The mid pregnancy scan

Everything You Need To Know About The Mid Pregnancy Scan

Everything You Need To Know About The Mid Pregnancy Scan
The mid pregnancy scan

Everything You Need To Know About The Mid Pregnancy Scan


One of the most exciting times during pregnancy is the mid-pregnancy scan. This is the first time you get to see your little one while it’s still inside your womb and make sure that he/she is doing okay. The anatomy scan takes place 20 weeks into the pregnancy to make sure that your baby is growing and developing properly. The doctor listens to the baby’s heartbeat, measures the amount of amniotic fluid, checks the location of the placenta and takes many measurements to see if the baby is the right size for its age.

The anomaly scan, on the other hand, is performed 18-20 weeks into the pregnancy which is a more detailed examination of the foetus. This scan is done to check if the foetus has any structural or functional defects. Not just that, this scan also helps identify if the mother-to-be is exposed to the risk of pregnancy related diseases like gestational diabetes, hypertension, and likelihood of preterm labour or premature delivery.

What does the scan show?

The anomaly scan shows your baby’s position, the amniotic fluid surrounding the baby and your own bodyweight. The scan can help find potential defects affecting the baby’s brain, spinal cord, limbs, heart, bowel and kidneys.

Advantages of the scan:

The anomaly scan is a must for all pregnant ladies between 18-20 weeks since it can help diagnose major developmental problems in the foetus. If an abnormality is spotted, necessary measures can be taken to get support and plan treatment after the birth. Although, it’s not possible to operate on most conditions before birth, the scan helps the parents-to-be know what to expect and prepares them to deal with it once the baby is born.

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Limitations of the scan:

Most major issues with your baby’s development can be diagnosed in this scan. Although it is a highly revolutionary technique, the anomaly scan can usually only diagnose structural defects—heart defects, abnormal limbs, spina bifida, cleft lip are to name a few. The scan can rarely detect functional or metabolic defects like sensory disorders, nervous system or brain problems and immune disorders. In fact, this ultrasound examination also cannot detect evolving abnormalities which might be discovered only after birth.

What if an issue is diagnosed?

In case any abnormality is spotted, your doctor will educate you on the steps to be taken to treat it. In more serious cases, you might need a second opinion from a different doctor or might have to perform the scan again just to be sure. Your doctor might also refer you to a genetic counsellor for steps to take in case of neural tube disorders like spina bifida and anencephaly. Since the scan takes place early into the pregnancy, a mother-to-be can resort to terminate the pregnancy in case of extreme complications and abnormalities.

In most cases an anomaly and anatomy scan are happy experiences for mothers-to-be where the result usually turns out to be normal. If your baby appears to be healthy during the scan, you won’t have to worry about a second opinion. The scan is usually a reassurance of your baby’s healthy and happy future.


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