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How much do antenatal tests and scans actually pick up?

(6 Posts)
Bumpsadaisie Tue 16-Aug-11 12:32:45

I'm 31 weeks with DC2 and was just wondering how much is actually picked up by all the scans/tests we have in pregnancy.

That is, if your scans and tests are all normal, is it highly likely (barring an awful tragedy such as stillbirth, which is what happened with my baby brother) that your baby will be "normal", or is there still a fair chance something could be wrong?

I know obviously that they can't test for absolutely everything and that there are no guarantees, but I just have no sense of the probabilities that something could still be seriously wrong despite OK antenatal tests and scans.

Does anyone have a better idea than me?

I hope this question doesn't upset anyone reading - apologies if so.

Many thanks
Bumps x

nunnie Tue 16-Aug-11 12:44:41

When I had my anomally scan I was given a leaflet with the details on what is tested and the % of accuracy of the scan.

A healthy scan is by no means a clear indication of a healthy baby as they don't look at everything and on some things they do check the accuracy isn't 100% so there is scope for error.

I would never advise anyone not to have a scan infact I would do the opposite. Some of the issues spotted on scans require urgent treatment at birth, this happened with me and had it not been for the scan it would not have been obvious at birth as my DS appeared to be healthy with no syptoms or signs of a problem.

Mandyville Tue 16-Aug-11 12:48:16

Are you worried for your own pregnancy? Or are you worried about antenatal testing?

If the former, the thing to hold on to is that almost everyone is fine. Bad things happen, but rarely. Sometimes bad things happen during pregnancy. Sometimes bad things happen during birth. All of these times are exceedingly few and far between. In this country, less than half of one percent of babies die before their first birthday.

If the latter... No, antenatal testing doesn't cover everything. And it doesn't offer a cast-iron guarantee. We test for the things for which we can develop safe, reasonably accurate and cost-effective tests. Our way is not the only way - but I honestly think it's a reasonable way to go.

Bumpsadaisie Tue 16-Aug-11 13:52:02


I guess I'm wondering how far I can assume this baby will be OK, given all the tests have been fine up to now. I tend to assume that it is OK and then wonder whether I should!

Bumps x

Mandyville Tue 16-Aug-11 13:54:41

All I can say is that MOST babies are fine! You can't assume it, I suppose, but it makes sense to live as if everything will be fine. Because statistically it will be! grin OK, so I know that can't stop the pregnant-woman-worry... Sorry! I'm not much help, am I?

brettgirl2 Tue 16-Aug-11 14:18:53

If you think about it there are no guarantees that any of us will be fine for the next 12 months.

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