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PREGNANCY AND PRENATAL SCANS: WHICH ONES CAN’T BE SKIPPED?

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During a pregnancy ultrasound, your doctor or a skilled technician uses a plastic transducer to transmit high-frequency sound waves through your uterus. These sound waves send signals back to a machine that converts them into images of your baby.

Ultrasounds can provide your doctor with lots of valuable information—for example, they can monitor your baby’s growth, detect abnormalities, predict your due date, determine whether you’re carrying multiples, show the position of your placenta, and indicate the sex of your baby.

To prepare you for these important pregnancy scans, we broke down the most common types of ultrasounds and when you should expect them.

 Early Pregnancy Ultrasound (6-8 Weeks)

Your first ultrasound, also known as a baby sonogram, might take place when you’re six to eight weeks pregnant. But not every woman will get this scan; some doctors only conduct it for certain high-risk pregnancy conditions like bleeding, abdominal pain, and history of birth defects or miscarriage.

 Dating Ultrasound (10-13 Weeks)

Those who forgo the six to eight-week ultrasound might have a”dating ultrasound” around weeks 10 to 13 of pregnancy. This gives parents the same type of information: due date, your baby’s “crown-rump length” (measurement from head to bottom), the number of babies in the womb, and the fetal heartbeat.

 Nuchal Translucency Ultrasound (14-20 Weeks)

Between 14 and 20 weeks, you may also have a nuchal translucency (NT) test to check for Down syndrome, heart defects, or other chromosomal abnormalities. Women should consider getting it if their screening test revealed a potential problem, they’re 35 or older, or they have a family history of certain birth defects.

 Anatomy Scan (18-20 Weeks)

This detailed pregnancy ultrasound, which generally happens between weeks 18 and 20 in the second trimester, lasts 20 to 45 minutes if you’re having one baby and longer if you’re having multiples. It’s the most thorough check-up your baby will have before they’re born.

 Third Trimester Ultrasound

Many parents-to-be don’t need an ultrasound in the third trimester. But if your pregnancy is considered high-risk—for example, if you have high blood pressure, bleeding, low levels of amniotic fluid, preterm contractions, or are over age 35 —your doctor may perform in-office, low-resolution ultrasounds during your prenatal visits for reassurance. You’ll also get a follow-up ultrasound if your cervix was covered by the placenta at your 20-week scan.

 Doppler Ultrasound

A regular ultrasound uses sound waves to produce images; this one bounces high-frequency sound waves off circulating red blood cells to measure blood flow and blood pressure. The test will determine if the Baby is getting enough blood.

 There are a number of other scans with varied nomenclatures. We’ve put together a

List of scans during pregnancy (list with a small explanation of each): 

  • Viability Scan: an early scan to confirm that you are pregnant, work out your due date, and check that you and your baby are healthy.
  • Nuchal Translucency Scan: the routine 12 week scan to check your baby’s growth and development. We can assess the risk of Down’s and Edward’s syndromes and check for certain fetal anomalies.
  • Reassurance Scan: an additional scan to check on your baby’s health if you‘re feeling anxious or you have a high-risk pregnancy. We also recommend this test if you’re experiencing bleeding or other symptoms.
  • Sexing Scan: an extra scan to find out if you’re expecting a boy or a girl, before the next routine scan. We won’t usually perform the full range of health checks, but we’ll measure your baby and spot any major issues.
  • Anomaly Scan: the routine 20-week scan to check your baby’s health and development. We’ll measure your baby and check the heart, brain, spine, bowel, limbs, and other structures for abnormalities. We’ll also look for any issues with the placenta, umbilical cord, or amniotic fluid. We can usually tell your baby’s sex at this scan if you haven’t already found out.
  • Cervical Scan: an extra trans-vaginal scan to measure the length of your cervix if you are at risk of giving birth prematurely.
  • Wellbeing Scan: an additional scan to check on your baby’s development before he or she is born. We’ll measure your baby and perform a range of health checks.
  • 4D Scan: a 3D color ultrasound that will give you a chance to see your baby in a completely different way than the usual 2D black and white ultrasounds. You’ll be able to see your baby’s face and watch him or her moving in real-time. We’ll check your baby’s growth and health during the scan, but this is mainly an opportunity for you to bondEvery stage of the pregnancy is important for both the mother and the child. The ultrasound scans performed will ensure to track the growth of your child. We at add-on Scans and Labs have highly experienced doctors and trained staff to give the best care for your pregnancy. To book an appointment for an Ultrasound Scan near your place, Call us or Whatsapp or book an appointment
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