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An 18–20 week pregnancy screening ultrasound is part of the routine care during pregnancy. Your doctor would refer you for ultrasound screening as part of a routine check-up at this stage in your pregnancy. It is a good idea to wear comfortable clothing that gives easy access to your entire abdominal area. Some research has found that when young children are present during screening in the ultrasound room they can become restless, which can distract the person carrying out the examination and some important information might be missed. It is strongly recommended that if you have young children, you arrange for child care beforehand and do not bring children to your scan appointment if there is no one to care for them in the waiting room. A transducer (a smooth handheld device) is moved gently across the abdomen with a sliding and rotating action (see Ultrasound).
The experience of seeing your unborn baby is exciting and positive, and the sonographer carrying out the examination will generally point out easily recognised parts of the body. The ultrasound is carried out for medical reasons to fully check and assess the development of the foetus from head to toe. A number of measurements of the foetus will be taken (head size, abdomen and bones) to assess the exact size and age of the baby. Sometimes the foetus might not be in an ideal position to see a particular structure or part of the body, and the sonographer might ask you to move slightly by rolling from one side to the other. If you are asked to return and parts of the foetus still cannot be seen, or it is necessary to check the position of the placenta more clearly, then a transvaginal ultrasound might need to be carried out (see Transvaginal Ultrasound). The person carrying out the screening ultrasound will be concentrating very closely on the images as they come onto the screen and might be quiet or not talking. Pregnancy ultrasound is complex, because there are many structures in the developing foetus that need to be checked and measured.
A normal foetus will be moving quite a bit during the scan, and it might take a few minutes to get exactly the right image of a hand, foot, the brain, or various parts of the chest or abdomen. The 18-20 week screening pregnancy ultrasound is a screening test to examine the development of the foetus. The significance of any abnormality will be explained to you by a doctor and it may be necessary to have further ultrasounds at specialist centres dedicated to scanning foetuses and abnormalities. If abnormalities are detected, it is the role of the radiologist or obstetrician sonologist to talk with your doctor about the possible causes for the abnormalities seen on the ultrasound scan. A normal ultrasound result for a baby does not necessarily mean normal development will continue throughout infancy.
The significance of any abnormality will be explained to you by a doctor, and it might be necessary to have further tests to confirm the screening results.
Amniocentesisor chorionic villus samplingmight be necessary to check the chromosomes of the foetus if Down syndrome or other congenital conditions are suspected. If abnormalities are detected, the radiologist or obstetrician sonologist (specialist doctors) will talk with your doctor about the possible reasons for the abnormalities. The examination is carried out by sonographers who are specially trained and accredited to carry out the scan. The sonographer might leave the room to show the images to the radiologist (specialist doctor) who provides a report to your GP or obstetrician.
The examination is carried out in a radiology department of a hospital, private radiology practice or at a specialist clinic for obstetric and gynaecological ultrasound.
Please feel free to ask theprivate practice, clinic or hospital where you are having your test or procedure when your doctor is likely to have the written report. It is important that you discuss the results with the doctor who referred you, either in person or on the telephone, so that they can explain what the results mean for you. Leave a Comment A new study shows a possible link between vitamin D deficiency and a pregnancy condition called preeclampsia. Preeclampsia is a condition which usually occurs at the end of pregnancy that is characterized by high blood pressure as well as protein in urine. Christopher Robinson, MD, MSCR, the principal author on the paper was quoted as saying " It is biologically plausible that the vitamin could affect preeclampsia risk. The authors of the study were quick to point out that further study is needed to understand the role of vitamin D deficiency in pregnancy.
Mom's Pregnancy Changes and Symptoms At 20 weeks pregnant, you are definitely sporting your "baby bump." For most women, there is no more hiding your pregnancy, even if you wanted to.You have reached your halfway mark - only 20 more weeks until your baby is born!
You may now find that standing for a lengthy period of time causes you to feel dizzy or light-headed. Some women who measure larger than others are carrying perfectly healthy babies who are just bigger than average. The mask of pregnancy (chloasma) is another side effect of the increased melanin production.
You may be more rested and have more energy in the second trimester, but you’re not immune to sleep problems. A wedge-shape pillow with added neck and head support can help open your airways, thereby reducing snoring. Use a lubricating nasal spray which lubricates your airways and reduce the vibrations of throat tissue.
You can also try a nasal strip which lifts and dilates nostrils to clear your airway for easier breathing. Now that you're halfway through your pregnancy, you're most likely sporting a nice "bump.” For the average sized woman, her weight gain at 20 weeks pregnant might be 12 or 13 pounds, possibly more. To ensure that your baby grows strong and healthy, remember to continue eating a balanced diet with a variety of fruits and vegetables, proteins, carbohydrates, and plenty of vitamins and minerals.
Around pregnancy week 20, you'll be having second trimester ultrasound to make sure that your baby is healthy and your pregnancy is progressing normally.
At 20 weeks pregnant, the ultrasound technician (called the sonographer) can often detect your baby's gender with great accuracy, but there is also room for error.
This second trimester ultrasound is more in-depth than the first trimester ultrasound, because your baby's major organs, limbs, and other body parts are now well-developed and can be clearly examined with an ultrasound. The fluid-filled areas of the brain and the shape of the cerebellum (the back of the baby's brain) to make sure everything's normal. The arms and legs will be checked to make sure there are no malformations, such as clubfoot or extra toes and fingers.
Your baby's kidneys and bladder will be examined to make sure that he or she has both of the kidneys and there's no blockage of defects in either organs.

The umbilical cord is also looked at to make sure that it contains an average number of blood vessels. The second trimester ultrasound will also measure your baby to ensure that he or she is growing normally. The position of your placenta and the amount of amniotic fluid is also checked in a second trimester ultrasound.
For most women their baby is fine and they will get the reassurance that your baby is developing normally. A very small number of women develop itchy red bumps during pregnancy, and hive-like rashes on their belly, usually in the last couple of months of pregnancy. Very rarely a woman will develop severe itchiness that is a sign of something more severe, such as a condition called Intrahepatic Cholestasis. Your physician will have to conduct some blood tests to confirm whether or not your liver has been affected by this condition. Many women decide to sign up for childbirth education classes during their pregnancy, particularly first time moms. Most childbirth classes will teach you the ins and outs of labor and delivery, help you understand what you can expect during the first few weeks of parenthood, and offer vital tips and tricks for coping with fatigue, stress, and other concerns in the postpartum period. Most classes will instruct you regarding the signs of labor or pre labor, and help you learn relaxation and breathing techniques for labor and delivery. Your instructor may also cover natural birthing options, recovery from a vaginal delivery, and information on c-sections. For the most part, you will want to dress comfortably for class and bring a pillow and partner. Some other classes you may find useful include newborn baby care, infant CPR and breastfeeding classes.
All of your baby's abdominal organs (such as his or her stomach, liver, and intestines) are now completely enclosed in the abdominal cavity. Your unborn baby is wiggling and stretching his or her hands and feet, however most of the baby's movements are reflex responses at this stage of your pregnancy. Your baby remains very flexible now, and it's not uncommon for these babies to bring one or two feet up to his or her mouth. To increase your chance of carrying a healthy baby to term, remember to get extra rest, eat healthier foods, and read about pregnancy.
Watching your baby develop and grow is one of the most exciting aspects of being a new parent. What are the generally accepted indications for 18a€“20 week screening pregnancy ultrasound? What happens if something abnormal is found on the 18a€“20A week screening pregnancy ultrasound? This is used to see that the foetus is growing normally, including limbs, heart, brain and internal organs. This means the images you see on the screen show what is happening inside your uterus at that moment, like watching a movie. You might not recognise or understand some of the images you see on the ultrasound screen, but it is all part of this important and thorough screening.
The screening ultrasound will look at the position of the placenta and whether it is away from the cervix so that is does not block the birth canal during labour.
Occasionally, the foetus is in such a position that an area cannot be seen, and you might be asked to return on another day to complete the screening. In a transvaginal ultrasound, a small specially shaped transducer is used, which is slightly larger than a tampon and shaped to fit comfortably into the vagina. They will have a well established routine for doing this and a checklist so that nothing is overlooked. Ultrasound uses high-frequency soundwaves to obtain images and there is no radiation involved. Image quality is often not as clear because the foetus is further away from the ultrasound transducer, which can make assessment of the images more difficult.
This will help to guide the discussion between you and your doctor about any further investigation or treatment that may be needed. This will help to guide the discussion between you and your doctor about any further investigation or treatment that might be needed.
The ultrasound room is usually dimly lit to allow the images on the ultrasound screen to be clearly seen. It is my recommendation in my practice of medicine that pregnant women take 4000 IU of vitamin D every day, and this amount is adjusted according to blood tests that we do every trimester.
Soram KhalsaAs an MD, Dr Soram specializes in Integrative Medicine combining diet, nutrition, acupuncture, herbs and nutrition. This is because standing for prolonged periods of time can cause blood to pool in your legs - dropping your blood pressure.Inorder to avoid becoming dizzy you should take frequent breaks to sit down and rest. You might have noticed darker splotches on your face - around your nose, cheekbones, forehead, upper lip, and chin. However, you should contact your caregiver or doctor if your contractions become painful or get more regular (i.e. Two common sleep problems that plague expectant women in the second trimester include restless legs syndrome, and snoring. You may find yourself unable to sleep due to a crawling, tingling, or burning sensation in your legs. Keep in mind that every woman gains her pregnancy weight differently, so you may be far ahead of this weight, or slightly behind. Some parents like the element of surprise of discovering at the baby's birth, and others want to know ahead of time so that they can start decorating their baby's nursery and purchase baby bedding sets!
The sonographer's expertise, the quality of the equipment being used, and the position of your baby can all play a role in whether you get an accurate result. If your baby's arm and leg bones are shorter than average, this may be another marker for Down syndrome. At this stage of your pregnancy, crown to rump measurement is no longer used, because your entire baby doesn't fit on the screen anymore.
If your placenta is seen as low-lying, your doctor will do follow-up scans later in your pregnancy to make sure that you do not have placenta previa (a placenta that covers partially or completely the opening of your uterus).
If a problem is detected, you will be referred to specialists who may be able to diagnose or confirm the findings.

This type of irritation is often referred to as Pruritic urticarial papules and plaques of pregnancy or PUPP. Fortunately intrahepatic cholestasis usually affects less than 2 percent of pregnant women and is easily treated.
Others will also cover important aspects of labor and delivery such as pain medication options and hospital procedures.
While most women predict that their labor will go off without a hitch, you simply never know when a c-section might be necessary. Your partner will help coach you through the relaxation and breathing exercises you need to adopt for labor and delivery. Lamaze classes typically emphasize managing your pain through relaxation, meditation, and breathing techniques.
Your baby weighs around 10 ounces and measures a about six and half inches from head to bottom.
An ultrasound scan can even show each vertebra in the spine.This week, your baby is growing more complex skin, with multiple layers (such as the epidermis) forming.
It can also help doctors detect some abnormalities earlier than would be otherwise possible. This is to ensure that the inside of the abdominal area is seen clearly on the ultrasound images.
Occasionally, the sonographer will not be able to tell, usually because of the position of the foetus.
Measurements and pictures of the cervix are also taken to see if there is a risk of premature labour. It might not be possible to see all the foetal structures in multiple pregnancies, and you might be asked to return on another day to complete the examination. A small number of 18-20 week screening pregnancy ultrasound scans (1-2%) will identify a major structural abnormality. Approximately 50% of Down syndrome (one of the most common chromosomal conditions) cases are detected by ultrasound.
If you are not comfortable with a male, you should let the reception staff know this before having the test.
The amount of vitamin D in a normal prenatal vitamin is only 400 IU, and no vitamin D researchers that I know consider this to be nearly sufficient for pregnancy. If you can, try to keep the total weight gain for your size in mind (25 to 35 pounds for the normal sized woman).
Instead, the doctor or sonographer will determine your baby's size using a series of different measurements. A majority of the time, a low-lying placenta moves upward and away from the opening of your uterus as your pregnancy continues. When affected by intrahepatic cholestasis, bile in the body doesn't flow normally throughout the small ducts of the liver, resulting in accumulation of bile salts in the skin. Childbirth classes are a means to focus on your impending role as a parent, and a means to express your concerns and worries prior to delivery. The radiology facility where you are having the ultrasound will provide you with information about this. If it is not possible to tell the sex, you will not receive another screening ultrasound for that purpose. If a transvaginal ultrasound is needed, the procedure will be fully explained and your permission requested. In these cases where the patient is young or has religious or ethnic concerns, a female chaperone can be requested (usually a nurse at the radiology facility where you are having the scan, or a female family member). If your work requires you to stand, you may want to try support stockings and to arrange with your boss for you to take a short break every three hours or so.In the second trimester, your doctor will always measure your baby's growth at each prenatal visit. However, a smaller than average fundal height can be a sign of intrauterine-growth restriction (your baby is not growing like he or she should. These include the circumference of your baby's head, the circumference of your baby's tummy, and the length of the baby's upper leg bone (femur). Fortunately, your healthcare provider can prescribe a topical ointment that will help reduce the amount of itching you are experiencing. In only a few weeks, around week 26 of gestation, your baby will open his or her eyes for the first time since the eyelids were fused closed in the first trimester.Your baby is still very skinny, but he or she has a little more body fat, and lanugo hair has started to cover his or her body. Your baby's tooth buds, for both baby teeth and the underlying permanent adult teeth, are now in place underneath in the gums. Your doctor does this by measuring the fundal height (the distance from your pubic bone to the top of your uterus).
Hormonal changes can lead to a temporary increase in melanin (a pigment that gives color to your skin and hair).
To minimize your risk of getting chloasma, make sure that you stay away from direct sunlight, UV light can worsen pigment changes. Using these measurements, your doctor will be able to tell whether your baby falls within the normal range for growth. Typically, this method emphasizes diet and exercise and teaches deep breathing techniques for labor and delivery. After your baby is born, it will take six or eight months before these tooth buds start to appear as baby teeth. It often will be shed by the time your little one is born, or will be shed within the first few weeks of life.
So at pregnancy week 20, your fundal height is around 20 centimeters.In the days of old, before ultrasounds were used, the fundal height was the primary diagnostic tool used to assess your baby's growth. These false labor contractions are weak, and they come and go by this midpoint of pregnancy. Today, your fundal height is used in conjunction with ultrasounds to ensure that your baby is growing properly.

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