What will they check at my 20 week scan?

Before I had my 20 week scan with my first son years ago, I spent a long time wondering how and what they would check at this 20 week 'anomaly' scan. An ultrasound scan is not thought to be harmful to your baby and uses a probe which sends sounds waves into your belly which bounce back off of your baby and are translated into an image on the screen.

Not everyone will choose to have the scan and this is entirely a personal choice, the scan can't not pick up all problems but it is a good way to look for quite a few and to check how your baby is growing. The scan will probably take around 30 minutes to complete although can be longer if your baby is lying in an awkward position, you may also be asked to come back at a later date if they can't get all the measurements they need/see all the organs they need to.

Okay so this is pretty much how my scan went, I can't say that yours will be identical, only that this is roughly how all of mine went (I am on baby no4) and so most probably yours will be similar.

I went in and introduced myself to reception and handed over my notes, my husband and I then took a seat until we were called. I was introduced to my sonographer and taken into the scan room. You will lay down on a bed and have extremely cold jelly squeezed onto your tummy!

During most of the scan the screen was facing the sonographer straight on and so I could only catch glimpses from the corner of my eye although at some points she did turn it for me to see. On my scan report I have a list of the organs that they checked and that they appear normal, they were: head, brain, face, spine, neck and skin, chest, four-chamber view, great vessels, abdominal wall, gastro intestinal tract, kidneys, bladder, extremities and skeleton. This obviously doesn't rule out any problems with these organs but the odds are in my favour and things look good for now!

The monographer will also take measurements of different body parts such as legs, arms, belly, head circumference and also give an estimated fetal weight - our baby was estimated at 15 oz at 20weeks and 2 days. You can also if you want to ask if the sonographer can tell whether your baby is a boy or a girl.

If a problem is found or suspected then the sonographer may ask for a second opinion or offer you further tests.

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