If you’re in the second trimester of your pregnancy, you may be getting ready to have your routine 20-week ultrasound. Also referred to as the 20-week anatomy scan, this ultrasound provides parents-to-be with the opportunity to see how their baby is developing or if there are some issues they need to make plans for prior to the baby’s arrival.
Even though most 20-week ultrasounds are done during the second trimester of pregnancy, they can be performed at any point between 18 to 22 weeks. Almost all physicians order 20-week ultrasounds for prospective mothers, because they convey more details than the first-trimester sonogram, which allows them to obtain additional information about the fetus’s development. Here is what you can expect to learn about your baby after your 20-week ultrasound scan.
While one of the most anticipated aspects of this ultrasound is the chance to learn your baby’s sex, the main purpose of this scan is to get a good look at your baby’s anatomy to ensure everything is forming as it should be. While your baby’s fetal organs are immature at this point in fetal development, they are all established, including the four heart chambers, kidneys, stomach, spine, sex organs, and brain.
With a better view of your baby’s anatomy, your doctor will be able to determine if there are any issues he or she needs to address. A 20-week ultrasound can usually identify problems that previous scans couldn’t detect, including cardiac or brain defects and spinal cord problems.
This scan will also allow your physician to measure your baby’s growth to ensure everything is on track. If a baby’s size is not within the expected gestational age range, your doctor may order further testing to identify the root of the problem. If your physician sees any issues, you will have the advantage of receiving medical recommendations and treatment options to help you prepare in advance for your child’s delivery. This will ensure that your baby has all the care he or she requires well before you give birth.
The 20-week ultrasound can also assist in facilitating a safe and healthy birth for you and your baby. This scan will provide details about the placenta, uterus, and amniotic fluid, which will give your doctor the chance to recognize any abnormalities and make the optimal suggestions to assist you in preparing for your baby’s birth.
For additional questions regarding the 20-week ultrasound, be sure to speak with your physician at Women’s Medical Associates of Nashville.