Everything You Need to Know About the 20 Week Anatomy Scan

Everything You Need to Know About the 20 Week Anatomy Scan | Baby Chick

Everything You Need to Know About the 20 Week Anatomy Scan

Congrats! You officially made it halfway through your pregnancy. Once women reach 20 weeks, they are often feeling pretty good—morning sickness has subsided and you aren’t big enough yet to be burdened with too much back pain and extra weight. Another exciting part of this milestone is the 20-week ultrasound, or anatomy scan. This may be your first time to see the baby, and it’s during this scan that many parents-to-be find out the gender of the baby and you get confirmation that baby is growing normally. The 20-week scan can be just as nerve-wracking as it is exciting, so we dive in to what exactly you can expect.

Everything You Need to Know About the 20 Week Anatomy Scan

What is the 20 Week Anatomy Scan?

Although it’s something you hear about often, most women have no idea why they actually need a 20-week scan. While this scan is very focused on gender for the parents (for most, this will be when they can confirm whether it’s a girl or boy), it’s much more than that. During this scan, a sonographer will take a look at everything, from the baby’s bone structure to their heart valves, to determine whether or not they are growing correctly. They will study the heartbeat, check the amniotic fluid, and measure all of baby’s anatomy measurements. Your due date will either be confirmed, or if the baby looks developmentally ahead or behind, altered a bit to adjust with his or her growth. While they analyze baby from head to toe, they will also be looking for certain anatomical anomalies that can be seen on the scan.

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What Happens During the 20 Week Anatomy Scan?

I went into my scan not quite knowing what to expect—some other pregnant friends and moms told me that it was strictly an over-the-stomach ultrasound, while others said they had a transvaginal ultrasound. Similarly, some said that the scan was quick and easy, while others remember being there for over an hour or more and even some having to come back on a different date because their baby was not cooperating. For me, my scan was somewhere in the middle. The sonographer did a quick transvaginal ultrasound first to measure my cervix (we still want it to be nice and long and thick at this point!) and then the remainder of the appointment was a normal ultrasound. Luckily for me, my baby was cooperating, so the sonographer was able to get a quick read on all of her measurements. She went over everything—counting fingers and toes, checking the spine, the brain and the heart. As she went, she let us know what we were looking at and that everything was looking good. Following the ultrasound, we sat down with the doctor to go over the images and ask any questions.

How Can I Prepare for the Scan?

There isn’t much you have to do to prepare. I was given the advice to drink orange juice or other sugary drinks about 20 minutes before the appointment to get baby moving, but most doctors will tell you to just come as you are. Make sure you are hydrated and don’t empty your bladder until you arrive—some sonographers want your bladder to be full, while others don’t. Make sure you get this confirmation before you are stuck chugging water while in the doctor’s office. You may also want to wear loose clothing and eat a balanced meal beforehand in case the appointment takes longer than you expect.

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Also a note: your scan will likely be done at a Periontologists office or radiology center, and most of these offices do not allow children, even in the waiting room. If you have other children, try to organize someone to watch them while you are at your appointment.

What if Something is Wrong?

I had tons of anxiety leading up to my scan thinking of this possibility. The good thing about getting this scan is that if something does show up, you have plenty of time to either fix the problem or truly understand it before giving birth. Many problems that show up during the scan, like placenta previa, end up fixing themselves before birth, so there is usually no need to stress too much if you get a bit of unexpected news. Whatever you find out on that day, be sure to ask the doctor as many questions as you can so you leave as informed as possible.

While the 20-week scan may bring a bit of anxiety for mothers-to-be, it is also a really exciting time to see your baby and possibly learn the gender if you don’t know it already. We left our appointment with adorable new pictures to show family and friends and the feeling that this is really, truly happening. 20 weeks down, 20 (ish) to go!

About the Author /

Jessica is a writer and editor with a focus on all things lifestyle. Whether she is discovering the latest restaurants, staying up-to-date on new styles, helping brides plan their wedding, or covering trends in the real estate market, Jessica is on top of it all. After graduating from Florida State University with a B.A. in Editing, Writing and Media, Jessica moved to Philadelphia to get her Masters in Science in Publication Management from Drexel University.

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(quote by @debiandbebi)⁠
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Instagram post 17862171103601373 All of these things make me happy. What would you add to your self care toolbox?⁠
I'm seriously needing some of these things tonight to start a new week. Hoping you mamas get some self care time too! 💕⁠
📷: @hallmark⁠
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Instagram post 18081610903134401 Praying that your toddler let's you get to sleep this weekend. 🙏💤⁠
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Instagram post 17853200368708392 SURPRISE! A little shocked, a little tired, and a LOT BLESSED. Congrats, @sarah_lit! ❤️⁠
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Instagram post 18073051357163780 When it comes to clamping the cord, our mottos is "what's the rush?" The blood volume in the placenta and cord at the time of birth is BABY'S blood. It's simply mid-circulation in the placenta at the time of birth. It just makes sense to leave it be and let it finish its job.⁠
No, the blood won't drain out of baby and go backwards into the placenta.⁠
No, your baby is not more likely to get sick from jaundice.⁠
Yes, your baby will still be getting oxygen while they figure out breathing, especially important if they need resuscitation.⁠
Yes, your baby will have better iron levels for the first year of their life.⁠
Look at how thick and engorged this cord still is at 4 and 18 minutes after baby was born. Just imagine how much blood baby would have lost if the cord had been clamped immediately, or at 60 seconds, 90 seconds, or 3 minutes! The placenta was expelled immediately before the 18 minute photo was taken. The pulse in the cord could still be felt even AFTER THE PLACENTA HAD BEEN DELIVERED! The cord was finally clamped and cut more than an hour after birth at 73 minutes. ❤️⁠
📷: @lawrenrosephotography⁠
Informative post and words by @bundleborn⁠
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Instagram post 17852665306696124 With the holiday season upon us and moms trying to make everything magical for their families, remember to stop and take a moment to take care of you. ❤️ Have a hot cup of coffee, a long warm shower and some alone time. Communicate this with your partner not as a wish but as a necessity. We must take the time to take care of ourselves to better take care of them. 💕⁠
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Instagram post 17844162355818683 I think I had a little too much turkey . . . and pie. 😬🍗🥧 #leggingsforlife⁠
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Instagram post 17990835490280335 I totally felt this way when I was pregnant. And kinda feel this way after all that turkey. 🤣🦃 Happy turkey day to all you expecting mamas!!⁠
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Instagram post 17852562805720320 Loneliness is a real thing in new motherhood and I want to be sure we talk about this. It's okay to say, "I feel lonely." We normalize one another's experiences when we share the reality of our journey. It can be so isolating when we bring our small human home and our lives revolve around his/her care. We feel detached from the outside world. The monotony of new motherhood can be heavy.⁠
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Here are some tips to combat isolation:⁠
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1️⃣ Get outside when possible.⁠
2️⃣ Video chat with friends/family.⁠
3️⃣ Join a virtual group.⁠
4️⃣ Invite someone to come over.⁠
5️⃣ Find a local mom's group.⁠
6️⃣ Listen to the radio or a podcast (it's interesting how this can make us feel connected with others)⁠
7️⃣ Run an errand--even grabbing a coffee via drive-thru can feel good.⁠
8️⃣ Get to know your neighbors.⁠
What would you add to the list?⁠
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📷: @hallmark⁠
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Instagram post 17855722339639264 ✈️ Tips to Survive a Plane Ride with Kids ✈️⁠
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Flying on a plane with your little one for the first time can be terrifying. Are they going to cry the whole time? How will they handle the airport, the turbulence and the landing? Well we have some tips that will help prepare you for your flight with your kids. Here's what to do to have a more enjoyable experience 😊 {Link in bio!}⁠
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