Anatomy Ultrasound Scan
Anatomy Ultrasound Scan - What Will It Tell You?

Anatomy Scan – What Is It And What Will It Tell You?

Anatomy Ultrasound Scan
Anatomy Ultrasound Scan – What Will It Tell You?

Let’s talk about the anatomy scan! It’s that exciting time that you get to see your baby squirm around and show off. But what else happens during this scan?

What is the Anatomy Scan?

If you choose to have this scan, the technician will examine all of your baby’s important organs, including the sex organs, so let them know if you want to know if you’re having a boy or a girl!

This ultrasound usually takes place between 18 and 22 weeks of your pregnancy and can take up to an hour to complete.⁣ As part of this ultrasound, the technician will look at your babies:

Heart: The technician will look at the four chambers of the heart, the position of the heart, the blood flow to and from the heart and the heart rate. They can diagnose congenital heart defects before birth.⁣

Stomach: The technician makes sure that your baby’s stomach is in the right position.⁣

Bladder: The bladder is examined to make sure that it is functioning properly.⁣

Face: Mostly they check your baby’s face for cleft palate or cleft lip. Sometimes this is hard to visualize!⁣

Brain: The fluid in the brain is assessed and the shape of the brain as well. They check to see if there are any cysts in the brain, as this may indicate an increased risk for chromosomal abnormalities. ⁣

Kidneys: They check to see if there are two kidneys and if there are any blockages.⁣

Spine: Your baby’s spine is viewed in both long and cross-section. They make sure that the vertebrae are in alignment and the skin covers the spine at the back. ⁣

Placenta: They will also evaluate where the placenta is, often during this scan they can see if you have placenta previa or a low-lying placenta.⁣

Umbilical Cord: During this scan, they can see if your baby’s umbilical cord has 2 or 3 vessels (3 is normal) and they can also view where the cord is inserted into the placenta, it should be more or less in the middle of it. ⁣

Sometimes they find something concerning (the scan is sometimes also called the anomaly scan) and want you to come back for further testing. Also, not everybody has this scan, and although it’s recommended that you do, nothing is mandatory! ⁣

Did you get the anatomy scan? How was your experience?

Originally posted 2021-03-23 14:48:24.


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  1. I had mine at 22 weeks and all was reported good just baby might be a little big. I’m 27w now and will have another ultrasound done 29w to check weight and baby belly size. Is this something they do often to better predict baby size or something else?

  2. I got mine at 20 weeks, but had to go back at 22 weeks to get the heart measurements! Baby wouldn’t move at all! Went for a walk, had a bit of chocolate and some cold fizzy drink, nope! Still didn’t move.

  3. But in some cases the techs can’t see everything. Or choose not to do there job fully. My daughter was suppose to be healthy but was born with a very serious congenital-heart defect that should have been caught on the anatomy scan. Currently pregnant with my 3rd and taking the anatomy scan not very serious. So I don’t get devastated again

  4. I love your series! As a pediatrician please don’t skip this scan! Nothing worse than a surprise heart defect in a hospital without the right resources ready. Knowledge is power. Including the knowledge that when you look at 100 things it’s common for 1-2 small things to come up.

  5. This scan made everything feel more real. Seeing baby look like a baby and moving around was amazing and watching all the visuals of fluids moving was really cool for an anatomy loving person like me. Baby was super uncooperative so we didn’t get cute pictures but hard to be too disappointed about that. They said it was a good thing we didn’t want to learn the sex because baby didn’t really want to tell us and stayed curled up in a cross legged ball – despite being a campion kicker! 😂

  6. Mine was called an anomaly scan. It sounds like the same thing. Just a different name. I was really worried and anxious prior to the scan. I think some mum’s to be don’t realise this 20 week scan isn’t just to find out the babies gender. That isn’t the purpose at all. It’s to check that everything is okay… Thankfully for us, the scan showed everything was fine. Looking forward to meeting our baby in 14 weeks 👶💓 xx

  7. I had a scan at 20 weeks and they couldn’t see her heart well enough so had to go back again and was TERRIFIED that something was wrong! They didn’t tell me it’s common for babies to not cooperate 🤦‍♀️

  8. I got that scan at 20 weeks, now I’m 29 weeks and the ob said he won’t do any more scans, just listen to the baby’s heart. Is that normal? Should I schedule a 3D scan?

  9. I almost didn’t with my second but then ended up going in and I’m so glad we did because they found her heart defects and I was really thankful we found it early

  10. Just had mine! Found out I’m having a boy!! They also said due to baby boy’s positioning they couldn’t get a full read on the spinal measurements so I need to go back in a week for a follow up scan, but what they were able to see was good! I found it very reassuring and I’m super excited to finally know the sex of our baby!

  11. Had mine 8 weeks ago and it was the best thing to see baby girl! She had her legs up over her head but she did great so we could see everything. They found a problem with the umbilical cord/placenta but I’m grateful to know about it so we can do what we can to protect baby girl❤️

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Written by Claire

Claire is our Community Manager here at New Moms Forum. A mom of two (almost grown-up babies), Claire has been building and operating community-based websites for almost 20 years. In her downtime, Claire enjoys spending time with her family and drinking copious amounts of red wine!

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