- Should I get an early pregnancy scan? - Pregnancy health -MadeForMums
- Why would I have a dating scan?
- How is a dating scan performed?
- Your pregnancy and baby guide
Ultrasound scans use sound waves to build a picture of the baby in the womb. The scans are painless, have no known side effects on mothers or babies, and can be carried out at any stage of pregnancy. Talk to your midwife, GP or obstetrician about any concerns you have. For many women, ultrasound scans are the highlight of pregnancy. It's very exciting to "see" your baby in the womb, often moving their hands and legs.
Having a scan in pregnancy is usually a happy event, but be aware that ultrasound scans may detect some serious abnormalities, so try to be prepared for that information. See What if a screening test shows a possible problem? Most scans are carried out by specially trained staff called sonographers.
The scan is carried out in a dimly lit room so the sonographer is able to get good images of your baby.
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First you'll be asked to lie on a couch. You'll then be asked to lower your skirt or trousers to your hips and raise your top to your chest. The sonographer will put ultrasound gel on your tummy and tuck tissue paper around your clothing to protect it from the gel. The gel makes sure there is good contact between the machine and your skin. The sonographer passes a probe over your skin.
A black and white picture of the baby will appear on the ultrasound screen. During the examination, sonographers need to keep the screen in a position that gives them a good view of the baby.
The sonographer will carefully examine your baby's body. Having the scan does not hurt, but the sonographer may need to apply slight pressure on your tummy to get the best views of the baby. However, the sonographer may not be able to get good views if your baby is lying in an awkward position or moving around a lot.
If it's difficult to get a good image, the scan may take longer or have to be repeated at another time.
Should I get an early pregnancy scan? - Pregnancy health -MadeForMums
There are no known risks to the baby or the mother from having an ultrasound scan, but it is important that you consider carefully whether to have the scan or not. This is because the scan can provide information that may mean you have to make further important decisions. For example, you may be offered further tests, such as amniocentesis, that have a risk of miscarriage.
Hospitals in England offer all pregnant women at least 2 ultrasound scans during their pregnancy:. The first scan is sometimes called the dating scan. The sonographer estimates when your baby is due the estimated date of delivery, or EDD based on the baby's measurements. The dating scan can include a nuchal translucency NT scan, which is part of the combined screening test for Down's syndrome , if you choose to have this screening. This scan checks for structural abnormalities anomalies in the baby.
Some women may be offered more than two scans, depending on their health and their pregnancy. Most clinics can comfortably accommodate 5 guests including children for this scan. If you would like to bring more, please contact your chosen clinic when booking to check how many we can accommodate.
Why would I have a dating scan?
Why choose to have a dating scan? Like an early pregnancy scan, it will also tell you if your pregnancy is ongoing or not. What if my scan shows something is wrong or I need help after my appointment? Open the calendar popup. We also offer a more affordable Dating scan from 13 weeks.
How is a dating scan performed?
A pregnancy ultrasound scan will be carried out from around 6 weeks. So I would say leave it until 8 weeks so you know for sure. Going too early as I did just resulted in more worry. Your baby is developing really quickly during these early weeks and so your baby will look very different each week in an early scan:. This is the earliest a heartbeat will be detected. You may be able to start to identify the head and body. As mentioned above, it's going to be difficult to see anything before at least 6 weeks. However, if you are experiencing the signs of an ectopic pregnancy with severe pains in your side, you may be given a very early scan at 5 weeks.
At this stage, it will be possible to see a small pregnancy sac, but if it's an ectopic pregnancy, the sac will sadly be empty and there'll be no heartbeat. I could see the tiny baby and it already had little stumps where arms and legs would be but it still had a yolk in the sac like a bird!
This allows you to see things much more clearly. Unlike an abdominal scan, you don't need a full bladder, so you'll be asked to go for a pee before the scan begins. You go into the corner of the room and have a sheet over you, in order to do this.
Your pregnancy and baby guide
You go in the corner of the room and they put a curtain round you to do this. Then they ask you to put your knees up and open your legs, like you're having a smear. They said they were checking to see how many were in there, there was only one. They checked for a heartbeat and you could see a flutter and he put the volume on so we could hear it too. Not according to MFMers on our forum. It's quite long but they don't put it all the way in. They cover it with a condom and put some lube on the end.
Still he found it an equally amazing experience and it certainly has made it feel more real. If you go privately you should be be given a picture.
Many of us in the early stages of pregnancy feel like this! Waiting for the standard NHS dating scan at around 12 weeks can seem like an age. It feels as though life has stopped and all I can think about is the pregnancy, seeing the midwife and having a scan!