Foetal Growth Scan

This scan is available from 26 weeks and it enables you to see how your baby is growing and developing between your detailed scan and your due date. The scan will measure head circumference, femur length and abdominal circumference and the blood flow in the placenta, known as the Doppler, will also be monitored.

The information gained from the growth scan can give an accurate prediction of the expected foetal weight and size. The general wellbeing of the foetus will also be assessed.

Many people have just two scans at 12 and 20 weeks, but if you wish to see how your baby is progressing after 20 weeks, the foetal growth scan offers you this opportunity. Twenty weeks (the time between the anomaly scan and the projected due date) is a long time to go without seeing images of your baby and the growth scan is a chance to monitor the development and see for yourself the change in size. Although the growth scan can also be used to perform a general assessment of the baby, it is not usually recommended as a medical examination; it is more commonly regarded as an extra opportunity to see the baby in the later stages of pregnancy; if there are abnormalities detected in earlier scans, additional scans may be recommended, but they are usually more specific and they may be combined with other types of antenatal test, including diagnostic tests.

After a foetal growth scan, you will have an accurate idea of the size and weight of your baby and your sonographer can also predict the size and weight of your baby at full term. If the baby is very large or the scan shows that growth has slowed or the baby is smaller than expected, the images may be used to make special arrangements for delivery or you may be referred to an obstetrician.

The best time for a foetal growth scan is usually between 26 and 34 weeks. If the sex is unknown at this point and you wish to find out the gender of your baby, this scan can also be used to provide you with this information.

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