Between 18 and 22 weeks of pregnancy, all pregnant women should have a second trimester ultrasound. It is called a morphological ultrasound, and it is usually a long-awaited test for expectant parents because it offers a lot of information about the health of the fetus. In addition, this ultrasound reveals the sex of the baby, as long as its posture during the test allows it to be observed.
Ultrasound at week 20 of gestation is performed abdominally, and from a health point of view it is the most important of all. The ideal time to perform is the one discussed above, for two reasons:
- The size of the fetus is adequate to assess all the organs and their functionality (it measures a span), and the amount of fluid is high.
- The Spanish law establishes as a limit these weeks of pregnancy for its interruption, in the case of malformations.
What is seen in this ultrasound ?:
1. Allows you to observe measurements of the fetus to rule out delays in growth.
2. Detect morphological or functional abnormalities in the fetus. The main abnormalities detected in this ultrasound are cleft lip, heart problems, spina bifida, kidney problems….
3. Assess the degree of fetal well-being: by observing the respiratory movements of the fetus, body movements, cord blood flow ...
4. Assess the amount of amniotic fluid.
5. Determine the sex of the baby.
6. Determine the position of the fetus and the placenta.
During this ultrasound, it is difficult for parents to understand what they are seeing, as the cross sections obstetricians make to view each organ are difficult to interpret.
However, doctors usually take a 'shot' so that parents have a photo of their future child, in which all parts of the body are perfectly distinguished, the profile of the face ... Although sometimes the fetus is on its back and we are not able to see his face: it is important not to get frustrated.
If you follow the pregnancy through a private clinic, surely you can perform some more ultrasound in the second trimester of pregnancy. For example, this is the ideal time to perform 4D or emotional ultrasound.
The 4D technique allows the images to be in real time. They are thought to establish a new bond with parents in this way and are extremely beneficial for the family, in addition to the first joint memory, which can be shared very easily. This test, which has no diagnostic or medical purpose, in no case can replace those established by your doctor for the regular monitoring of your pregnancy, determination of fetal abnormalities, evolution of the gestational age of the fetus, ...
Factors such as the amount of amniotic fluid, the size of the baby, the space available or its placement, determine that the period between 23 and 29 weeks is, in principle, the ideal one to get the best snapshots of the baby's face. From week 30, the amount of amniotic fluid is proportionally less, compared to the size of the baby that has grown a lot, therefore has less possibility of splashing and although his face is very close to the final one, it is more difficult to get good images, because it is also common for the baby to adopt positions in which it shows us its little back or covers its face with hands and feet.
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