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Dating scans are offered at some point between 8 and 14 weeks, with most of them happening between 11 and 14 weeks. If you've had fertility treatment, have a history of miscarriages or are in pain or bleeding during the first weeks of pregnancy, you may be offered an early scan before this routine dating scan.
But, assuming your pregnancy is healthy, you'll still have the dating scan at round about the week mark. The scan is done externally by rolling a device over your tummy unless your womb is very deep in your pelvis or you're very overweight, when it may be thought better to offer you a trans-vaginal scan instead. You'll be asked to arrive with a full bladder.
The scan itself will take about 15 to 30 minutes but you may need to hang about for a while in the waiting room beforehand — which can be tricky when you've just drunk all that water! But don't be tempted to skip the water drinking for that reason. It's best to wear trousers or a skirt and a top, rather than a dress, as once you're in the dimly lit room, you'll be asked to lie on your back on a couch and adjust your clothes to expose your bump. Then the sonographer will put some gel on the skin of your tummy be ready: Once the gel's on, the sonographer will place the transducer — which looks a bit like a computer mouse or a small paint roller — onto your bump and move it around, allowing the high-frequency sound waves produced by the transducer to bounce off your belly and create a picture on the sonographer's monitor.
As the transducer gets to work, a black-and-white image of your baby will appear on the monitor that the sonographer is looking at. Often, you can see the screen too, or it'll be turned towards you after a few moments — but not always. And, if the pregnancy is progressing well, you'll also see a clear heartbeat. Costs for these vary, and aren't always flagged up in advance, so do make sure you take some cash with you.
Your pregnancy and baby guide
Your partner or another close relative will always be welcome to come with you but it's totally up to you, of course. Most mums-to-be would probably say it's a good idea to have some company, especially if you're anxious about the scan. It will usually take place at your local hospital ultrasound department. The person performing the scan is called a sonographer. You may need to have a full bladder for this scan, as this makes the ultrasound image clearer.
You can ask your midwife or doctor before the scan if this is the case. Find out more about what happens during a pregnancy ultrasound scan.
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Some abnormalities may also be detected at this scan, such as neural tube defects spina bifida is a type of neural tube defect. 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". It involves a blood test and measuring the fluid at the back of the baby's neck nuchal translucency with an ultrasound scan. This is sometimes called a nuchal translucency scan.
Women's Health Care Physicians
So just what does happen at the week scan? Your week scan can take place any time between 11 and 13 weeks. So you can see all his organs, muscles, limbs and bones are in place, and the sex organs are well developed too. The week scan is usually just about determining whether your baby is healthy and growing as it should be. Although the sex organs are well developed, it's usually too soon to see them at 12 weeks. Some people believe in nub theory , which suggests you can determine the gender of your baby from that first ultrasound photo.
First things first, keep those nerves in check. The week scan is the first in-depth look at your growing baby and assesses the early development in the womb. This includes the skull, the brain, that there are two arms, two legs, the heart, stomach, bowel, pelvis and bladder. The week scan will also check the location of your placenta to ensure placenta praevia is not a concern.
week pregnancy dating scan - NHS
The week scan is the first opportunity for your baby to be examined for any abnormalities that could indicate a problem with his development. After your week scan, your next ultrasound probably won't be until you're 20 weeks' pregnant when you have your anomaly scan. This can also be a chance to find out if you're having a boy or girl if you want. Have approx 60 seconds to spare? Why not join thousands of mums-to-be and start your very own Amazon baby wish list!
How is a dating scan performed?
It might be too soon to see on the scan, but take a look at these pregnancy myths that hint at your little one's gender -. Sleeping on your left side Do you keep finding you wake up on your left side? Hairier legs Found yourself reaching for the razor more frequently? It could mean you need to start thinking of some baby boy's names. And more rounded hips?