Welcoming Dad to an Ultrasoundby Elizabeth MacDonald
Gone are the days when dads sit in a waiting room while moms are brought into an ultrasound appointment. Today, couples want to experience bonding moments. They want to take pictures, share with friends, and create memories together. It falls on your shoulders to make this happen. Because of you, they will either have the overall experience they wanted - or not.
Too often, the mother is the only one who is spoken to during the appointment. Make sure to greet the dad, too! A warm welcome and even a handshake introduction will start everything off on the right foot.
As the ultrasound tech, you will be in physical contact with the mother, of course, but it doesn’t mean that the dad disappears into the background. As the mother gets comfortable, chat with Dad! Try to make a connection to help him feel more involved. Is he wearing a sports shirt or hat? Look for anything that you can start a mini-conversation about. From there, it can be easy to transition to baby-talk. “So, do you think you’re having a baseball or softball player?”
Always, always confirm with the parents before revealing any gender clues. Some parents do not want to know, and nothing ruins an appointment faster than you spilling the beans.
Once you begin the scan, you can ask about pregnancy ailments the mom has been experiencing, and even ask if the dad has had any sympathy symptoms. As the scan progresses, show the dad the screen and point out things that may seem obvious. Most dads confess that they can’t depict much from an ultrasound picture! Answer his questions just as you would answer the mother’s questions.
If there is an audible heartbeat to play, offer to record it for the couple. This gives them more than the pictures to take home. However, don’t dismiss those printed pictures as a simple souvenir, you can easily type in “Hi Dad!” across one of them before hitting the print key.
Creating this welcoming atmosphere in which both parents feel included will keep families looking forward to their appointments with you, and often, will have them recommending you to friends!