Best Times to Get a Pregnancy Ultrasound

After your first appointment with your OB doctor, it is advised to make a planner for your pregnancy scans and tests. Although most scans can be taken in a flexible period of time, for some ultrasounds there is an optimal time frame.

11 Weeks – the Early Pregnancy Scan

This is the first baby scan you can take and one of the most important ones. The early pregnancy scan, also called a viability scan or a dating scan, confirms pregnancy, calculates your estimated due date and checks for twin pregnancy. It can be taken starting with week 7 of pregnancy. The scan images will not show much, but their symbolic value makes them a precious memory.

12 Weeks – the NT Scan

The NT scan is carried out at 11 to 13 weeks and is designed to provide initial measurements of your baby and identify the risk for Down syndrome and other abnormalities. Screening tests for Down syndrome are also taken at 12 or 13 weeks.

16 – 24 Weeks – the Growth Scan

The best time for a growth scan is the one recommended by your doctor. This baby scan can be taken several times and records measurements of your baby. These measurements are compared to the average sizes. The purpose is to track your baby’s development and make sure that your pregnancy progresses as planned.

20 Weeks – the Anomaly Scan

The Anomaly Scan is a notable pregnancy scan, carried out between 18 and 21 weeks. The sonographer will look at the scan in detail to analyse specific anatomical structures.

20 – 36 Weeks – the Gender Scan

The best time to take a scan for finding out the gender is after week 20. The gender scan can also be carried out earlier, at 17 weeks.

26 – 29 Weeks – the 3D/4D Scan and HD Live Scan

The 3D, 4D and HD Live scans can be carried out between 17 and 32 weeks, but the best time for a really cute picture of your baby is after week 26 and before week 30. Before 26 weeks, your baby’s skin is very transparent and you will not be able to see your baby’s face very clearly. After week 30, the chances to see your baby’s face at all are small.

32 Weeks – the Wellbeing Scan

Also called the Late Pregnancy Scan, this ultrasound is carried out between 25 and 36 weeks of pregnancy. Checking the overall wellbeing of your baby indicates how your baby is prepossessing before the big day.

The Anomaly Pregnancy Scan and the Most Common Abnormalities It Detects

The anomaly scan is a detailed ultrasound scan, used for determining physical abnormalities of the foetus early on. The best month for an anomaly scan starts with the 20th week of pregnancy. Most women take the scan between this time and the 24th week. What is the anomaly scan used for and why is it recommended to have it? Find out below.

What is the use of an anomaly scan?

With the help of the anomaly scan, the doctor can take a close look at your baby and your uterus to check that everything is developing normally. Usually a scan lasts around 30 minutes, during which major physical abnormalities are checked by looking at certain factors. Your doctor will look at the ultrasound from various areas and angles and assess your baby’s heartbeat, the position of the placenta and the amount of amniotic fluid around your baby. Measurements to check the baby’s growth and development will be carefully taken in detail, and the baby’s organs will be examined as detailed as the visibility on the scan allows.

Common abnormalities that are checked for during the anomaly scan

Your doctor will also look for signs of some particular disorders when looking at the anomaly scan. Some of these conditions are:

  • Heart conditions, for which your baby’s heart is examined during the scan
  • Spine abnormalities: the doctor will check if the spine and skull are developing normally
  • Certain genetic disorders
  • Chromosomal abnormalities: the doctor will check if the number of chromosomes is normal and for related conditions such as the Down syndrome.

Remember, it’s not always possible to check everything in full details, as there are a lot of factors that can impede having a clear view in certain areas. If, due to these factors, the doctor decides that measurements will not be accurate, either a new appointment will be scheduled or an internal transvaginal probe will be used.

Why is it recommended to have the anomaly scan?

Even though the scan is accurate on the measurements that can be taken, not all abnormalities can be identified during this scan. The scan does, however, greatly reduce the risk of having a miscarriage or severe birth defects due to lack of knowledge about certain abnormalities early on during pregnancy. Talk to your doctor and keep yourself informed about the uses and limitations of the anomaly scan to fully understand how you and your baby will benefit from this scan appointment.

The first medical examination and the first baby scan

Medical exams, prenatal care as well as the office visits to the healthcare provider are very important because they help to permanently monitor your pregnancy, they are designed to keep you posted on the development phases of your baby and help you, as a mother, to make sure that everything is alright. Contact or visit us anytime at our clinic inLondonto schedule your prenatal appointment.

The prenatal check-up is usually scheduled after finding out that you’re pregnant and, considering its multiple benefits, it’s better to schedule your prenatal check-up as soon as possible.

During your first prenatal check-up, your GP may tell you the estimated due date, may exclude the probability of an ectopic pregnancy, can verify whether you’re carrying more than one baby and can accurately determine the embryo’s gestational age.

Before heading to the medical office, make sure you bring your complete medical history information. This may be records from your previous pregnancies, surgeries or anything you think your doctor or midwife might want. If this is not your first prenatal visit then be sure to let your practitioner know if anything has changed in your medical history since your last appointment. It is essential to present all medical records as well as any other medical-related information (such as medications or vitamins you’re currently taking or you have recently taken) to exclude any possibilities that might affect your pregnancy.

The baby scan is a very important non-invasive procedure (as we highlighted in our previous articles) that allows you to first meet your baby – you may see how it looks like and how it moves, stretches and even smiles at you. This is a unique, bonding experience you will forever cherish in your heart. Therefore, you’re always welcome to come to our baby scan clinic to enjoy these magic moments in a professional, friendly environment.