There has been a lot of discussion in the press over the years about how small babies are more prone to stillbirth. However, a lot of the research shows that simply measuring the pregnant abdomen with a tape measure is not an accurate manner in which to detect small babies and over half are missed by using this technique. Ultrasound is a more reliable method of accurately assessing expected birthweight in pregnancy when performed after 28 weeks.
What must be remembered though is that having a small baby is not necessarily a danger to the life or wellbeing of the baby as long as there is no evidence of placental failure. This is what we check for carefully with our scan from 24 weeks of pregnancy.
We have scanned thousands of babies over the years and to date have not had one stillbirth notified to us that could have been prevented due to the small size of the baby. If your baby is found to have problems on the scan with growth, you will be referred back to your hospital for subsequent management.
With this in mind, the purpose of our fetal wellbeing ultrasound scan is to assess:
- Size of the baby
- Placental resistance to blood flow ie how the placenta is working(from 24 weeks)
- Amount of fluid surrounding the baby
- Position of the baby
- Baby’s current state of health