Older women are more at risk of having a baby with Down Syndrome.
When a woman is 12 weeks pregnant her risk of having a baby with Down Syndrome can be fairly accurately assessed.
For some women in Ireland this will be the only scan they are offered as a public patient.
We’re going to take a look at ultrasound scans over three parts that will examine why mothers are offered scans, what the benefit of scans are, the safety of scans and what the implications of scans are for the rest of their pregnancy and labour.
Before the scan you will be asked to drink a lot of water and have a full bladder, as this puts the uterus in a better position to be scanned.
This can be something of an uncomfortable challenge if your sonographer has particularly long waiting times.
NICE recommends it's done between 10 weeks and 13 weeks.
It is worth remembering though, that a larger than average nuchal fold measurement is not a guarantee that the baby will have chromosomal problems.There are two routine scans in pregnancy and the first is called the 12-week scan or “dating” scan – this is because one of the things it looks at is the exact gestation, giving a better idea of your baby's estimated due date.The dating scan is usually done at some point between 8 weeks and 14 weeks pregnant.The sonographer will tuck some tissues under your clothes so you don't get gel all over them.He or she will then move a hand-held transducer over your belly, which bounces high-frequency sound waves off your baby to create a picture on the monitor.This is the period of time which provides the most accurate assessment.