Abstract(#br)Background(#br)Parents’ prenatal mental representations (i.e., thoughts and expectations) of their future child and relationship to that child have been associated with parenting and parent-child relationships after birth.(#br)Objective(#br)To explore how prenatal care providers contribute to parents’ mental representations of the baby they are expecting.(#br)Methods(#br)Routine prenatal ultrasounds of 22 pregnant women recruited through prenatal care were observed. Detailed notes were taken using an adaptation of the “Observation of Routine Screen Form” (Boukydis, 2006). Data collection included interaction among parents and providers relevant to the relational, rather than medical, aspect of the exam (e.g., comments on the “personality” of the fetus, speculation about how... the future baby will be like and unlike parents). Principles of grounded theory informed thematic analysis of the data.(#br)Findings(#br)Providers varied widely in their recognition of the relational aspect of prenatal ultrasound and their interactive style. Through informal interactions during ultrasounds, providers alternately inhibited, amplified, and shaped parents’ mental representations of their baby.(#br)Key conclusions and implications for practice(#br)The manner in which providers narrate and interpret images has implications for parents’ prenatal mental representations of the baby. Given the importance of prenatal representations for future parenting and parent-child relationships, providers should attend to and facilitate parents’ efforts to develop their own mental representations and establish feelings of connection to the baby.