One of the most frightening questions for first-time expecting parents is “how many scans during pregnancy?” The most important scans will confirm your pregnancy, give you an estimated due date, and check the baby’s development. Generally, you will have the first scan between eight and fourteen weeks. This scan will also help the sonographer figure out the baby’s height and weight and determine whether there are multiple fetuses.
Your doctor or ultrasound technician should be happy to answer any questions you might have. They do not want to dismiss your concerns or “strong-arm” you into having a scan. They will, however, want to give you the accurate information you need to make an informed decision. This means having long discussions with you and your family.
You may also have a dating scan, which provides important information about the fetus and when you can expect to deliver. The sonographer will also perform a nuchal translucency scan, which is a type of screening test for Down’s syndrome. This scan may not be necessary unless your pregnancy is deemed high-risk or if there are other problems with your pregnancy.
In addition to the aforementioned scans, your doctor may also perform four-dimensional ultrasounds. This type of scan, sometimes called “live 3D” ultrasounds, can give you a live action view of your baby. However, before undergoing a 4D scan, it is important to discuss the procedure with your doctor. Ultrasound scans are complicated procedures requiring considerable training and experience. To ensure accuracy, ultrasound technicians are typically trained to perform these exams. Some medical specialists also have undergone appropriate training to perform this procedure.