8 Week Ultrasound: What to Expect

Team Peanut10 months ago3 min read

Your 8 week ultrasound? What?! How did the time fly like this? Or… maybe it didn’t. Maybe every painstaking, vomitous, gassy, emotional hour has felt like a decade. Either way, you’re here. Yay!

8 week ultrasound

The 8 week ultrasound is typically a major landmark in your pregnancy. For many mamas-to-be, this is the first time that they see what is actually going on with this project that’s been under construction inside them for the last two months. No doubt, this is a rather emotional experience. There your little one is! Right there for you to see!

So what can you expect at an ultrasound at 8 weeks pregnant? Let’s take a look.

8 Weeks Pregnant Ultrasound

What is an ultrasound?

Using some pretty remarkable technology, ultrasounds use high-frequency waves to take pictures of the insides of your body. Your ultrasound at 8 weeks (and sometimes slightly sooner) will allow you premium access to the soap opera going on inside you.

So what is a sonogram?

Very good question. Ultrasounds and sonograms are often used interchangeably. There are however two very distinct things. The ultrasound is the technology used to take the picture and the sonogram is the picture that the technology generates. Sonograms at 8 weeks are then the 8 week ultrasound pictures.

Ultrasound at 8 weeks: 101

What should I expect at my 8 week ultrasound?

  • What does an 8 week ultrasound look like?
    Like the best black and white photography you have ever seen in your life! You’re looking for a little being somewhere between 1/2 and 3/4 inches, or 1.5 to 2 centimetres long. That’s about 200 times the width of a piece of paper, one-one hundredth the size of Napoleon, and one-eight-hundred-fiftieth as tall as a Brachiosaurus. (Of course, a lot of people would say “the size of a bean” but we know your baby is far too unique for that sort of thing.)
  • Is 8 week ultrasound internal or external?
    Good question—and not something you want to wait for the doctor’s room to find out. There are two types of ultrasounds:
    • Transvaginal: No points for guessing that this is the inside one and is typically given in early pregnancy if needed. You can also get one of these down the line if your cervix needs to be measured or the placenta found.
    • Transabdominal: This is the one you’ll usually get at around the 8 week ultrasound mark. Your doc will use a handheld device over the abdomen to show you what’s going on on the inside. They use a gel on your skin which can be a little ticklish and cold.

  • Are 8 week ultrasounds accurate?
    So, accuracy in this sense means predicting the due date. And chances are that your 8 week ultrasound is pretty accurate! This is a very good reason to not go for one sooner. In the weeks preceding this, your little peanut is growing at such an alarming rate that accurate predicting is a little tricky.
  • Can you hear a heartbeat at 8 weeks?
    While it is very difficult to hear a heartbeat at 8 weeks with your Doppler machine at home, you should be able to hear it with the space-age tech of the ultrasound. Those soundwaves come in handy!

Final piece of ultrasound advice? You may want to take a tissue for leaky eyes. Don’t say we didn’t warn you!

💡More on Peanut:
12 Week Ultrasound: What to Expect
30 Week Ultrasound: What to Expect
40 Week Ultrasound: Key Facts