A growth scan, also known as a fetal growth ultrasound, is a medical imaging procedure used during pregnancy to assess the growth and development of the fetus. This type of ultrasound is typically performed in the second half of pregnancy, usually around 20 weeks and beyond. The primary purpose of a growth scan is to monitor the size and well-being of the fetus.
Here are key aspects of a growth scan:
Fetal Measurements: The ultrasound technician will measure various parts of the fetus, including the head circumference, abdominal circumference, and the length of the femur bone. These measurements help estimate the fetal weight and ensure that the baby is growing appropriately for its gestational age.
Amniotic Fluid Level: The scan may include an assessment of the amount of amniotic fluid around the baby. Normal levels of amniotic fluid are important for the baby’s well-being.
Placental Assessment: The health and position of the placenta may be evaluated during a growth scan. The placenta plays a crucial role in providing nutrients and oxygen to the developing fetus.
Umbilical Artery Doppler: In some cases, especially if there are concerns about fetal growth, the Doppler ultrasound may be used to assess blood flow in the umbilical artery. Abnormalities in blood flow could be an indication of potential issues.
Monitoring Twins or Multiples: In pregnancies with twins or multiples, growth scans are particularly important to monitor the growth of each individual fetus and ensure that they are developing well.
Assessment of Fetal Well-Being: The growth scan is an essential tool to assess the overall well-being of the fetus, as abnormal growth patterns may be indicative of underlying issues.