Scan and Ensure the Well-Being of the Baby

About Fetal Well-being Scan

The Fetal well-being scan is an ultrasound done to check the development of the fetus. With the help of these scans, doctors assess whether the fetus is developing at the right pace and also make sure that there are no anomalies in the formation of organs.

Through these scans, the estimated Fetal weight, Fetal movement, and level of amniotic fluid are assessed. The colour Doppler examination helps in the better assessment of blood flow to the placenta and fetus.

Timing of the Scans

These scans are usually done around 32 weeks of pregnancy, which is in the 8th month. However, the scans can be conducted at any time between 26 and 40 weeks.

Reasons for Doing Well-being Scans

As the name suggests, this scan is done to check the well-being of the fetus in the womb. Doctors check if the growth and development of the baby are on track as per its gestational age.

The scan aims to determine:

  • Size of the fetus

This is done by measuring the circumference of the Fetal head (HC), abdominal circumference (AC), and femur length (FL).

  • Estimated Fetal Weight

HC, AC, and FL are used to calculate the estimated Fetal weight of the baby in the womb. The estimated weight is 15% above or below the true weight. The weight is best estimated from 28 weeks onward.

  • Level of amniotic fluid
  • Placental position and appearance
  • Presentation of the fetus

The position of the fetus is determined to see if it is in the transverse, head, or breech position. This information is crucial during the delivery of the baby.

  • Movement of the fetus
  • Blood flows through the placenta and fetus using a colour Doppler ultrasound

With the help of the colour Doppler ultrasound, blood flow through the umbilical vessels and the arterial and venous vessels is determined. Also through these, the health of organs such as the heart and kidneys is assessed.

Why are Doppler Scans During Pregnancy Advised?

During the first trimester of pregnancy, an ultrasound scan is done to check the number of fetuses, their heartbeat, and the growth of the baby to estimate the delivery date. The second scan is done in the second trimester to determine if the organs are developing properly and to check the growth of the baby. If during this scan the doctors detect some anomaly, they may suggest a Doppler scan to get a clearer picture.

The colour doppler ultrasound helps in checking umbilical blood flow, placental blood flow, and blood flow in the heart and brain. Unrestricted blood flow is necessary for the proper growth and development of the baby. Doctors suggest all pregnant women undertake this scan at least once around 32 weeks of pregnancy to rule out any form of abnormality in the development of the baby.

Other scenarios where the doctor suggests taking this scan are:

  • when the mother is carrying more than one baby.

It is essential to closely monitor the case of multiple pregnancies. It falls under the category of high-risk pregnancies and may pose danger to the lives of mother and child. Hence, doctors suggest a doppler scan to get a clear picture and avoid any issues.

  • When the mother's health is not optimal

Both the physical and mental health of the mother have a great impact on the baby. The fetus gets its oxygen and nutrient supply from the mother through the umbilical cord and the placenta. In cases where blood flow is interrupted in the umbilical cord and the placenta due to the ill health of the mother, the oxygen and nutrient supply to the fetus gets hampered, resulting in a slow growth rate of the fetus and also various other anomalies. Some of the health conditions of the mother that harm the fetus are:

    • when the mother is under or over the recommended weight
    • and when the pregnant woman has high blood sugar or high blood pressure.
    • when the mother is a smoker

To avoid any untoward situation, the doctors carefully monitor such high-risk cases and suggest a colour doppler scan for a better understanding of Fetal health.

  • When the pregnant woman has previously had a miscarriage

If a woman becomes pregnant after having previously miscarried, then it is necessary to keep a close watch on the pregnancy. A colour doppler scan helps the doctor get a clear picture of the blood flow in the umbilical cord, placental tissues, and the organs of the fetus. This lets the doctor get a fair idea of any anomaly that may arise.

  • If the fetus is attacked by rhesus antibodies
  • If the growth of the fetus is below the normal rate

If the growth rate of the fetus is found in normal scans to be less than the normal rate, doctors advise a doppler scan to get a better understanding of the reason for the slow growth rate.

Summing It Up

For a healthy baby to come into this world, the mother must be physically and mentally healthy. It is also very important that periodic scans and checkups be done as per the recommendations of the doctor. This ensures the good health of the baby and the prevention of any complications that can be avoided.

It cannot be overemphasised how important it is to undergo ultrasound scans in every trimester to check the development of the baby. Among these scans, the well-being scan at around 32 weeks is the most important, as this scan helps the doctor:

  • Rule out any abnormalities in the development of the baby.
  • Check the proper flow of blood to the organs of the baby and the umbilical vessels of the woman.
  • Check the estimated Fetal weight.
  • Check the movement of the baby to determine its health
  • Check if the growth and development of the baby are on the right track.

Request an appointment at Apollo Cradle, Bengaluru - Brookefield. Call 1860-500-1066 to book an appointment.

1. What is a well-being scan?

The well-being scan is done on the foetus at around 32 weeks of pregnancy. As the name suggests, it is to check if the health and development of the baby are on track as per its age.

2. What is a colour doppler scan?

It is an imaging test prescribed to pregnant women for recording the heart rate of the baby and checking the blood flow and growth of the baby in the womb.

3. When is the doppler scan done?

The Doppler scan can be done from 26 weeks to term. However, it is best done within 32 to 40 weeks when the major organs of the fetus have developed.

4. What should the baby's weight be at 32 weeks?

The weight of the baby at this time is around 1.8 kg, and it is about 40 cm long from head to toe.

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