For many women, the ultrasound scan is often met with high expectations and mixed feelings. It is the one time during pregnancy when you are able to see a proper image of the developments your little one has made.

There are usually two scans conducted during pregnancy, the first one called ‘Dating’ is done at the 12th week where the doctor estimates the delivery date , while the second one which occurs during the 18th – 21st week is usually called the ‘Anomaly’ test is a routine ultrasound scheduled by your doctor to see how well your child is developing and if there is any cause for concern. The scan checks for major physical abnormalities in your baby .

An ultrasound is a detailed scan usually carried out by a trained technician and it works by sending high frequency sound waves that are used to produce images of what’s inside you, a colorless gel like substance is applied to your stomach while using the ultrasound device to move around your tummy and get a closer look at your baby. Usually before the Ultrasound you will be asked to come with a full bladder, a full bladder pushes your womb up and this helps to give a better picture, so drink up on lots of water while waiting.

To better help you understand what the essence of the scan here are a few of the things your doctor will look out for:

If your baby is growing properly and in the right place.

Check if the placenta is rightly positioned.

Look out for any growth abnormalities.

Measure the size of the child, measurements will be carried out to check head circumference, Abdominal circumference and Thigh bone length, by doing so it is easier to calculate the age of the baby.

Confirm if you are carrying more than one child.

Check to see that your baby’s major organs are developing well.

Check to see the quantity of your amniotic fluid.

All these checks are necessary to make sure your doctor is aware of any risks to your child and there are no surprises during and after delivery.

Lastly, at this stage we come to the exciting part of the whole exercise where it is possible to know the sex of your child, sometimes some couples would rather not know the gender of the child but the doctor will ask in case you want to know ,but please bear in mind that often times knowing the sex of your child is not 100% accurate due to the position the child is lying, it can sometimes be difficult to ascertain the proper gender and this can only happen if the child is lying in a proper position .