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By the 20th week of pregnancy, the realization completely sinks in that you are going to be a mother! Congratulations for carrying your baby in your tummy safely for so long and creating a nurturing environment for your little one. But your responsibility does not end here. In fact, it is just getting started.
It is for sure that your little bump is getting all the attention, and advice and words must be pouring from all direction for you. Here is one such advice that you need to follow strictly. Since the 20th week is important to the mother and the baby, do not miss out on the anomaly scan. You can even choose Motherhood for it. At Motherhood our doctors will be with you throughout your pregnancy and will rule out and watch for any pregnancy complications, using physical exams, lab tests, and ultrasounds.
In most circumstances, a pregnancy goes on as expected without any problems. But, sometimes there might be disruptions in the development of the foetus while in the womb. These are called fetal anomalies or birth defects. Ultrasound technology and other diagnostic tests are capable of picking up certain congenital abnormalities, which is significant as it can help doctors treat these conditions and parents be prepared for their management, once the little one is born.
At Motherhood Hospitals, all our efforts are directed towards giving comprehensive care and access to the best in technology for mother and baby. An anomaly scan normal report will bring relief to all concerned. Even otherwise, we are well-equipped to detect any complications in the foetus and womb, and our doctors are highly competent to address medical conditions effectively.
What is an Anomaly Scan?
A fetal anomaly scan, commonly called the 20-week pregnancy scan, projects a black and white, sideways picture of the fetus and carries out a detailed examination of the baby’s size and physical development. The 2-D anomaly scan is done to look for birth defects, placement of the placenta and the amniotic fluid. It looks at the formation of the facial features of the baby including the eyes, nose and mouth; proper formation of all the limbs and the organs including brain, heart, bones, spinal cord, kidneys and abdomen. The scan also checks for possible conditions affecting the womb (uterus).
Anomaly Scan or mid-pregnancy scan is an ultrasound scan done between the 18th and 21st week of pregnancy to take a closer look at the baby and the womb (uterus) and to have an idea where the placenta is lying.
The scan aims to look for any major physical abnormalities in the growing baby. The scan can be as a dating scan where a black and white 2-dimensional (2-D) image is produced which gives the side-view of the baby in the womb. This image shows the baby’s face and hands at 20 weeks and gives the healthcare specialist (a sonographer) an idea of what is going inside. This can be undoubtedly exciting!
When is the anomaly scan done?
The ultrasound scan, also called a mid-pregnancy scan is usually done between 18 and 21 weeks of pregnancy.
Why is Anomaly Scan done?
The mid-pregnancy anomaly scan is done for checking any physical abnormalities in the growing baby. Although it can’t pick up every problem, it gives the healthcare specialist (a sonographer) an idea about the baby’s bones, heart, brain, spinal cord, face, kidneys and abdomen and allows the healthcare specialist identify the following conditions (some of which are very rare):
- Diaphragmatic hernia
- Open spina bifida
- Bilateral renal agenesis
- Lethal skeletal dysplasia
- Edwards’ syndrome or T18
- Patau’s syndrome or T13
- Cleft lip
- Serious cardiac
Mostly the scan shows that the baby is developing normally, but in a few cases, the sonographer will find or suspect a problem.
What does the anomaly scan check inside the womb?
Here is what the detailed scan examines in the fetus and the womb:
- The sonologist doing the scan scrutinizes every part of the baby’s body and takes measurements to determine normal growth.
- Checks the limbs to look for any deformities such as missing fingers or toes.
- Examines facial features including eyes, nose and mouth.
- Thoroughly checks the brain, spinal cord, bones, heart, lungs, kidneys and abdomen and looks for congenital defects.
- Checks the position of the placenta.
- Determines if the amount of amniotic fluid is normal.
Some of the birth defects that can be detected through this scan:
- Cleft lip
- Spina bifida
- Heart defects
- Club feet
- Structural abnormalities in the brain
- Diaphragmatic hernia
- Kidney problems
- Genetic disorders caused by chromosomal abnormalities.
How is it done?
A sonographer asks the patient to lie on a couch and uncover the abdomen and applies gel on the abdomen. Then he/she passes a handheld probe over the skin of the abdomen to examine the baby’s body. The gel is applied to make sure that there is good contact between the probe and the skin. As the probe moves, a black and white 2-D image of the baby will appear on the ultrasound screen. For a better view, the sonographer will ask the patient to drink water to have a full bladder before the appointment. At times the sonographer may apply slightly more pressure to get a better view of the baby.
The entire process of mid-pregnancy scan takes only around 30 minutes.
What will happen if the scan shows some defect?
Most often, the anomaly scan report will show that your baby is growing normally. Sometimes, the sonologist may detect some abnormality in the scan results and will consult a senior doctor to be doubly sure of the findings. Based on the report, the parents will be asked to consult a specialist and given counselling. Further tests may be advised to find out more about the defect and plan the next course of action.
Motherhood’s team of obstetricians, gynaecologists and Fetal medicine specialist will ensure that both mother and baby get the expert care they deserve.
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You can trust Motherhood for your beautiful journey. Our Obstetric services include Antenatal care (before birth), Intrapartum care (during labour and delivery), and Postnatal care (after birth) which gives you and your little one womb-like care.
Our team of doctors will make sure you and your baby are healthy and active throughout the pregnancy via regular checkups. They assist you with all the tests you need to rule out any abnormalities and give you a chance to learn how to manage the discomforts of pregnancy. Motherhood delivers the best in women, newborn and children’s healthcare. Therefore, there is more than one reason to trust us!
Book your appointment today with our experts or send us an inquiry.