In this Article
- Why Do You Need 19 Week Ultrasound Scan?
- How to Prepare For 19 Week Scan?
- How Long Does Nineteen Week Ultrasound Take to Complete?
- How is the Scan Performed?
- What Can Be Seen in the Scan?
- What Sort of Abnormalities Can Be Detected on this Scan?
- What if the Ultrasound Shows Abnormalities?
- How Safe Is 19 Week Ultrasound?
Pregnant women reach almost middle of their pregnancy by the 19th week. At this stage, they become due for a mid-pregnancy ultrasound scan to determine the normal growth of the unborn baby. A healthy baby at 19 weeks ultrasound is usually around 6 inches long weighing almost 8.5oz. After 19 weeks of pregnancy, the baby is likely to grow around a centimetre by each week.
At 19 weeks pregnant, the doctor may like to check your blood sugar levels and the haemoglobin. If required, he may also recommend tests to check the progesterone levels. Furthermore, the doctor will suggest an ultrasound to diagnose pathologies and to assess the child’s heartbeat, foetus’ motor activity, the condition of the amniotic fluid, size of the baby and the uterus.
Why Do You Need 19 Week Ultrasound Scan?
As the pregnancy progresses into the 19th week, the foetus tends to develop quickly. The doctor may like to conduct an ultrasound at this point to check that the pregnancy is progressing smoothly. The 19-week ultrasound scan is also known as the “morphology scan” or the “structural scan” because the sonographer evaluates the structure and shape of the foetus on the scan. This detailed ultrasound may sometimes be referred to as the “anomaly scan” as it closely examines the foetus to exclude any major physical abnormalities. The doctor may take note of the following things:
- Verify the foetal heartbeat
- Evaluate the foetal size
- Check the placenta’s position
- Detect multiple pregnancies
- Determine the extent of amniotic fluid enclosing the unborn baby
- Seek foetal abnormalities, if any
- Confirm the expected date of delivery
How to Prepare For 19 Week Scan?
A 19-week scan requires almost no special preparations. But it is important that you have a full bladder for the scan. Nonetheless, this does not mean that you should be uncomfortably full. It is better to ask your doctor regarding how much water you should drink before the scan.
A full bladder is helpful because it makes the upward-tilting uterus slant back the other way compelling it to temporarily provide a flatter surface which allows the doctor to have a clear view of the pelvis, uterus, and ovaries.
For the scan, you may like to wear loose and comfortable clothing that can aid the sonographer to have easy access to your belly.
How Long Does Nineteen Week Ultrasound Take to Complete?
Most nineteen-week ultrasound scans take no more than 30 to 40 minutes to complete.
How is the Scan Performed?
Ultrasound employs high-frequency sound waves to view graphic images of the unborn baby. The sonographer conducting the scan may apply an ultrasound gel on your abdominal area which can be wiped off later once the scan is complete. He will then place a small probe or transducer on your belly that will transmit the sound waves through the gel in your body. The transducer gathers the sounds which reflect back. These sound waves get converted into images on a computer.
What Can Be Seen in the Scan?
19-week ultrasound what to expect can be an exciting prospect for the parents. It can be very thrilling for the parents to watch their unborn baby at 19 weeks ultrasound. With the doctor’s help, you may be able to see the bones and limbs of the baby – white and the soft tissues which will look grey speckled with dots. The baby’s skin may seem transparent and red mostly because of the presence of blood vessels. The baby’s skin may also appear to be covered with a creamy white coating known as vernix. The amniotic fluid encircling the unborn baby will seem black. The doctor may be able to point out the major organs of the baby to you including the baby’s heart.
What Sort of Abnormalities Can Be Detected on this Scan?
The different kinds of abnormalities that can be detected on this scan are listed below:
- Congenital heart problems
- Hydrocephalus- accumulation of fluid within the brain
- Spina bifida – the spinal cord does not develop properly
- A diaphragmatic hernia – irregular opening in the diaphragm due to which abdominal organs move up into the chest
- Anencephaly – an incomplete skull and underdeveloped brain
- Gastroschisis – an opening in the abdominal wall of the baby
- Major limb anomalies like short limbs or missing bones
- Major kidney complications like abnormal or missing kidney
- Autism – a developmental disorder that damages the ability to interact and communicate
- Cerebral palsy – a disorder of muscle tone that impairs movement or posture
- Down syndrome – a chromosomal disorder causing intellectual and developmental disabilities
What if the Ultrasound Shows Abnormalities?
In case the ultrasound shows any abnormality, the doctor after explaining the problem may layout the options for the most suitable treatment. Alternatively, the doctor may want to discuss the case in detail with another specialist and take further views.
The doctor may also like to examine the baby on another day when the baby is likely to be in a different position. Accordingly, he may ask you to come again after a few days for an additional scan. Usually, it is not essential that complications which require repeat scanning are serious. A single scan may not be able to give a holistic view of the problem, and you may have to undergo extra scans to clearly establish the abnormality.
How Safe Is 19 Week Ultrasound?
19-week foetus ultrasound is usually considered safe. It is non-invasive, painless and does not involve ionizing radiation. With the improvements in ultrasound technology, the option of 19 week 3d ultrasound is also available which can provide 3-D images of the unborn baby.
The 19-week scan can offer pictures of your unborn baby confirming his essential growth and development. By this time an unborn baby may also develop some hearing abilities. So, it can be a great idea to begin talking to your child. It is vital to stay positive and healthy to ensure an enjoyable pregnancy.