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12-week pregnancy dating scan All pregnant women in England are offered an ultrasound scan at around 8 to 14 weeks of pregnancy. This is called the dating scan. It's used to see how far along in your pregnancy you are and check your baby's development. Your midwife or doctor will book you a dating scan appointment. 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. The dating scan usually takes about 20 minutes. Find out more about . Credit: Nic Cleave / Alamy Stock Photo What is the purpose of the dating scan?
The purpose of the dating scan is to check: • how many weeks pregnant you are and work out your due date (the estimated date of delivery, or EDD) • whether you're expecting more than one baby • that the baby is growing in the right place • your baby's development Some abnormalities may also be detected at this scan, such as neural tube defects ( is a type of neural tube defect). Does screening for Down's syndrome happen at the dating scan?
This depends on whether you have agreed to have the screening and when the scan takes place. Screening for Down's syndrome will happen at the dating scan if: • you have agreed to have screening for the condition • the scan takes place between 11 and 14 weeks of pregnancy 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.
The nuchal translucency measurement can be taken during the dating scan. If you have agreed to have screening for Down's syndrome, the dating scan and the screening will usually happen at the same time. Find out more about the . You won't be offered the combined screening test if your dating scan happens after 14 weeks. Instead, you will be offered another blood test between 14 and 20 weeks of pregnancy to screen for the risk of Down's syndrome. This test is not quite as accurate as the combined test.
Find out more about: • the • You can also read , from Public Health England.
best dating scan accuracy 12 weeks - 12 Week Scan: It's Time For Your Scan, Here's What To Expect
It’s time to clap your eyes on that baby for the first time and it’s the most exciting pregnancy milestone yet. So just what does happen at the 12-week scan? Can you only have your 12-week scan at 12 weeks? Your 12-week scan can take place any time between and . It’s amazing to think that at this point, your baby is fully formed.
So you can see all his organs, muscles, limbs and bones are in place, and the sex organs are well developed too. Will I find out the gender of my baby at 12 weeks?
The 12-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 , which suggests you can determine the gender of your baby from that first ultrasound photo. Getting ready for your 12-week scan First things first, keep those nerves in check.
We know how exciting/terrifying the whole thing is, but too much anxiety and you’ll be jumping off the bed as soon as the gel touches your belly (it’s very cold). In order to create a clear view of your baby, it’s worth drinking a pint of water an hour before the scan. ‘This pushes the uterus into a better position so we can see the baby more easily,’ says Dean Meredith who is a Sonographer at The Portland Hospital, London. But don’t overdo it – we all know how often you need to pee these days.
Where do you go for your 12-week scan? You will get a hospital appointment with a sonographer for your scan. How long will the scan take? 12-week scans normally take between 15 and 30 minutes. But it might take longer if your baby is lying in an awkward position.
It’s a good idea to have someone with you for the scan, whether it’s your partner, mum, or a friend. What happens during the 12-week scan? • The sonographer will put some gel on your tummy, and will move a hand-held transducer device over your skin. The gel makes sure there is good contact between your skin and the device.
The sonographer will tuck tissue paper around you to protect your clothing from the gel. • A black and white image of your baby will appear on the ultrasound screen, which the sonographer will position so they get a good view. • You will feel some pressure, but it shouldn’t be painful. • You might be offered a vaginal scan instead, if your womb is sitting very deep in your pelvis, or if you are overweight. This type of scan will allow the sonographer to get closer to your baby. What is the sonographer looking for at 12 weeks?
The 12-week scan is the first in-depth look at your growing baby and assesses the early development in the womb. ‘The first thing we do is look and listen for the heartbeat.
The CRL is measured to check the date of the pregnancy and make sure it is in the 45 to 84mm range,’ explains Dean. ‘We then look at the anatomy of the baby as far as possible at this early stage. This includes the skull, the brain, that there are two arms, two legs, the heart, stomach, bowel, pelvis and bladder.’ The 12-week scan is the first in-depth look at and assesses the early development in the womb The measures the fluid at the back of the baby’s neck and gives you an indication of the possibility that your baby may have .
‘Current guidelines for the 12-week scan is undertaken alongside the Nuchal scan or Down’s screening,’ says Dean.
The 12-week scan will also check the location of your placenta to ensure is not a concern. What happens if a problem is found at the 12-week scan? The 12-week scan is the first opportunity for your baby to be examined for any abnormalities that could indicate a problem with his development. If a problem is spotted you’ll be to referred to a fetal medicine consultant for confirmation of the findings with a view to undergo further testing and recommendations for the remainder of the pregnancy.
There’s no evidence to suggest offer any risk to your pregnancy and offer you those first precious glimpses of your unborn baby and give you the peace of mind that your baby’s development is as it should be. When will you have another scan? After your 12-week scan, your next ultrasound probably won't be until you're when you have your anomaly scan. This can also be a chance to find out if you're having if you want. Make sure you're following for relatable memes, inspiring stories and parenting hacks!
Have approx 60 seconds to spare? Why not join thousands of mums-to-be and start your very own Amazon baby wish list! They're absolutely free to create and perfect to send to the friends, aunties and your mum to make sure you're getting the baby products you really need... For parenting tips, tricks and advice you can trust, of Mother and Baby magazine.
Read next: The pregnancy myths that hint at your baby's gender: 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 - Holding a ring on a piece of string over your belly and it moves in a circle Tie a ring you wear every day to a length of cotton thread and hold it above your bump - moving in a circle means you’re having a girl, while swinging side to side means you’re having a boy.
However, there’s some debate over which action signifies which gender. If you live in America, you’re more likely to believe the opposite! © Bauer Media Group Bauer Media Group consists of: Bauer Consumer Media Ltd, Company number: 01176085, Bauer Radio Ltd, Company Number: 1394141 Registered Office: Media House, Peterborough Business Park, Lynch Wood, Peterborough, PE2 6EA H Bauer Publishing, Company Number: LP003328 Registered Office: Academic House, 24-28 Oval Road, London, NW1 7DT. All registered in England and Wales.
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At 12 weeks pregnant, you'll finally be able to see your little one for the first time – probably the first major event you look forward to when you're expecting. The 12-week ultrasound scan can actually happen anywhere between 11 and 13 weeks. At this stage, believe it or not, all your baby's limbs, organs, bones, and muscles will be fully-formed.
However, you may be wondering what exactly happens at the scan. Read on to find out more. What Happens at a 12 Weeks Ultrasound Scan? During the scan, high-frequency sound waves are emitted from a hand-held device, known as a transducer, through the abdomen.
When the waves come into contact with solid tissue, this is imaged on a screen to be interpreted by a sonographer. To get a clear image, drink lots of water beforehand in order to lift up the uterus.
In the procedure, the sonographer will squeeze some cold gel onto your abdomen and gently slide the transducer over the region. At 12 weeks, the fetus's eye sockets, forehead, and a small button nose can all be seen on the scan. Your baby now has a definite human appearance. The sonographer will talk through the procedure. He or she can show you the screen, or you may have your own separate screen. You can always ask your sonographer to tell you what they are examining at each point. If they have any uncertainties, the sonographer may ask a colleague to examine the ultrasound scan.
This can be unsettling, particularly if you thought everything was going ok, but the sonographer can tell you why they are doing this. Here is a video of a typical 12-week ultrasound scan, so you know what to expect when viewing the screen: How Is Your Baby Developing at 12 Weeks?
Your baby will still be very small – about 6 cm long. However, he or she will be fully formed, with all the organs in place. The next phase is simply to grow, as well as practicing breathing and sucking movements. You'll probably have the 12 weeks pregnant ultrasound now, but the gender won't be obvious yet. • Skeleton: At 12 weeks, the fetus's skeleton is formed from cartilage, but this will gradually harden into bone over the next few weeks.
Newborn babies have a skeleton consisting of more than 300 pieces of bone and cartilage, but the bones fuse together during growth to become bigger and stronger, so the adult body has 206 separate bones.
• Intestines: Your baby's organs are also rapidly developing at 12 weeks gestation. The intestines, which were previously growing so quickly they protruded into the umbilical cord, are now regressing back into the abdomen and the kidneys are starting to excrete urine into your baby's bladder.
• Movement: Your baby will be moving about your womb a lot, although they are so small you won't feel anything. As they move, their wrists and elbows bend. The eyelids are still fused shut, but they have now moved from the side of the head to the final position at the front. • Reflexes: This is also the week your little one starts practicing reflexes, including clenching the eye muscles, making sucking actions with the mouth, and bending fingers and toes. If you prod your belly, your baby will squirm, although you won't feel the movement just yet.
Why Do You Need a 12 Week Ultrasound? This is the first chance to have your baby assessed for any developmental problems. If there are any issues detected, you'll need to see a fetal medicine consultant to confirm the findings, and assess how to proceed with the pregnancy.
Early ultrasound allows parents to choose whether to continue with the pregnancy if any complications are detected. It's vital to take into account any clinical recommendations, as well as consider any religious, ethical, or personal beliefs you may have. Here are some other reasons for an ultrasound: • To confirm the pregnancy date. This is used to guess the due date.
• To see whether it is a multiple pregnancy. • To assess for proper development of your baby. For example, the biparietal distance is calculated according to measurements of the fetus's skull, and is compared to those of other fetuses at similar gestation. • To perform a risk assessment for Down syndrome by measuring the amount of fluid at the bottom of the fetus's neck. Ultrasound waves return echo-free measurements due to the space being translucent from the fluid. • To detect your baby's heartbeat, which should be clearly heard at 12 weeks.
• To look at the fetus's size and placental development. • To see if there are any physical abnormalities. • To check for other issues by looking at your uterus, fallopian tubes, and general pelvic area. Are There Any Disadvantages to an Ultrasound? As long as it is conducted by a trained healthcare professional, the ultrasound scan is safe for both mother and baby. However, occasionally the scan shows a minor issue with the pregnancy. These problems normally get better by themselves, but can cause worry.
Remember, screening will always bring up some false positive and false negative results. For instance, the nuchal translucency scan, used to test for Down syndrome, has a 5% false positive rate; therefore one in twenty women who don't have a Down baby will be told incorrectly that their baby has a high risk of this condition.
Whether you have a scan is your choice and the sonographer will support you, whatever you decide. It is possible to have a dating scan without nuchal translucency screening.
You can always change your mind the day you have the scan. Now you know all about 12-week ultrasound!
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