Pregnancy App Article: "Antenatal appointments: 20-week scan"

Week 20
20-week scan (anomaly scan)
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A closer look at your baby
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The 20-week scan - also known as the mid-pregnancy ultrasound or the anomaly scan - should be done between 18 and 20 weeks, plus six days gestation.

It's exactly the same format as the 12-week-scan so it's the same drill for you: full bladder before the scan, crossed legs while you wait, gel on belly, picture of baby on screen.

The scan may take a bit longer this time as the sonographer has to have a really detailed look at the development of your baby, and the health and position of your placenta. The image of your baby will be much more detailed than at your 12-week scan so it can be a really amazing experience. However, do bear in mind that they are looking for anomalies at this scan so if you’re taking older siblings with you just remember that there is a possibility you might hear worrying news or be asked back for a re-scan to check how things are looking at a later date.

The sonographer will check your baby's head, face and spine, and see whether all the bones align. All internal organs will be checked to see that they have developed properly. The heart is looked at to ensure the four chambers are of equal size and the valves appear to be working with every heartbeat. Your baby's kidneys and stomach will be examined to see if they're functioning properly, and limbs, hands and feet will also be checked.

The position of the placenta will be noted; if it is lying low you’ll need to have another scan later on. The sonographer will also check the umbilical cord and the volume of amniotic fluid surrounding your baby.

But on to the news we know you’ve all been waiting for… Yes, they should now be able to tell if the baby is a boy or a girl. Have a good think before you go about whether or not you want to know so you’re not making a snap decision on the spot. 

Also, be warned - babies don’t always do what you want so don’t go booking any gender reveal cakes for your baby shower just yet. If you’ve got a coy one in there that’s sitting with its legs crossed, you might find you have to wait until the big day to find out anyway.
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My 20-week scan was great. I got to see lots of detail and it made me all teary. On the serious side, it flagged up a problem with my son’s kidneys which, left untreated, could have been life-threatening.
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We found out everything was fine (there had been concerns) and we found out we were having a girl after two boys. One of the best days of my life.
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Discuss antenatal scans on Mumsnet
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