The Twenty Week Scan

Around half way through your pregnancy you will be offered your second scan.

Just like your first scan this is of course optional. The reason for this scan is to check over baby in better detail now that she has had a further 8-10 weeks of growth.

Like your 12 week scan this will take place in the hospital with the sonographer and will be in a slightly darkened room with a second screen possibly on the wall for you to see.

Again the gel will be spread across your stomach and the transducer will be rubbed across this to pick up the image of your baby.

The measurements that the sonographer will be making are head, abdomen and thigh bones and they will be checking the face for a cleft palate and the spine for any problems such as spina bifida.

They will check her heart to ensure that the blood flow is normal and then also look at the stomach, bladder and kidneys again to check for any issues. Your sonographer will also assess your levels of amniotic fluid.

They will then look at your uterus and the placenta including where it is situated. If they do tell you that it is 'near' the cervix remember that you have at least another 20 weeks of growth yet, and it will most likely move up and out of the way by then.

That is a bewildering amount of measurements to be taken and so again don't be disheartened if your sonographer is 'all business' - that IS their business so they will probably chat little and get on with the scan.

Do you want to find out the sex of your baby? Because there is a fair chance that your sonographer will be able to tell you at this point. As one rather amusing sonographer said to me once...hamburger or snail?

Focus on the image that you can see. Send positive thoughts out to your baby. Can you see her profile? Is she wriggling around? What can you feel inside? Chances are the next time you see her she'll be in your arms.

Following your scan (again, remember to take money for any images to print & keep) you will have some updated notes in your file. What do they all mean?

AC - Abdominal circumference.

BPD - Biparietal diameter (ear to ear measurement)

OFD - Occipitofrontal diameter (the front to back of the head)

CRL - Crown to rump length (length from head to bottom)

GA - Gestational age (according to their measurements, obviously they do not know exactly when fertilisation occurred)

EDD - Estimated date of delivery (your estimated 'due date')

EFW - Estimate foetal weight (how much the sonographer thinks your baby will weigh at birth, this is notoriously inaccurate for predicting the weight of your baby and can vary by approximately 15-20%)

If this feels at all overwhelming just close your eyes and focus on your thoughts and feelings. On your breath and baby’s movements. Attune yourself to your pregnancy and your own inner wisdom to grow and nurture and understand your baby.