12 Weeks Pregnant Ultrasound

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12 Weeks Pregnant Ultrasound

When you are pregnant, every moment of it is fun and exciting. You are curious to know how your baby is developing. 12 weeks pregnancy ultrasound is the last ultrasound scan of the first trimester and you sure will be excited to know about your baby’s progress. This ultrasound scan will tell everything you need to know about your baby’s health and well-being.

Why You Need 12 Week Ultrasound Scan?

Your 12 weeks of pregnancy is an important milestone as it marks the completion of your first trimester and your doctor may advise you for an ultrasound scan to check and assess the following things:

  • It helps to know the number of babies you are carrying, whether a single baby, twins or more.
  • It helps in establishing your baby’s gestational age by measuring the baby from crown to rump.
  • To check the foetal heartbeat.
  • To have a look at baby’s arms, legs, chest, and head and assess if they are growing at a normal pace.
  • The doctor will check the foetal spine as well to check for any abnormalities.
  • To measure nuchal translucency, which is the fluid under the foetal skin at the back of the neck.
  • The assessment of nuchal translucency helps in establishing any risk of chromosomal abnormality.
  • It will help the doctor to establish the health and the position of the placenta.

How to Prepare for Your 12 Week Scan?

You may be jittery and wonder what will happen during the scan. The first and foremost thing that you can do is to prepare yourself mentally for the scan and keep any kind of anxiety at bay. The cold and slimy gel may make you feel uncomfortable, but try to be calm and relaxed.

You will be required to drink at least a pint of water approximately an hour before the scan. The water pushes your uterus in a better position, and your doctor will be able to get a better view of the foetus. However, refrain from drinking too much water as it may put unnecessary pressure on your bladder, and you may want to pee.

A pregnant woman getting an ultrasound

How Long Does This Ultrasound Take?

You will be made to lie down in a peaceful room with dim lights, and you will have the first look of your baby. The entire scanning process at 12 weeks of pregnancy may approximately take 15 to 30 minutes.

How is 12 Week Ultrasound Performed?

The doctor will apply a gel on your abdominal region and move transducer device on your tummy. A black and white image will be seen on the screen, and you may even ask your doctor to explain it to you. It is very normal to feel some pressure on your abdominal region, but it is not painful.

If you are overweight or your womb is too deep in your pelvis, then your doctor may suggest for a vaginal scan.

What Can Be Seen in the Scan?

The following things can be observed about your baby by performing 12 weeks ultrasound scan:

  • The position of the mother’s placenta.
  • Baby’s limbs and spine.
  • Presence or absence of the foetal nasal bone and its length.
  • Urinary bladder and stomach of the foetus.
  • The blood circulation around the mother’s uterus region.
  • Any foetal defects or abnormalities.

Your doctor can also spot 12-week ultrasound twins, which means if you are carrying more than one baby the ultrasound scan will help your doctor determine the same.

Can Down Syndrome Be Accurately Seen in Twelve Week Ultrasound?

Yes, if your baby is suffering from Down Syndrome, it can be accurately seen in a twelve-week ultrasound. If the baby has this abnormality, then there will be more accumulation of fluid at the nuchal fold area, which is at the base of baby’s neck. If your doctor suspects this defect in your baby, then nuchal transparency test may be performed. Babies with Down Syndrome will have a thicker measurement in comparison to a normal foetus.

What if Any Abnormalities are Detected on the Scan?

The 12-week pregnancy scan may be your first scan to establish the foetal growth and development. However, this scan also helps your doctor to assess any foetal abnormality. In case your baby is detected with any kind of defect or abnormality then you may be referred to a foetal medicine consultant. The consultant assesses the diagnosis made by your doctor and may ask you to undergo further tests or scans to confirm the abnormality.

Is This Scan a Part of Your Routine Pregnancy Care?

Ultrasound scans are a great way of assessing your baby’s growth and development. These scans are low-cost, non-invasive and less risky in comparison to the amount of information they give you about your baby and you can also get 12-week ultrasound pictures too. However, it is entirely up to the parents to take a call whether they want to go in for 12-week foetus ultrasound or not.

There are some parents who are of the opinion that ultrasound scans should not be done. The main reason for the same is that they will be put under a treacherous situation of taking a decision, in case any foetal defect or abnormality is established.

Most hospitals will give you the pictures of your ultrasound scan, and some of them may even give you the DVD of the scan. It will be a good idea to check with your doctor about the same.

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