An ultrasound scan at 20 weeks is essential. It gives important information; an anatomy (organ) survey of the baby, assessment of the baby’s growth, a check of where the placenta is growing and how long your cervix is.
A 12 week ultrasound is also important. While not absolutely essential, about 99% of patients have a specialist scan at 12 weeks. Early fetal abnormalities are being diagnosed with increasing accuracy, plus it is at this scan that the nuchal translucency (NT) – the thickness of a fluid layer behind the baby’s neck – is measured, allowing for an estimation of the chance that the baby has Down Syndrome. Some of the time, the fetal sex can be determined at this scan.
Chris highly recommends that you have each of your ultrasounds at a specialist women’s clinic. You can be sure if you go to one of his recommended clinics that you will be getting the most accurate and reliable scan possible.
Specialised ultrasound clinics can be a little more expensive than a non-specialist clinic (although non-specialised clinics often charge significant out-of-pocket fees, too) but it is money wisely spent. It eliminates the need for repeat ultrasounds should the first show an abnormality or if the non-specialist ultrasonographer is simply not sure what she is seeing. This can end up being more stressful, too.