You will be offered an anomaly scan at around 20 weeks to check that your baby is developing normally.
There are different patterns in various parts of the country, so check what is available in your area with your midwife.
What is an anomaly scan?
Carried out between 18 and 22 weeks of pregnancy, this scan checks that the baby has developed normally and does not have a major ‘anomaly’ or problem. It won’t detect all problems, but it may show problems in the baby’s brain, heart, kidneys or digestive tract. In most cases it will simply show that your baby is growing well. The scan also checks the position of the placenta.
Do I have to have the scan?
No – it’s your choice. There's no confirmed evidence that ultrasound is harmful in pregnancy.
It can be a lovely chance to meet your baby but bear in mind that some women will be told that the scan has picked up a problem.
Take your partner, or a friend you can rely on for support, in case you need it.
Remember: scans will not detect every problem and sometimes suggest that there might be something wrong when there isn’t.
More about ultrasound
Sonographer Julia Hindle answers the most frequently asked questions about ultrasound.
Our expert obstetrician tells you what to expect from the anomaly scan, while real mums talk about how they felt at the time.