Growth Scan – To Check Baby’s Development
The growth (or wellbeing) scan is performed any time from 24 weeks onwards to check your baby´s development including growth.
The growth scan does not include the same level of detail as the anatomy scan but it is important because we can monitor your baby´s growth against clinical data. Wellbeing/growth scans are a good way of tracking your baby´s growth against the data which indicates normal development.
Establishing that your baby´s measurements are within the normal range is reassuring for parents and valuable information for your midwife.
When you first become pregnant, your baby’s due date is calculated from the date of your Last Menstrual Period (LMP), however you will actually conceive around 14 days after your LMP or later if your cycle is longer than 28 days. If your cycles are irregular, this can also make it difficult to date your pregnancy – this is why a pregnancy dating scan is essential. Ultrasounds performed during the first 12 weeks of pregnancy are generally accurate within 3-5 days, with the most accurate time being between 8-11 weeks gestation. A pregnancy dating scan is normally performed trans-abdominally, across your tummy; however an internal scan may be required at earlier gestations (i.e. 7 - 8 weeks), as this makes it easier to see the baby. To prepare for the scan, it’s best to attend your appointment with a full bladder.
What do we look at?
The scan is performed using traditional 2D imaging which is better for diagnostic purposes. During the scan, your sonographer will make a number of critical measurements and observations of your baby including:
- Baby´s heartbeat
- Circumference and diameter of your baby´s head
- Length of your baby´s femur (leg bone)
- Amount of amniotic fluid around your baby
- Circumference of the abdomen
The sonographer will explain the scan to you and answer any questions you may have about the procedure. You will also receive a report which will advise you of any actions that may need taking.
The vast majority of scans are normal, but this is a diagnostic examination so you will be made aware of any concerns the sonographer may have about the pregnancy or your baby´s development.
You will receive a full report plus a USB drive of the images obtained with printed thermal images to keep.