What is a Growth Scan?
A growth scan is essentially an ultrasound scan performed in the last trimester of pregnancy to monitor the growth and health of the baby. The scan can be done once or multiple times, if required. The first fetal growth scan is advised to be done between 28 and 32 weeks of pregnancy to check the growth and wellbeing of the fetus.
What is Growth Scan used for?
A Growth Scan is an important procedure to monitor the development of the foetus inside the womb. It is specifically used to:
Check the baby’s health by monitoring the baby’s moves, stretches, and breath
Determine the baby’s position and weight
Check the amount of amniotic fluid
Determine the position and maturity of the placenta
Determine the position of the umbilical cord
Learn about a previous caesarean scar
Monitor twin pregnancy
Why do I need a Growth Scan?
You might need a Growth Scan for the following reasons:
- Monitor the baby’s health
- Gestational diabetes
- History of preeclampsia
- High blood pressure
- Baby movement determination
- History of premature delivery
- Vaginal bleeding
- Renal disease
- Abdominal pain
How long does a Growth Scan take?
A Growth Scan typically takes between 30 to 40 minutes. Depending on the baby’s position, it might be of a shorter or longer duration.
Who Performs a Growth Scan?
A prenatal sonographer or a doctor who specializes in prenatal diagnosis performs Growth Scans.
How is the procedure performed?
Before the procedure, a gel is applied to the abdomen to ensure good contact between the abdominal skin and the scanning device. A handheld probe is passed over the abdomen to examine the baby. As the probe moves, a black and white image of the baby appears on the screen attached to the device. Based on these images, the doctor will monitor the baby’s health by checking the movement, breath, etc. The baby’s head and abdomen circumference are measured to determine if the baby is growing healthily inside the womb. The scan can also identify gestational diabetes by checking changes in the amount of amniotic fluid.