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4 must-do scans in pregnancy

Updated: Apr 25, 2019

What are the must-do scans that I should consider?

A​​​n ultrasound scan is the commonest assessment tool that your doctor will use throughout your pregnancy. It is a safe and quick way of assessing the growth and health of your baby. However, it is still important to exercise prudence in scans. You should ask your doctor why you need the scan.

#1 Dating scan (week 8-12)

Your first scan is done in your first trimester. Visualizing the pregnancy and the heart beat would be reassuring. You are ready to celebrate!

#2 OSCAR (Down syndrome) scan (week 11-13)

This assesses the your baby's risk of Down Syndrome. Measurement of neck skin fold thickness (nuchal translucency) is done. An unusually thick skin fold may indicate Down syndrome, heart issues or genetic problem. Consider this test, especially if you are at risk above 35 years old or strong family history. This test is 90% accurate.

#3 Detailed major scan (week 18-22)

Being an expectant mother, you will find it reassuring to know that baby is formed healthy. This scan checks for all major organs, cleft and even gender. Unfortunately, even the most experienced doctor can only vouch for 70% accuracy as some minor problems may be missed.  

#4 Growth scan (32-36 weeks)

The scan monitors your baby’s growth as sometimes growth can slow down in last trimester. This tells us about the health status of baby. The water level in the amniotic bag also reassures if it is adequate. I will also determine baby’s head position and the placenta position. A birth plan can be better discussed.

Do I need a 3D scan?

3D scan furnishes a three-dimensional image of baby. However, this scan is costly around SGD 400-500 and is regarded as “social scan”. It generally does not have great medical benefits except increased bonding with baby. Most hospitals do not offer 3D scan as routine.

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