Your Sonographer Appointments

pregnant mum having a sonograph appointment

These ultrasound scan appointments are a great way to check on your baby’s growth and development, as well as check for abnormalities. Here’s an overview of when each of your routine scans are and what to expect at each appointment. Under the NHS, you typically only have two scans, but if your pregnancy is deemed high-risk, you may have a few more scans than this for further monitoring. You can also pay to have more scans via a private practice too.

8-12 Week Scan

Your first sneaky peek at your baby is an exciting event and one that makes things seem a little more real - and just a little bit scary! However, your first scan is not just for a preview.

Often referred to as a dating scan, at your first ultrasound, the sonographer will confirm your pregnancy, and give you an estimated date of delivery (EDD). At this appointment, you can also choose to have nuchal translucency screening, which tests for Down’s syndrome, Edwards’ and Patau’s syndrome.

If your wish is to have the screening, a blood test will be done and during the scan, a measurement of the fluid at the back of the baby’s neck will be recorded. This information and your age will be combined to ascertain the chances of you having a baby with any of these syndromes.

It is important to understand that the results do not provide a diagnosis but will advise if you have a higher or lower chance of your baby having any of these syndromes. If your results are returned and you are in the higher chance category, you will be offered further diagnostic testing, which your midwife will fully explain to you. Again, you do not have to have further testing if you want to.

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20-Week Scan

Your 20-week scan is a lovely time to have a look at everything that has developed in the past couple of months. More importantly, it is offered to check the physical development of your baby. The sonographer will look at the baby’s internal organs, as well as the bones and spinal cord. They will have a look at their growth and give you a current approximate weight and size which can be plotted on a growth chart.

You may also decide at this point to find out if you are having a girl or a boy. Do let the sonographer know if you don’t want to know, so that they don’t give it away, though sometimes it’s obvious on the scans!

Do you think you will find out if you are having a girl or a boy on one of your scans? The Honest Midwife shares her thoughts on finding out before the big day here.

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