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The experts say it! Women should have up to seven ultrasounds during pregnancy, here's why
Written by SOT.COM.AL 28 Janar 2023
Pregnant women should be offered more than two ultrasounds during pregnancy, experts say.
Currently, mums-to-be are routinely offered scans on the NHS only twice, once around 12 weeks and another after their 20s.
But women should actually do up to seven, sonographers claim.
Kate Richardson, from The Birth Company, a private clinic in London's Harley Street, said it would potentially avoid unnecessary trauma and the need for emergency caesareans.
The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists says additional ultrasound scans are not usually required.
Some midwives are against doing unnecessary serial scans because they can just make parents stressed.
More scans can mean complications are spotted early, including birth defects, abnormalities and the position of the baby before birth, Ms Richardson argues.
Under the same NHS protocol, only women in high-risk pregnancies, such as those with diabetes or high blood pressure, are offered more than two scans to check their baby is growing properly.
But that only happens sometimes.
Women who want extra scans can pay for them privately, with clinics paying up to £2,200 for a package that includes five scans and several midwife consultations.
For mothers the first ultrasound is available on the NHS, usually between 11 and 14 weeks. This helps doctors determine the baby's approximate due date by measuring the baby's size.
The second scan, sometimes called the 'mid-pregnancy scan', is carried out between weeks 18 and 21. It checks the baby's physical development and can identify whether it is a boy or a girl.
The sonographer will check the baby's bones, heart, brain, spinal cord, face, kidneys and abdomen.
This scan is particularly useful for women who experience pain, bleeding or who have had a miscarriage or ectopic pregnancy in the past. The scan can help put their minds at ease and catch any problems early, she claims.
A cervical scan between 17 and 21 weeks is used to determine whether you are at risk of preterm or early labor.
Richardson argues that it can be less traumatic for parents because they can find out sooner in the pregnancy if the baby is unwell.
The sonographer also recommends that women have up to six more scans.