Pregnancy ultrasound at every stage
Dr Indika Alahakoon and her dedicated team in Bella Vista offer a number of ultrasound services, making use of 2D as well as the latest 3D and 4D technology.
Perhaps some of the most exciting scans, pregnancy ultrasounds provide high-quality imaging, at every stage. Not only do pregnancy ultrasounds play an important role in diagnosing abnormalities, they give you the opportunity to see detailed images of your baby as they grow. Here’s what you can expect from each scan.
The first steps
The first of your pregnancy ultrasounds, the dating scan is performed between 7 and 17 weeks in order to determine the age and size of the foetus, as well as to check for a heartbeat and any unusual features. In most cases, the ultrasound is performed abdominally with our advanced 3D/4D technology. If your pregnancy is less than ten weeks, we will recommend a vaginal scan.
Next, you’ll go for a nuchal translucency scan, which is a non-invasive ultrasound that works by measuring the amount of fluid on your baby’s neck. Ideally performed between 12 and 14 weeks, the ultrasound allows us to diagnose any potential foetal complications, such as down syndrome, cardiac defects, genetic syndromes and other chromosomal abnormalities. If any abnormalities are detected, we will explain the risks and discuss the options with you.
In some at-risk pregnancies, a cervical length scan may be recommended. This scan can be performed anytime from 14 weeks. The test helps to assess your risk of miscarriage or premature birth. If we identify any risk factors, we’ll be sure to monitor your pregnancy closely and may recommend follow-up scans.
While some parents choose not to find out whether they’re having a boy or girl, we are happy to perform a gender identification scan anytime between 16 and 31 weeks.
Your baby’s development
At 19 to 20 weeks, a routine foetal morphology scan is performed. This ultrasound allows us to assess the development of your baby and provides information such as the number of foetuses, measurements that confirm the age and growth rate, a structural review to exclude abnormalities, placental position and cervical length. It is also possible to identify the gender of your baby at this stage if you wish. This is an important scan, as it assesses the healthy development of your baby and ensures early diagnosis of any issues.
Late pregnancy scans
In some cases, we may recommend a foetal growth scan in the third trimester of your pregnancy. During this ultrasound, important growth parameters are measured, helping us to determine the estimated weight of your baby and to make sure that your baby’s development is healthy and on track for delivery. Your baby’s breathing and movement, as well as the amniotic fluid volume around your baby, can all be checked at this ultrasound. The blood flow to and from the placenta called Doppler studies help assess the wellbeing of the placenta.
Getting ready for birth
The last scan you will have before giving birth, a foetal presentation scan will determine the position of your baby, as well as your baby’s overall health. The ultrasound is also helpful in assessing the risk of placenta praevia. The findings of this scan will be shared with your midwife or obstetrician so that they are fully prepared for the delivery of your baby.
To book a pregnancy ultrasound in Sydney, please contact us here