Topic: A Guide To Pregnancy Scans
Introduced in the 1950s, obstetric ultrasound is the use of ultrasound scans in pregnancy. Very high-frequency sound waves are used to give a picture of the moving fetus on a screen. Information about the health of the baby and measurements can be assessed from the information. It is a safe, non-invasive and essential procedure for expectant mothers.
Pregnancy scans are used primarily at the following points during pregnancy:
- Confirmation of early pregnancy and to assess the correct location of pregnancy
- At week 12 to confirm accuracy of dates
- A nuchal translucency scan (if required) to look for fetal abnormalities
- At around week 20 the anomaly scan will take accurate measurements, and ensure the viability of organs and growth
After 20 weeks further scans for multiple pregnancies or high-risk pregnancies may be carried out to give a continual assessment of fetal development.
Other scan types include transvaginal, which can give more accurate pictures earlier on in pregnancy, and 3D and 4D scans which provide more detailed pictures of your baby. As well as being an exciting moment for expectant parents, pregnancy scans are vital throughout pregnancy. Ms Joash will speak in detail about what to expect at each stage of your screening.