doctor rubbing ky jelly on a pregnant woman

By Dr Janice TUNG, Associate Consultant and Associate Professor Tan Thiam Chye, Visiting Consultant, Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, KK Women's and Children's Hospital

You'd be amazed at how much modern science can find out about your little one, even at just a few months old.

Scan Procedure: What to Expect

what to expect at a scan

The procedure for the scans will be familiar to you by now. Your doctor will ask you to lie down and then dim the lights. Your doctor may use an abdominal probe, which glides over your belly, or a vaginal probe.

Related: What happens in the Second Trimester

Screening Scans for Trimester 2

screening scans for trimester 2

Between weeks 18 to 22, an ultrasound scan can check your baby's body structure. An expert sonographer or obstetrician will scan important structures from the baby's spine to the heart, lungs, kidneys and limbs. Although there are some limitations, these scans should help reassure you that your baby is likely to be born without any significant congenital issues. Certain defects, such as heart defects, are more difficult to detect.

Having these scans can help better prepare you and your doctors, including the paediatricians, for the delivery and care of the baby afterwards. It's best performed at about 20 weeks for the most accuracy.

What can you look forward to next? Some weeks later, in the third trimester, the doctor will scan to check that your baby's growth and position are on track for a healthy birth, and whether you may try to have a vaginal birth.

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Sources:

The New Art and Science of Pregnancy and Childbirth 2008, World Scientific

Healthy Start for your Pregnancy 2012, Health Promotion Board Singapore