Abnormalities In A Baby Scan

If you have an ultrasound scan and it highlights potential abnormalities, your sonographer should share their findings or concerns with you at the time and you may be advised to have a repeat scan or additional tests. Many of the issues that are identified on scans are not serious and a repeat scan may show that there is nothing to worry about.

If you have a scan and it detects a potentially serious defect or abnormality, an appointment will be made with a foetal medicine specialist and you will probably be advised to have additional scans and tests; if there is a potential problem related to the baby’s heartbeat, a test called a foetal echo will be carried out. If you are offered the chance to undergo further tests, these will be explained thoroughly to you so that you can make a decision about whether or not you wish to go ahead with testing; some people choose to have tests, while others do not wish to have them and wait until their baby is born to see if there is anything wrong.

If scans and tests detect issues they may be treatable either before or after birth or there may be a decision to make about whether to continue with the pregnancy; this is usually in very serious cases, where there is a high chance that going ahead with the pregnancy could seriously affect the mother’s health or if there is serious risk that the baby will be stillborn or die very shortly after birth. In this case, you will have the opportunity to talk to a specially trained counsellor as well as the medical team to weigh up your options and ensure you have all the support and information you need to make a decision.

There are advantages and disadvantages of having additional tests; it can be a daunting experience and it may be very upsetting and distressing to find out that there may be something wrong with your baby. On the other hand, if tests do show problems, the care team can be made aware and this means that specialist treatment will be made available for the baby the moment it is born; this means that treatment can be provided quickly and special arrangements can be put in place, which may encourage growth and development and make life easier for the parents, as well as increasing the chance of survival in very serious cases where it is unclear whether the baby will survive the first few days.

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