Dating scans in pregnancy

I'll never forget one nurse asking me, 'Do you think you could just pop to the loo and let just a little bit out? ’ When it comes to the actual scan you'll lie on your back and then some sticky, clear gel will be rubbed over your abdomen.The sonographer will tuck some tissues under your clothes so you don't get gel all over them.You should then see the black-and-white image of your baby appear on the screen.The clarity of the picture depends on a number of things.Here are the main checks they'll be making: Your baby will be measured and the exact stage of pregnancy will be calculated from the measurement made from crown to rump.This will give you a more precise estimated due date.The dating scan is usually done at some point between 8 weeks and 14 weeks pregnant.NICE recommends it's done between 10 weeks and 13 weeks.

The results of the nuchal test are put together with the results of blood tests that are usually done a bit earlier to screen for the risk of your baby having conditions such as Down's, Edwards and Patau syndrome.

It may not be immediately obvious which parts of your baby you're looking at, but the sonographer will be able to help you work it out.

He or she may need to prod your belly a bit to “encourage” the baby into a suitable position.

You may find at this scan your due date is altered on your notes.

It's more common to be told you're less far along than you thought you were, rather than that you're actually further along in the pregnancy.

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