What is an anomaly scan?

An anomaly scan takes a close look at your baby and your uterus (womb). The person carrying out the scan (sonographer) will check that your baby is developing normally, and she’ll look at where the placenta is lying in your uterus.

You will be offered the scan, also called a mid-pregnancy ultrasound scan, when you are between 18 weeks and 20 weeks plus six days pregnant.

Baby at 20 weeks

 

The image on the right shows a baby’s face and hands at 20 weeks, and gives you an idea of what you will be able to see at this scan.

Seeing your baby on a screen can be a really exciting event. You can also take your partner, friend or family member along to share the experience with you.

The main purpose of the scan is to check that your baby is developing normally, rather than whether you’re expecting a boy or girl. However, you may want to know your baby’s gender, or ask for a photo of your scan.

Bear in mind that the scan’s main purpose is to check that your baby is developing normally, rather than whether you’re expecting a boy or girl. Sometimes excess wind or having too much tummy fat obscures the view, so it’s hard to tell a baby’s gender accurately. And some hospitals have a policy of not telling parents-to-be, to prevent mistakes from happening. Ask your midwife about your hospital’s policy.