The 20-week ultrasound is performed between the 19th and 21st week of pregnancy. It aims to assess the child’s growth and anatomy so that early growth retardation or anatomical aberration can be detected; it’s impossible to determine this before that time as the child is still too small. Birth defects occur relatively little. A more or less serious aberration is only observed in 2 to 4 percent of pregnancies, before or after birth.
Unlike a “normal” ultrasound during pregnancy (for example, to determine the duration of pregnancy), all the organs of the child are carefully examined at the 20-week echo. The head, torso and limbs are also examined. The exam will take about 30 minutes and will take place in the center Diagnostiek voor U. If an abnormality is suspected, this will be discussed with you. You will be referred to a specialist in obstetric sonography as soon as possible, who will take another extensive look at the baby sonographically.
Although it does not happen often, it is possible an abnormality is found in an ultrasound, that cannot be found again in a follow-up exam, or turns out not to be serious.
From a 20-week gestation period, extensive sonographic examination is a reliable method of determining birth defects. Generally, serious birth defects are also likely to be observed. However, it is possible that an abnormality that is present is not detected. Other conditions such as chromosomal aberrations are seldom accompanied by abnormalities that are observed in this examination.
Baby movements during the ultrasound or excess body weight of the mother can complicate the exam. A positive result in the 20-week ultrasound is not a guarantee that your baby is healthy.
The costs of the 20-week ultrasound will be fully reimbursed by health insurance.
More detailed information on prenatal screening and prenatal diagnostics can be found at www.zwangernu.nl. Our midwives would be happy to answer any questions.