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What can you see at 20 weeks that you can't at 12?

(5 Posts)
stillfrazzled Tue 24-Aug-10 17:25:09

Am 16 weeks with (I hope) DC2, after a miserable start to the year with 2 mcs in three months.

Am, therefore, completely paranoid, esp after having had lots of bleeding and several emergency scans this time round.

12 week scan fine, and TBH I was really surprised by what sonographer could see - stomach and liver function, heart looking normal, spine and so on.

Was wondering, how likely are you to get truly unexpected bad news at 20 weeks, given how much they can see at 12?

Suppose I'm just looking for some reassurance and can't quite believe things are going to be OK...

CheeseandGherkins Tue 24-Aug-10 17:37:14

I recently had unexpected bad news at my 20 week scan so it can happen. They've ruled out a couple of things but I've needed extra blood tests, scans and appointments so far and I'm due more scans at 30 and 36 weeks.

I know it's difficult as I've had 6 miscarriages and difficult pregnancies.

Good luck for your next scan.

LetsHaveAnotherOne Tue 24-Aug-10 17:37:15

I had a nuchal scan at 12 weeks last time around - - the baby wouldn't sit still long enough to have the measurements done - however the sonographer said judging by his level of activity and from what she could see - she wouldn't be worried about him.
He did turn out just fine too!
They could see more detail on a 20w scan - like it's easier to tell the sex at 20w than it is at 12w.
Scans are getting better all the time - with new technology etc.
Try not to worry - sounds like all will be well for your baby.
PS I've had loads of emergency scans and bleeding in 2 of my 4 successful pregnancies and all the kids turned out fine - no problems.

lurcherlover Tue 24-Aug-10 17:41:45

Well, they do see a lot more at 20 weeks. At 12 weeks they can see basic structures - head and brain, limbs, and some organs. So you would already know if the baby had a gross abnormality (eg missing a leg). But the baby at 12 weeks is not big enough to see fine detail. At 20 weeks they will check the chambers of the heart - they can't detect all abnormalities but they can see some. They will look for very rare conditions, eg intestines being outside the body (very very rare), or spina bifida. They look for cleft lip/palate. They measure arms and legs which can show whether the baby is growing normally. They look for fluid in the stomach and bladder to see that the baby is swallowing and the kidneys are working. They check the position of the umbilical cord and placenta. Please, please try not to worry - the vast majority of scans show that everything is completely normal. They can't show up every problem, but they can show a lot, and I'm sure yours will be fine.

One thing to watch out for - at mine, the sonographer started scanning, and was completely silent for about 20 minutes, staring at the screen. Me and dh were terrified and convinced she wasn't talking because something was wrong, but everything was fine - she was just concentrating. Other people have said the same, that they're not exactly communicative when they're doing the first checks. So if there's a long period of silence that does not indicate a problem, don't panic.

stillfrazzled Tue 24-Aug-10 17:52:47

Oh thanks all, didn't expect answers so quickly. smile

It was a nuchal, and through the fog of terror (we were 90 mins late in because the poor couple before us had bad news) I do remember the sonographer talking about fluid in the stomach, kidneys working etc. He did also mention lots of movement.

So we already have a good picture, and sounds like the fine detail is what's come next. Feel like I should know all this from DS, but it's actually moved on in only 3 years.

I guess I've spent so long thinking that this isn't going to happen that I still can't quite believe that it is.

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