The 18 to 20 week ultrasound is considered as part of routine obstetric care for all pregnant women. At this stage of pregnancy the baby has “completely developed” but still has a lot of growing to do. All of the major organs (brain, heart, stomach, bladder, kidneys) and structures (head, face, chest, abdomen, limbs, genitalia) can be assessed carefully.
The position of the placenta and the appearance of the cervix are also an important part of this examination.
Do I need a full bladder?
If you are having a morphology ultrasound, please to drink a big glass of water (about 500mls) 1 hour prior to the appointment
Can I find out the sex of the baby?
It is usually possible to identify the sex of the baby. Please tell us when you arrive if you would like to know this information.
Can I see my baby in 3D?
3D and 4D ultrasound are available. In some cases the position of the baby prevents us from obtaining a meaningful picture. The optimal time for a 3D ultrasound is usually 28 to 30 weeks.
Can every fetal abnormality be seen?
No. The morphology ultrasound systematically looks at every part of the baby, but not all abnormalities can be detected on ultrasound. Autism, some learning difficulties, cerebral palsy and many genetic conditions are examples of problems which will not be detected on ultrasound.
Unfortunately a normal ultrasound does not guarantee a normal baby.