Having an ultrasound scan is an exciting part of pregnancy, it's an opportunity for you to see your baby on a screen and see how he or she is growing and developing.
An ultrasound works by using high frequency sound waves to create an image of your baby in your belly. It may look like a black and white blur to you but your sonographer will be trained and able to guide you to where your baby is on the screen.
Depending on the progress of your pregnancy, generally in most cases where there are no complications, you'll have two ultrasound scans throughout the duration of your pregnancy.
10-13 week dating scans
Between 8-14 weeks you will receive a dating scan which establishes your due date. During this scan, the sonographer will use gel on your stomach to move a hand-held transducer device over your skin to view an image of your baby.
This scan will provide the following information;
• Measure your baby's length from head to bottom which is called the crown rump length (CRL).
• Reveal if you are carrying one baby, twins or more.
• Check your baby's heartbeat.
What to expect at your 20 week scan
Time for your 20 week scan, also known as the anomaly scan, or mid-pregnancy scan. This is the last time you will get to see your baby before you get to meet your little one. At this scan, the sonographer will be seeing how your baby is doing;
- Looking to see if your baby is a healthy size
- Counting all fingers and toes
- Checking out their brain
- Make sure the umbilical cord and placenta are positioned correctly.
Usually, your mid-pregnancy scan will give the opportunity to ask about the sex of your baby but please bear in mind this depends on the position of the baby and hospital policy.
Apart from the above, the ultrasound will be very similar to your first scan. The only thing to remember is that you need to have a full bladder for both scans, so it can act like a balloon to push your uterus up to help you and the sonographer see how your baby is doing!