Ultrasound Scans

Posted on October 30, 2011

Ultrasound scans play an important part in most pregnancies and are useful in showing the development of the foetus and baby and for detecting any problems which may occur during that time. There are a range of different scans which can be carried out and these are usually undertaken at different points during the pregnancy. These scans range from foetal sexing scans to nuchal translucency scans and they all have different aims and functions.

A foetal sexing scan can be performed in order to determine the gender of the unborn baby. Many parents like to know what the gender of their unborn child will be. Knowing the gender of a child can make it easier to plan for the birth of the child and to plan for the years of childhood. Choosing simple things such as clothing and toys can be made easier when you know the gender of your child before it is born and many parents decide to have the scan carried out for this reason. Other parents, however, decide that they don’t want to know the gender of their child before the birth and it is a personal choice whether to know this information or not before the baby is born.

Whilst pregnancy is mostly a time of great joy, excitement and anticipation it can also be a worrying time and many pregnant women have concerns about the health of their unborn baby. One of the main concerns is about the possibility of Down’s syndrome. A nuchal translucency scan is carried out to determine whether the baby has a high or low risk of having Down’s syndrome. A nuchal translucency scan is carried out is a similar manner to a normal ultrasound scan but focuses on the baby’s spine and neck and looks at levels of fluids. Concentrating on these areas allows doctors to determine the risk of the baby having Down’s syndrome. All pregnant women are offered the chance to have an early pregnancy scan at their local hospital. This scan is usually carried out after eight weeks of pregnancy and is carried out to check the stage of pregnancy and also to look at the development of the foetus. It is important to establish that the baby is growing in the right place and position and to check on the development. These scans are also used to show if the mother is expecting to have more than one baby.

There are a range of different scans available for expectant mothers and they each perform different things and have different aims. All of the scans are carried out with no pain and little discomfort for the mother. Ultrasound scans are an important stage of a pregnancy and are used to carry out important checks on the development and wellbeing of the unborn child. It is important to know if the baby will be healthy when it is born or if any operations will be necessary. Having these scans can help reduce any stress and worry about pregnancy and make it an exciting experience.

This entry was posted in News, Obstetric

Tom Farrell

Written by Tom Farrell

Tom Farrell works in both the NHS and private sector providing gynaecology, pregnancy ultrasound and maternity care clinics in the Jessop Wing (NHS) and BMI Thornbury & Claremont Hospital (Private sector) in Sheffield.

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The anxieties we had with our IVF pregnancy were allayed with the extra scans at Thornbury hospital with Tom Farrell. Helen (Sheffield)