What is an Anomaly Scan?

The 20 week anomaly scan is often the one that most mums feel excited about – not only because it’s a real milestone but also because your baby will be looking less like a vague shape and more like a baby! You could even find out if you’re having a boy or a girl, though, if you’d prefer a surprise at the birth they’ll keep it from you.

This scan is offered to you between 18-20 weeks and will take place at the hospital’s ultrasound department. The scan is offered to all mums, but not everyone chooses to have it. A sonographer, who is the specialist, will check your baby and you will be able to see them on a screen. You do not need a full bladder for this scan because your baby is now big enough to be seen clearly. A gel is applied to your tummy and a hand held device called a transducer is moved over your abdomen which sends an image of your baby to a screen. The sonographer will check:

• your baby’s head for any obvious brain problems or cleft lip/palate
• their spine and abdomen to see that everything is aligned and developed
• the size and shape of your baby’s heart, which you will see beating
• their stomach. You might see some of the amniotic fluid they’ve swallowed, which looks like a black bubble in
  their tummy!
• their kidneys and bladder
• their hands and feet. Your baby may also be moving and some babies are seen sucking their thumbs!
• the placenta, umbilical cord and amniotic fluid
• the measurements of their head, abdomen and thigh bone to ensure that they are growing equally well
• your baby’s bones. These will look white on the scan and soft tissues will look grey. The amniotic fluid around
  your baby will look black

The scan takes around 15-20 minutes and most hospitals will let you buy pictures taken from the scan. If the sonographer spots any signs of a problem, you’ll need to speak to a doctor/specialist and may be offered another scan.

If you would like more support and advice just get in touch with our Careline
on 0800 977 8880


Looking for something else?