Pregnancy Scans – A trimester by trimester Guide
Having a child is joy filled with excitement and an emotional event in woman’s life.Loads of doubts and bundle of fears during gestation period are quiet normal for a pregnant women.The doctors can help in removing the doubts and confusions with the help of laboratory tests and scans. Based on their observations, the doctors suggest the activities to be performed and precautions to be taken by the mother.
Doctors generally use ultrasound scans during pregnancy to know the situation of unborn baby and the mother. Though number of scans required vary from person to person, the following are the general Ultrasound scans performed during pregnancy.
Through the dating & visibility scan the following can be found out.
- The position of baby
- The pregnancy viability (By hearing baby’s heart beat)
- The accurate due date for delivery
- The number of babies
Dating & Visibility scanning is done between 6 -9 weeks of pregnancy.
Trans vaginal scan (TVS) is preferred for this Dating & Visibility Scan. Bladder needs to be emptied first.
The collection of fluid under skin at the back of baby’s neck is called Nuchal translucency (NT). Using NT scan, the thickness of the fluid can be measured which is indication for Down’s syndrome.
NT Scan can only indicate the level of risk baby having Down’s syndrome. Other diagnostic tests are recommended in case NT Scan indicates high risk of Down’s syndrome. These tests may carry the risk of miscarriage.
NT Scan is done between 11 – 13 weeks. NT scan is done through tummy and bladder should be full.
The dating & visibility scan and NT Scans are done in first trimester. Anomaly scan is done in second trimester.
Through anomaly scan the following can be found out.
- Baby’s growth and fetal movements
- Organ developments
- Birth defects
- Chromosomal abnormalities
Anomaly Scan is done between 18 – 24 weeks and abdominal scan is used for this.
Baby’s vital organs are developed by the mid of pregnancy gestation period. All pregnant women are recommended this scan because necessary precautions can be taken if problems are detected.
Growth scan is done in third trimester to know about the baby’s growth. Doctor measure baby size based on circumference of baby’s head & tummy, length of baby’s thigh bone and depth of amniotic fluid around baby. Doctors may advise extra scans if the measurements are not within limits. Doctor may suggest some times Doppler scans in these series scans.
Anomaly Scan is done between 28 Week to till Delivery.