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Watching your little one come to life from the size of a small banana to bigger and beyond is amazement for many parents. An ultrasound (or anomaly) scan reveals how the foetus is developing and taking shape.
Your belly will be more pronounced at this point in time, and you’ll notice movements of new life in your womb. Hopefully, we’ve got your attention now and here’s what you need to know about a 20-week anomaly scan.
Are you nervous about your upcoming ultrasound scan? Worry not, we’ve got you covered! Here’s everything you need to learn about foetal development, suspected complications and why you should take an ultrasound scan during pregnancy.
Why You Need 20 Week Ultrasound Scan?
You don’t necessarily need an ultrasound scan during the 20th week of pregnancy. It fully depends on your consent and is optional. However, if you still want to learn about its benefits, here’s what you have to know-
- It also reveals any chromosomal abnormalities.
- Will spot signs of Down Syndrome.
- It shows your baby’s face and position in the placenta in detail.
- Any other structural abnormalities are also detected through these scans during gestation.
- Will be able to prevent ectopic pregnancies.
- Will confirm whether you have twins or quadruplets in the womb.
Please note that while an ultrasound has the capability to identify the gender of the baby, gender determination is illegal in India and punishable by law.
What Preparations Should be Done for this Scan?
You should drink two to three 8-ounce glasses of water and arrive with a full bladder at the clinic/hospital for the ultrasound test. Make sure you do not urinate before the scan and only afterwards since it will enable the scan to diagnose and produce a clear image of the foetus with your reproductive organs.
How Long Does Twenty Week Ultrasound Take?
The twenty-week ultrasound scan is usually done between 18 and 24 weeks of pregnancy, and the entire scanning procedure takes about 30 to 45 minutes.
How is A 20 Week Pregnant Scan Performed?
You would need to lie on an examination table, and the technician will apply a clear gel on your abdomen. A transducer will be gently moved across your belly in sliding, and rotating manner and images will flash on the screen in real-time. The position, size, and measurements of the baby are also taken during this screening procedure.
What Can You See on the Ultrasound Scan?
On the ultrasound scan, you will be able to see the development of the foetus and its organs, including the heart and bones. You will also notice whether or not the foetus is in the right position in the placenta and not blocking the birth canal and confirm whether you have a newborn or twins in your womb.
The ultrasound scan will reveal the structural development of your baby, basically. The pictures of the scan will show your baby’s face and hands. White areas on the images will represent bones while the grey areas are represented as growing tissues while the amniotic fluid is represented as black.
Can 20 Week Ultrasound Detect All Abnormalities?
No. The 20-week ultrasound scan cannot detect all possible abnormalities. It will be able to confirm whether the pregnancy is ectopic and whether or not the foetus has developed structural or chromosomal abnormalities. Your baby may develop complications and abnormalities later on through infancy, and the ultrasound test is just a checkpoint in your pregnancy phase. Think of it as a development milestone in your womb.
What If Abnormalities are Detected?
If any abnormalities are detected, then you should speak to your doctor about it immediately. Normally, the accuracy rate for ultrasound tests is 60% for pregnant mothers. Not all structural abnormalities or chromosomal abnormalities can be detected, however, if your baby has Down Syndrome, you will hear about it from the doctor.
Additionally, you may be asked to go through another screening test and for a chorionic villus sampling to check for any other suspected congenital conditions. Most cases of abnormalities are treatable, and your doctor will recommend the best course of treatment and investigation once the ultrasound scan results come out.
An ultrasound scan is an exciting and fearful moment for many parents. Many fathers (and mothers) go through many emotions once the existence of life in the womb is confirmed through this screening test. You may want to talk to your spouse about life after birth and how to adjust to your new lifestyle once the baby is born.
Any false labour contractions or pain you experience at this phase is normal, and if your fetus doesn’t move around a lot, then you should speak to your doctor. In general, just relax, don’t worry too much and get ready to greet motherhood soon since you’re already halfway there at this point.