Fetal Growth Scan

What is a fetal growth scan?

A fetal growth scan is frequently requested by your doctor or midwife in the third trimester of pregnancy and is a useful means of checking on your developing baby’s growth and well-being. Ultrasound Care’s team of obstetricians and sonographers are trusted experts in pregnancy ultrasound which is why you have been referred to our practice for this important scan.

Why will you be referred for a fetal growth scan?

Your doctor or midwife will refer you for a fetal growth scan for any of the following reasons:

What does the fetal growth scan show?

The fetal growth scan allows the Ultrasound Care specialist obstetrician to see:

What does a fetal growth scan involve?

You don’t need to have a full bladder to undertake the scan. In fact, it is better if it isn’t completely full. 

When you come into the scan room, our sonographer will apply some slippery gel onto your tummy and then place an ultrasound transducer on your abdomen. The gel is needed for the ultrasound beam to penetrate into the tummy and it allows the transducer to move around easily across your abdomen with the aid of the gel. The whole scan takes around 20-30 minutes.

Occasionally at the end of the abdomen scan examination, we may need to do a trans-vaginal scan to get a better look at the lower edge of the placenta and its relationship to the cervix. A trans-vaginal scan is also more accurate in measuring the length of the cervix than a trans-abdominal scan. This scan is conducted when you have emptied your bladder.

This is a transvaginal scan of the cervix. The fetal head is on the left, up against the cervix. The cervix is long and closed.

What if the scan shows that something is wrong?

In most instances, the scan is reassuring. During your scan, your Ultrasound Care obstetrician and sonographer will be able to show you that the baby is well grown and has normal amniotic fluid volume and placental function.

However, if we are concerned about the findings of the scan, we will discuss this with you and will contact your doctor. The Ultrasound Care doctors are all fully qualified obstetricians and are highly experienced to interpret the findings of your scan and discuss this with your caregivers. In 3 of 100 women, we will diagnose a fetal anomaly that has not previously been apparent.

Occasionally we are so concerned that we recommend you go straight to your Doctor or the Delivery Suite.

Please be assured, if any problems are suspected, our care team will provide you with the opportunity to discuss the issues and their implications.

Absolutely! The Ultrasound Care sonographers are usually able to get some gorgeous photos of your baby for you. Just be aware that the picture is affected by the position of the baby and that maternal skin thickness and the amount of amniotic fluid around the baby’s face, can also affect the quality of the image. For example, if your baby’s head is down and facing your spine, we will only be able to see its back

Will the scan show the baby in 3Dd or 4D?

The best time for a great baby photo is from about 24 weeks gestation to 34 weeks gestation. Our team is always happy to do 3D and 4D scanning for you, but we also believe our priority is to discover if there are any problems with your baby.

The importance of the fetal growth scan

The Ultrasound Care team utilises the fetal growth scan to undertake a comprehensive assessment of your baby’s growth and wellbeing, because your baby’s health is our priority.