the umbilical cord to which the baby is attached. Right around that area, will be a black portion, which will represent the placenta. Watch out for the length and width of the cord and the movements of the baby. Ask your doctor further by pointing out, what the picture means.

Ask for a sepia version of the video

Now that your baby has grown to be fairly understood by face on the ultrasound screen, request your gynaecologist for a sepia version instead of the same old bi-colour one. You will be able to see the face even better! You will be able to see the tiny nose, eyes, eyelashes, ears, and lips. It is definitely worth the request!

By understanding the ultrasound at 11 weeks of pregnancy, you will definitely feel much more confident in terms of your condition. In case of any doubt, do not hesitate to ask your gynaecologist. The better you decode the baby’s growth track, the healthier and more relaxed you feel for the rest of your term!

Hope this article was of help for all our parents!! Please share your comments/queries/tips with us and help us create a world full of Happy and Healthy Babies!!