Doppler scan explained

Updated: Apr 25, 2019

Doppler scan estimates the placental blood flow to baby. It suggests if sufficient oxygen is delivered to major organs like brain and heart.

Doppler ultrasound indicates umbilical blood flow in the placenta to the baby. It may be necessary in third trimester to measure baby's health status.


Doppler scan is safe

When done by a sonographer or doctor, Doppler scan is perfectly safe within limits. Doppler scan should not be considered in early pregnancy as prolonged scan induces increased temperature which is harmful to developing foetus in first 3 months.


Why does doppler ultrasound show?

Doppler ultrasound assesses umbilical (placental) blood flow and blood delivery to the heart and brain. If blood flow is restricted, the doppler scan will show an intermittent or reversed pattern, which indicates danger for baby. Restricted blood flow is due to poor placental perfusion or poor maternal health or nutrition. This is often seen in small baby or poor foetal growth.


When will I need doppler scan?

Your doctor may recommend when you need extra care and close monitoring of your baby's health status. This can happen for small baby, twin pregnancy, certain viral infections like CMV or Parvo-virus, hypertension or blood group incompatibility.




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