Pregnancy and dating

28 Jan

Ultrasound scans use sound waves to build a picture of the baby in the womb.

The scans are completely painless, have no known side effects on mothers or babies, and can be carried out at any stage of pregnancy.

However, if all is going well in this pregnancy, your particular hospital may not offer the scan.

Ask your GP if you want to have one anyway for extra reassurance, as she may be able to refer you.

Screening for Down's syndrome will happen at the dating scan if: The screening test for Down's syndrome used at this stage of pregnancy is called the combined test.

The combined test involves a blood test and measuring the fluid at the back of the baby's neck (nuchal translucency) with an ultrasound scan.

The purpose of the dating scan is to: Some abnormalities may also be detected at this scan, such as neural tube defects (spina bifida is a type of neural tube defect).

The procedure is carried out in a dimly lit room so the sonographer is able to get good images of your baby. You will then be asked to lower your skirt or trousers to your hips and raise your top to your chest.Talk to your midwife, GP or obstetrician about any concerns you have.For many women, ultrasound scans are the highlight of pregnancy.It will usually take place at your local hospital ultrasound department.The person performing the scan is called a sonographer.