Health & Lifestyle

Women ought to stand up to SEVEN ultrasounds in being pregnant, professional claims

Pregnant ladies needs to be supplied greater than two ultrasounds throughout being pregnant, consultants say. 

Currently, mothers-to-be are solely routinely supplied scans on the NHS twice — as soon as at across the 12-week mark and one other after about 20.

But ladies ought to truly stand up to seven, sonographers declare.  

Kate Richardson, from The Birth Company, a personal clinic on London’s Harley Street, mentioned in her ‘dream world’ the present steerage can be axed and changed in favour of finishing up additional ones. 

Getting up to seven ultrasound scans in pregnancy could avoid unnecessary trauma and the need for emergency C-sections, according to private sonographer Kate Richardson. But Some midwives are against having unnecessary serial scans because they could just make parents stressed

 Getting as much as seven ultrasound scans in being pregnant may keep away from pointless trauma and the necessity for emergency C-sections, based on non-public sonographer Kate Richardson. But Some midwives are towards having pointless serial scans as a result of they may simply make mother and father harassed


Ultrasound imaging relies on the identical rules concerned in sonar. When a sound wave strikes an object, it bounces again.

By measuring these waves and their behaviour it’s doable to find out how distant the thing is in addition to the thing’s dimension, form and consistency – whether or not the thing is stable or stuffed with fluid.

Ultrasound imaging, often known as sonography, makes use of a small probe and a few gel positioned on the pores and skin of the affected person.

The probe, a transducer, transmits sounds by way of the gel and into the physique.

When the transducer collects the sounds that bounce again, a pc then makes use of these sound waves to create a picture. 

Ultrasound imaging doesn’t use high-energy or ionising waves of sunshine, so there isn’t any harm to the affected person. 

Because ultrasound photos are captured in real-time, they’ll present the construction and motion of the physique’s inner organs, in addition to blood flowing by way of blood vessels. 

Conventional ultrasound photos are flat and two dimensional, however current developments have allowed tons of to be taken concurrently to create a 3D picture of the realm.

Ultrasounds have a spread of makes use of, however are most generally used for creating photos of a foetus within the womb throughout being pregnant. 

They are additionally used to evaluate ache, irritation and swelling in troubled areas.

As properly as assessing signs, they can be utilized as a analysis instrument for figuring out the reason for sickness in most organs.

She mentioned it might probably keep away from pointless trauma and the necessity for emergency C-sections.  

The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists states additional ultrasound scans will not be often required.

Some midwives are towards having pointless serial scans as a result of they may simply make mother and father harassed.

More scans may imply problems are noticed early — together with start defects, abnormalities and the place of the newborn earlier than start, Ms Richardson argues. 

Under the identical NHS protocol, solely ladies in high-risk pregnancies, comparable to these with diabetes or hypertension, are supplied greater than two scans to examine their child is rising correctly. 

But this solely occurs generally.  

Women wanting additional scans pays for privately for them, with clinics charging as much as £2,200 for a package deal that features 5 scans and several other midwife consultations. 

The first ultrasound mothers-to-be are supplied on the NHS, often between 11 and 14 weeks, is named the courting scan. It helps medical doctors work out child’s tough due date by measuring the dimensions of the newborn.  

At the identical time, ladies can also get a nuchal translucency scan — which checks for circumstances comparable to Down’s syndrome. This is completed by measuring the fluid in the back of the newborn’s neck, as extra fluid right here can sign the next danger of abnormalities. 

The second scan, generally known as the ‘mid-pregnancy scan’, is carried out between 18 and 21 weeks. It checks the newborn’s bodily growth and may establish whether or not they’re a boy or woman.

The sonographer will examine child’s bones, coronary heart, mind, spinal wire, face, kidneys and stomach.   

They will even search for indicators of 11 uncommon circumstances, together with cleft lip and spina bifida. 

Ms Richardson believes pregnant ladies ought to get an earlier scan, after simply seven weeks. 

However, at this early, some ladies nonetheless don’t know they’re pregnant. 

At a 7-week scan, the sonographer will be capable of spot twins or triplets barely earlier and examine for the newborn’s heartbeat. 

This earlier scan is particularly useful to ladies experiencing ache, bleeding or who’ve had a miscarriage or ectopic being pregnant up to now. The scan will help put their thoughts relaxed and discover any issues early on, she claims. 

Ms Richardson argues it may very well be ‘much less traumatic’ for fogeys as a result of they’ll discover out sooner within the being pregnant if the newborn is unwell.  

The sonographer additionally recommends ladies stand up to 6 different scans.

Between 14-24 weeks, at Ms Richardson’s non-public clinic you will get a ‘reassurance scan’ that gives ‘peace of thoughts’. At this you may see the newborn’s heartbeat and first actions.

A cervical scan between 17 and 21 weeks is used to find out if you’re vulnerable to untimely or early supply. 

Most pregnancy scans show the baby's size, its heartbeat, the way it lies in the womb and how its organs and bones are developing. But some experts say more than two scans could help spot complications

Most being pregnant scans present the newborn’s dimension, its heartbeat, the best way it lies within the womb and the way its organs and bones are growing. But some consultants say greater than two scans may assist spot problems

A sexing scan at 17-23 weeks will present the gender of your child and measurements will likely be taken to examine the newborn’s progress and growth.

Between 20-24 weeks an ‘anomaly scan’ checks the event of your child. The sonographer assesses the dimensions of the mind, face, lips, coronary heart, backbone, abdomen, kidneys, bowel and limbs, checking for indicators of cleft lip and spina bifida.  

But that is additionally supplied to everybody on the NHS at 20 weeks. 

A 3D or 4D scan is obtainable to pregnant ladies between 26 and 31 weeks at Ms Richardson’s clinic. At this appointment you may pay to get a video of your child, see their heartbeat and actions.

Finally, between 24 and 40 weeks a ‘progress scan’ is obtainable to examine on the place of the newborn. 

Ms Richardson says the optimum time for a lot of ladies to get that is at 36 weeks. But it may set you again greater than £180. 

Despite the additional price pregnant ladies must fork out, there isn’t any recognized danger related to having ultrasounds. 

The sound waves used within the scans will not be like another scans, comparable to CT scans, as they don’t contain publicity to radiation. 

Although at least two scans are offered to everyone, the NHS does not force you to attend the appointments and you will still be offered antenatal care. This includes health checks, advice on healthy eating and options for care during labour and birth

Although not less than two scans are supplied to everybody, the NHS doesn’t drive you to attend the appointments and you’ll nonetheless be supplied antenatal care. This contains well being checks, recommendation on wholesome consuming and choices for care throughout labour and start 

A scan at 36 weeks might sound a bit late, however Ms Richardson thinks mums ought to get it. 

This last scan can present if the newborn is in the correct place prepared for start and never in breech (mendacity backside down), which may keep away from a complete myriad or issues throughout labour, together with an emergency C-section. 

She mentioned: ‘If somebody mentioned to me, I’ve acquired cash to have one additional ultrasound scan, I’d say have the 36-week scan, as a result of then you’ve got needed to 12 and 20 week scans on the NHS and the 36 week scan and we all know that child shouldn’t be too huge, not too small and all prepared for the exit.’

However, a midwife can examine if a child is in breech with out a scan and just by feeling the stomach.  

Although not less than two scans are supplied to everybody, the NHS doesn’t drive you to attend the appointments and you’ll nonetheless be supplied antenatal care. 

This contains well being checks, recommendation on wholesome consuming and choices for care throughout labour and start. 

Professor Asma Khalil, guide obstetrician and vp of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, mentioned: ‘If the being pregnant is uncomplicated, extra antenatal scans will not be often required. 

‘Additional ultrasounds could also be supplied the place there’s a medical must proceed to observe foetal progress and wellbeing.’

Professor Khalil warned that though some non-public clinics provide extra scans, not all of those scans will choose up on issues and may produce a picture of the newborn. 

She added: ‘Some ladies might select to have extra non-public scans for additional reassurance, for instance those that have beforehand had a miscarriage.

‘While some non-public scanning corporations can provide a full diagnostic examine, others will not be capable of present this service and will not choose up on issues with the lady or their child. 

‘Therefore, it is crucial that personal corporations guarantee ladies totally perceive what kind of scan the sonographer is doing.’

An extra scan at 36 weeks may sound a bit late but Ms Richardson thinks mums should get it. She says you will be able to determine if the baby is the right size and in the right position, potentially avoiding emergency C-sections and baby deaths

An additional scan at 36 weeks might sound a bit late however Ms Richardson thinks mums ought to get it. She says it is possible for you to to find out if the newborn is the correct dimension and in the correct place, probably avoiding emergency C-sections and child deaths

Tina Prendeville, midwife with being pregnant charity Tommy’s, is towards having too many pointless scans. 

She mentioned: ‘It is comprehensible that some mother and father could also be notably anxious about checking on their child’s growth, notably once they have skilled loss, and a few mother and father might select to do that privately for reassurance. 

‘Although a scan might give reassurance at that second, having serial scans might trigger pointless stress for some, and it is very important focus on these emotions and feelings along with your midwife or physician in order that they’ll help you.’ 

According to NICE, which offers evidence-based medical suggestions to the NHS, pregnant ladies are given an belly examination at 36 weeks to establish doable breech presentation, however not an ultrasound. 

If essential, and breech presentation is suspected, an ultrasound is then used for additional checks and to find out the presentation. 

However, there have been proposals to start out utilizing an ultrasound gadget at routine antenatal appointments to examine the positioning of the newborn, however proof that is helpful is presently restricted. 

A Department of Health and Social Care spokesperson mentioned: ‘Screening checks are supplied twice throughout being pregnant to assist establish any early well being circumstances which then ensures the suitable info, analysis and remedy is given.

‘The UK National Screening Committee obtained a proposal to think about screening for foetal presentation in being pregnant, with analysis into this to begin in March.’

Pregnancy scans and antenatal appointments: what is obtainable and when?

When are being pregnant scans supplied? 

The NHS routinely gives two being pregnant ultrasound scans. You could also be supplied extra relying on the well being of your child.

You ought to contact your midwife or GP as quickly as doable after you discover out you’re pregnant. 

At this primary appointment you have to be given details about:

  • Folic acid dietary supplements
  • Nutrition, weight-reduction plan and meals hygiene
  • Lifestyle components – comparable to smoking, ingesting and leisure drug use
  • Antenatal screening checks

8 weeks  

More info is given to you about being pregnant, together with diet and weight-reduction plan and the way the newborn develops. 

Tests together with screening for sickle cell and thalassaemia will likely be supplied earlier than 10 weeks. 

12 weeks  

The courting scan: This scan is commonly the primary one supplied on the NHS and is usually known as the courting scan and supplied after about 12 weeks. It estimates the date of supply based mostly on the newborn’s measurements.

This scan may also embrace a nuchal translucency (NT) which checks for Down’s syndrome.

16 weeks 

At this appointment your blood strain will likely be taken, screening take a look at outcomes will likely be mentioned and the midwife or physician will examine if you’re anaemic.

20-24 weeks 

Mid-pregnancy scan: This is the second scan supplied to most ladies on the NHS often at about 20 weeks and it’s generally known as the mid-pregnancy scan.

It checks for indicators of 11 uncommon circumstances together with cleft lip, open spina bifida and Edward’s syndrome. In this scan you’ll find out the gender of your child. 

25 weeks 

If that is your first child, a midwife or physician will use a tape measure to measure the dimensions of your uterus and take your blood strain and take a look at your urine for protein.

28 weeks

All pregnant ladies are supplied this appointment. At this level your midwife or physician will measure your uterus, take your blood strain, give you an iron complement should you’re anaemic and provide your first anti-D remedy should you’re rhesus damaging.

31 weeks

Women who’re having their first child will once more have their uterus measured and blood strain taken. 

34 weeks

At this level in addition to having your uterus measured, the physician or midwife will discuss you thru getting ready for labour and start, together with C-section. You will even be supplied your second anti-D remedy should you’re rhesus damaging.

36 weeks

The place of the newborn will likely be checked alongside along with your blood strain and the dimensions of your uterus. You will even be given details about breastfeeding and caring in your new born child.

38 weeks

Your midwife or physician will focus on the choices and decisions about what occurs in case your being pregnant lasts longer than 41 weeks. 

Your blood strain and measurements of your uterus will even be taken. 

40 weeks

Your blood strain will likely be taken, measurements of your uterus and urine examined for protein.

42 weeks

If you haven’t had your child by 42 weeks and have chosen to not have an induction, you have to be supplied elevated monitoring of the newborn. 

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