Ultrasound has significantly transformed obstetrics (the medical care and control of pregnancy), during the last 20 years the medical technology has improved and the images we are able to get of our babies become more and more realistic and we are able to detect any fetal abnormalities in a timely manner.
As a gyneco-obstetrician I believe it is important to have ultrasound scans throughout pregnancy and suggest women to have them done by a qualified professionals who have gone through a training specializing in certain phases of pregnancy. I hold a diploma in ultrasound as a medical ultrasonographer credentialed by the Universidad Autónoma de Querétaro and Ministry of Health of Quintana Roo.
During a normal pregnancy there are at least 3 scans carried out:
1st ultrasound between the 11th and 13.6th weeks:
Enables timely detection of chromosomal alterations, such as Down syndrome, and is called Nuchal Translucency screening. It is a tiny space in the fetus´ back of the neck that only appears during this phase of pregnancy. In addition, it is possible to carry out structural observations that allow to discover other malformations, the number of fetuses and locate the placenta among many other things.
2nd structural ultrasound between the 18th and the 22nd
An organized and systematic assessment of baby´s anatomy is carried out. Different views and various measurements are taken in order to detect structural malformations and indirect evidences of chromosomal alterations.
3rd trimester screening between the 28th and 32nd weeks
The purpose is to re-evaluate the most important organs such as the brain, heart and kidneys, and identify abnormal conditions could have appeared until moment. In addition, baby´s growth is assessed and if necessary it is possible to carry out a blood flow assessment in order to detect any restrictions in growth. If any specific clinical conditions exist the number of ultrasound scans made could increase.