During pregnancy from between 24-26 weeks gestation, your midwife will use a variety of ways to check the wellbeing of your baby.
The growth will be checked with your personal growth chart which has been developed with your height, weight, ethnic origin and previous pregnancy birth weights. These details may influence how big your baby will grow.
If you are receiving ‘Midwife Led’ support during your pregnancy, the midwife or doctor will use a tape measure to check your baby’s growth at each antenatal appointment from 24 weeks. They will plot this on your individualised growth chart. If the midwife or doctor thinks that baby is growing too big or too small, you may be referred for a growth scan.
If you’re receiving ‘Consultant Led’ support during your pregnancy, certain factors may influence the growth of your baby and require you to have more regular scans to check your baby’s growth. These factors may include if you are a smoker, your BMI (Body Mass Index) is over 35, known fibroids, twin pregnancies or if you have had a previous small birthweight baby. There can be other reasons that require you to have growth scans however your midwife will discuss this with you if necessary.
Growth scans start at 24-26 weeks and are usually repeated every 3-4 weeks. A sonographer will scan your baby’s growth by measuring the head, tummy and thigh bone. They will also check the water (amniotic fluid) around baby and the blood flow in baby’s umbilical cord to check the flow of blood from placenta to baby.
The plotted measurement and other results will be revised by the midwife or doctor to check baby is growing as expected.
Please note that children cannot be present at the growth scan appointment.
Please speak to your midwife if you have any questions or concerns about growth scans.