Growth scans, what should I expect?

(18 Posts)
minipie Thu 06-Sep-12 14:05:16

Hi all

I am scheduled to have a growth scan next week at 28 weeks and another at 34 weeks (I think). This is because I am at higher risk of low foetal growth for two reasons, (1) hypothyroid and (2) single umbilical artery. Also I had low PAPP-A at the 12 week stage (0.4 MoM) which I gather can be linked to low growth, though this hasn't been given as a reason for the scans. Growth was all fine at 20 week scan so am feeling hopeful but still a bit nervous.

I wondered if someone who has had these scans can tell me what to expect? Do they look at features and organs like they did at the 20 week scan, or do they only take measurements to check on growth? Are any blood tests done and do they look at the placenta? What happens if growth does appear to be behind....?

Thanks very much!

They measure the baby's thigh bone, tummy circumference and head circumference then plot them on a chart and see if the baby is growing within normal limits.

They are notoriously wrong. I had growth scans at 28, 32, 36 and 39 weeks all pointing me to a 10lb-er baby. At 39w+2 scan DD2 was measuring 10lb 4oz she was born 4 days later weighing 8lb exactly!

minipie Thu 06-Sep-12 14:14:13

Thanks blueberry - eek at the wrong estimate! you must have been rather nervous at the idea of a 10lb+er... good to know to take any weight estimate with a pinch of salt.

So, no other examinations done then? I was hoping they might take another look at some of the organs as the single umbilical artery thing I have can be linked to eg kidney issues, though not often.

They did give DD2 a once over every scan and we had the same sonographer each time so got to know her and she showed us things like DD's hair and fingers. SHe also used a doppler feature to check blood flow through the heart. (they used same feature they used to check kidney function at 20w) It will depend on what your consultant has requested.

minipie Thu 06-Sep-12 15:43:58

Ah ok, that makes sense. I guess I'll just see what I get then. I haven't seen a consultant (I think I saw a registrar re the thyroid thing, a while ago) so not sure whether anyone will have requested anything other than growth. Thanks again.

plasticbox Thu 06-Sep-12 20:43:31

I had weekly scans after 5 months due to high blood pressure and small baby - they kept on saying she was small on the lowest safe centile etc yet due to pre eclampsia I had her 2 weeks early and she was 8lb2oz! Thats not small for full term let alone just under 38wks!! ....Mind you my first i was assured would be no bigger than 7lb just 6 days before giving birth by a rather ignorant obstetrics senior person, I was concerned because I am short and was soooooooo huge by then - baby was 9lbs 8 - growing from 7lbs to 9 and a half in 6days? dont thinks so!

tanteclaire Thu 06-Sep-12 21:22:26

They'll always check the placenta (structure, position) and do a doppler to check blood flow through the cord (plus the anatomical measurements referred to below).

minipie Fri 07-Sep-12 16:29:49

Thanks tante, that sounds good esp since a cord issue is part of the reason for the scan.

Ah plastic I see you were another one who got a wrong size prediction - I wonder how come they get it so wrong? perhaps they can measure certain bits but not others (like how much fat they have??)

thanks all!

nellyjelly Tue 11-Sep-12 14:30:48

General once over. Quite detailed. My DS had a single umbilical artery. Hence scans every 2 weeks towards end of pregnancy. He was fine.

nananaps Tue 11-Sep-12 14:36:14

Ooh thats interesting, ive got growth scans too at 28 & 34 weeks.

TBH im going to be taking the results with a pinch of salt.

I was absolutely HUGE with my ds (HUGE bump i mean) and he was 5lbs 4oz due to pre eclampsia and growth retardation.
Had no indication, no growth scans, nothing to say that there was an issue other than high BP.

This time, they want to keep an eye on things.

Can i ask, did they pick up the single artery issues on the 20 week scan?

nellyjelly Tue 11-Sep-12 14:40:30

For me SUA picked up on 20 wk scan but tbh it is not meant to be mentioned by sonographer these days as usually of no consequence if it is the only thing they see.

minipie Tue 11-Sep-12 14:48:01

Yes SUA was picked up on my 20 week scan. They did say that other hospitals often don't bother reporting it if it's the only issue they see.

nelly interesting that you had scans every 2 weeks. I only have one booked for 28 weeks but think they mentioned 34 weeks as well (though nothing booked). I guess it depends how the 28 week one goes.

nellyjelly Tue 11-Sep-12 14:55:20

2 weeks towards the end, less so earlier but can't remember how many. I am an 'older' mum too so think they were playing it safe!

minipie Tue 11-Sep-12 14:58:27

I'm 32, dunno if that counts as older grin - tbh I would quite like extra scans late on to check position etc but I'm sure they won't do them just for that reason!

nellyjelly Tue 11-Sep-12 17:25:18

No 32 not older!

I'm having growth scans too due to low PAPP-A. The scans were meant to be at 28, 32 and 36w but the first scan was actually booked for when I was 26+6 hmm so they measured the baby but said they couldn't do Doppler flow of the blood through cord til 28w.

I've got my next growth scan on Mon when I'll be 30+6 so again a bit early but at least they'll do the Doppler flow this time.

All growth looks fine though and she's currently on the 50th centile so feeling positive.

minipie Thu 13-Sep-12 18:32:31

Had my 28 week growth scan today, all fine. It was pretty quick compared with the 12 and 20 week scans, just checking measurements and blood flow. I have another booked for 36 weeks. hope she's still head down at that point...

can6342 Thu 13-Sep-12 21:25:14

Hi, I'm also having growth scans due to low PAPP-A (0.10 MoM) and my 28 week scan is next week.
At 20 weeks my baby's head/abdomen measurements were around the 50th centile, and femur around the 30th centile (from memory..) It's really useful to hear your experience smile and I hope that my next scan goes as well as yours.

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