Time For Your 12-Week Scan: What To Expect
You will have had earlier appointments and may have had an early scan if you've had any concerns such as bleedingbut otherwise this is the first time you'll get to see your baby, so it's a real milestone in expecf pregnancy. Before the scan you will be asked to ahat a lot of water and have a full bladder, expdct this puts the uterus in a better position to be scanned. This can be something of an uncomfortable challenge if your sonographer has particularly long waiting times. I had to drink so much bloody water before my scan only to find there was a delay before my appointment — I felt like I was going to explode.
Expsct never forget one nurse asking me, 'Do you think you could just pop to the loo and let just a little bit out? When it comes to the actual scan you'll lie on your back and then some sticky, clear gel will be rubbed over daring abdomen. The sonographer will tuck some tissues under your clothes so you don't get gel all over xating. He or she will then move a hand-held transducer over your belly, which bounces high-frequency sound waves off your baby to create a picture on the monitor.
You might feel a bit of pressure but it doesn't actually hurt and won't harm your baby. You should then see what to expect at my dating scan black-and-white image wwhat your baby appear on the screen. The clarity of the picture depends on a number of things. For instance, if you have any abdominal scarring or are overweight the picture may not be as clear. Occasionally, if they can't see what they need to, the sonographer may ask you to have a transvaginal scan, where a very thin probe is used to look at the baby from close to the cervix.
This gives a much clearer picture. You will be able to watch the monitor and see the first pictures of your baby, which is always an extraordinary moment, whether sdan is your first baby daing your fifth. It may not be immediately obvious which parts of your baby datnig looking at, but the sonographer will be able to help you work it out.
After a long first trimester, when you might well have had worries, or even wondered if there can really be a baby in there, it is a great comfort and a huge relief to see your datjng on the screen and have the reassurance that everything is OK in there. The scan is primarily for dating but the sonographer will also look in on a few more things at the same time.
Here are the main checks they'll be making:. Your baby will be measured and the exact stage of pregnancy will be calculated from the measurement made from crown tto rump. This will give you a more precise estimated due date. Are you expecting just one baby, or could it be twins or gulp even more? The sonographer will check your baby's spine for any visible abnormalities. They will also look at the head, limbs, feet, heartbeat and check that the major organs are developing as they should.
They will look at the epxect itself and will take note of its position, which may have implications for later in the pregnancy. A low-lying placenta what to expect at my dating scan moves up later in the pregnancy but if it doesn't, it can cause problems in labour so they will want to check its movements throughout your pregnancy.
It's not completely foolproof — but the dating scan is a much more accurate way to work out how far you are into pregnancy than calculating it by the date of your last period, which is the only method the midwives will have used so far to work out your datinb date. You may find at this scan your due date is altered on your notes. It's more common to be told you're less what to expect at my dating scan along than you thought you were, rather than that you're actually further along in the pregnancy.
You may also be offered a nuchal translucency test at this appointment. This is a measurement of the amount of fluid at the base of the baby's neck and it can indicate a higher risk of Down's syndrome. Not all areas offer this test as dtaing but when it is offered it is usually done at the week scan. The results of the nuchal test are put together with the results of blood tests that are usually done a bit earlier to screen for the risk of your baby having mg such as Down's, Edwards expecct Patau syndrome.
If you're pregnant and over 40 it's worth bearing in mind that your risk factor will automatically be higher because of your age. The pregnancy screening tests and scans you'll be offered vary slightly dxpect different parts of the UK, so ask your midwife or GP what's available at the hospitals in your area. If a problem is picked up on the dating scan you will dsting be offered further tests and referred on to a more specialist department to find out more about what's going on.
If the screening tests find that your risk for any of the abnormalities tested for is high, you will be offered diagnostic tests such as CVS chorionic villus sampling and amniocentesis to find out for sure if there's a problem. You're under no obligation to have these, and they do usually carry a small risk of miscarriage as they are invasive.
These pregnancy scans pose no risk at all to either you or your baby. However, you may want to think in advance about whether you want the screening test, as it could always throw up something that then means another difficult decision such as whether to have diagnostic tests. If you know you wouldn't go down that route it's worth exect whether to have the screening in the first place.
Scaj the vast majority of women take up all the scans they are what to expect at my dating scan, and they can offer really important information about your baby, you are not obliged to have any of them at all if you don't wish to. Hospitals are usually happy for you to bring your partner or someone else to the scans. Check your hospital's policy, as some don't allow more than one person in the room with whag, or don't allow children to come.