18 – 24 weeks
Ensuring your baby’s well-being
A detailed anatomy scan will check for any structural anomalies with your baby. It is important, not only for screening purposes, but also because finding out about problems before your baby is born will give you choices and ensure that the right treatment is available at birth. The anatomy scan will ensure you are reassured and is performed by the most highly skilled specialists in ultrasound.
The vast majority of babies are healthy, but occasionally some do have problems. Over half of all serious congenital malformations such as anencephaly, spina bifida and major cardiac defects can be detected by the 20-week scan.
This is also an opportunity to bond with your baby and we provide a relaxed and welcoming environment so that you can enjoy the experience fully and share it in peace with your partner. Due to the clinical nature of the scan, this is not often allowed in the NHS as sonographers are greatly pressured for time and many scan rooms do not have dedicated monitors for parent viewing.
We also believe, that on the very few occasions when problems are found, it is important than you have those around you who care and are able to give you time and reassurance.
The anatomy scan
The scan is performed between 18-24 weeks, ideally 20+ weeks.
We perform a detailed and complete anatomy, growth and measurements check to look for signs of genetic & structural disorders. We will also tell you the sex of your baby if you want to know.
No preparation is needed. However, sometimes baby can be in a difficult position to scan and so we may ask you to move positions or even go for a little walk to coax the baby to move. Rarely, we may need to bring you back if your baby is comfortable where he/she is on another occasion to complete our checks.
You don’t have to be concerned, we promise to explain everything as we go along. You can ask as many questions as you like and we will answer all questions honestly.
The anatomy scan results
If the baby appears normal on the anatomy scan, there is only a small chance that your baby will have a structural problem. However, some problems may not be present at 20 weeks because they develop later.
It can be devastating when a problem is found and we care deeply when we have to break bad news when it does happen. Our obstetric medical team and two of the best fetal medicine consultants will support you in every way.
We will liaise with your doctors and hospital, letting them know of our findings, providing both you and them with a report. You can also choose to have ongoing care with our clinicians and continue your scans with our team.
Below shows ultrasound images of the checks we make that will be a small part of your scan: