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Fetal Anomaly Scan: What To Expect And How To Prepare?

The fetal anomaly scan is a significant milestone during pregnancy, offering a look at your growing baby’s development. This ultrasound examination is typically conducted between 18 and 22 weeks of pregnancy. It provides valuable insights into your baby’s health, growth, and well-being. In this guide, we will look into what to expect during the scan, its significance, and how to prepare for this crucial examination. Whether you are a first-time parent or experienced in pregnancy, understanding the anomaly scan is essential to ensure a healthy journey for you and your baby.

The anomaly scan, typically conducted between the 18th and 22nd week of pregnancy, shows a glimpse into the development of your growing baby. This ultrasound allows expectant parents to see their little one’s features, and doctors to assess vital organs, measure growth, and confirm the position of the placenta. With each heartbeat visualised and tiny foot counted, the bond between parent and child only deepens.

1. The Anomaly Scan- What Is It?

Before discussing into the details, let us understand what the anomaly scan includes.

a. Medical Imaging

The anomaly scan is a detailed ultrasound examination using medical imaging technology.

b. Timing and Purpose

anomaly scan

It is typically conducted between 18 to 22 weeks of pregnancy to assess the baby’s development.

2. Significance of the Anomaly Scan

The anomaly scan serves several crucial purposes in prenatal care.

a. Health Assessment

It assesses the baby’s overall health, organs, and growth.

3. What to Expect During the Anomaly Scan?

Understanding the procedure can help ease any anxiety.

a. Duration and Setting

The scan typically lasts 20-30 minutes and is performed in a medical facility.

b. Gel Application

ultrasound gel

A special gel is applied to the mother’s abdomen to enhance the ultrasound image.

4. Baby’s Anomaly Assessment

The anomaly scan covers an overall assessment of the baby’s body.

a. Head and Brain

Doctors examine the baby’s head, brain, and facial features for abnormalities. 

b. Heart

mother looking at anomaly scan

The baby’s heart is closely observed to check for any cardiac issues.

5. Checking the Limbs and Body

The scan also includes an assessment of the baby’s limbs and overall body.

a. Spine and Skeletal System

Examiners check the spine and skeletal structure to ensure proper development..

b. Abdominal Organs

mother with her scan picture

The anomaly scan assesses abdominal organs like the kidneys and bladder.

6. Preparing for the anomaly scan

Proper preparation can contribute to a successful scan.

a. Hydration

Stay hydrated by drinking water before the scan to improve image clarity.

b. Comfortable Clothing

mother in a comfortable clothing for scan

Wear loose, comfortable clothing that allows easy access to your abdomen.

7. Emotional and Mental Preparation

Emotional readiness is essential for the anomaly scan.

a. Ask Questions

Feel free to share any worries or ask your doctor any questions.

b.Bring a Support Person

couple at ultrasound

Having a partner or support person with you can provide emotional comfort.

8. Potential Findings and Follow-up

Understanding the possible outcomes and follow-up steps is essential.

a. Normal Findings

A normal anomaly scan is reassuring, indicating healthy development.

b. Abnormal Findings

baby fetus

In case of abnormalities, additional tests or consultations may be necessary.

In conclusion, the fetal anomaly scan is a significant milestone in prenatal care, offering parents a valuable glimpse into their baby’s world. Understanding the procedure, its significance, and how to prepare can help reduce anxiety and ensure a smooth experience. The anomaly scan is an important part of your pregnancy journey, whether you are interested in learning the gender of your child or just want to make sure they are healthy and happy. Embrace this opportunity to bond with your baby and take active steps towards a healthy and joyous pregnancy.

This article is approved by Dr. Karthika Reddy, Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist, Yashoda Hospitals.

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