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Checklist for week 20 scan during pregnancy

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What will the sonographer look at?
The sonographer will examine all your baby’s organs and take measurements. She will look at:
The shape and structure of your baby’s head. At this stage severe brain problems, which happen very rarely, are visible.
Your baby’s face to check for a cleft lip. Cleft palates inside a baby’s mouth are hard to see and are not often picked up.
Your baby’s spine, both along its length and in cross section, to make sure that all the bones align and that the skin covers the spine at the back.
Your baby’s abdominal wall, to make sure it covers all the internal organs at the front.
Your baby’s heart. The top two chambers (atria) and the bottom two chambers (ventricles) should be equal in size. The valves should open and close with each heartbeat.
Your baby’s stomach. Your baby swallows some of the amniotic fluid that he lies in, which is seen in his stomach as a black bubble.
Your baby’s kidneys. The sonographer will check that your baby has two kidneys, and that urine flows freely into his bladder. If your baby’s bladder is empty, it should fill up during the scan and be easy to see. Your baby has been doing a wee every half an hour or so for some months now!
Your baby’s arms, legs, hands and feet. The sonographer will look at your baby’s fingers and toes, but not count them.
As well as this detailed look at how your baby is growing, the sonographer will check the placenta, the umbilical cord and the amniotic fluid.
The placenta may be on the front wall (anterior) or the back wall of your uterus (posterior), usually near the top (or fundus). If the placenta is near the top, it may be described as fundal on your scan notes.
The placenta will be described as low if it reaches down to or covers the neck of your uterus (your cervix). If the placenta is lying low in your uterus, you’ll have another scan in the third trimester to check its position. By then, it’s likely the placenta will have moved away from your cervix.
It is possible to count the three blood vessels (two arteries and a single vein) in the umbilical cord, but your sonographer may not do this. It’s not routine procedure. She will check to see that’s there’s enough amniotic fluid for your baby to move freely, though.
During the scan, the sonographer will measure parts of your baby’s body, to see how well he is growing. The sonographer will measure your baby’s:
head circumference (HC)
abdominal circumference (AC)
femur or thigh bone (FL)
The measurements should match up to what’s expected for your baby, given his anticipated due date. The due date will have been established at your dating scan. If your anomaly scan is the first scan you’ve had, it will be used to establish a due date.

Which abnormalities can be seen on the scan?
Sonographers have a list of conditions to look out for. The conditions are on the list either because they are very serious and may even mean a baby can’t survive, or because they are treatable after birth.
If the conditions are treatable, it will help the hospital team to know in advance. The team can then make sure your baby has the right care as soon as he’s born.
Some conditions are easier to spot than others; some are hard to see at all. Most of the conditions on the list are very rare. Here’s the list of conditions, and the percentage chance of your sonographer seeing each one, if your baby has it:
Absence of the top of the head (anencephaly): 98 %
Cleft lip: 75 %
Defect of the abdominal wall (exomphalos): 80 %
Defect of the abdominal wall (gastroschisis): 98 %
Missing or very short limbs: 90 %
Defect of the spinal cord (spina bifida): 90 %
Major kidney problems (missing or abnormal kidneys): 84 %
Hole in the muscle separating chest and abdomen (diaphragmatic hernia): 60 %
Excess fluid within the brain (hydrocephalus): 60 %
Edwards’ syndrome or Patau’s syndrome (chromosomal abnormalities): 95 %
Major heart problems (defects of chambers, valves or vessels): 50 %

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Written by blueroselady

December 7, 2012 at 4:54 am

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  1. […] Checklist for week 20 scan during pregnancy « Blueroselady’s Weblog […]

  2. […] in pregnancy Stay positive, be protective in pregnancy Improve your lifestyle in pregnancy. Checklist for week 20 scan during pregnancy. […]

  3. […] in pregnancy Stay positive, be protective in pregnancy Improve your lifestyle in pregnancy. Checklist for week 20 scan during pregnancy. […]


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