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If a problem is picked up on the dating scan you will usually be offered further tests and referred on to a more specialist department to find out more about what's going on.
If the screening tests find that your risk for any of the abnormalities tested for is high, you will be offered diagnostic tests such as CVS (chorionic villus sampling) and amniocentesis to find out for sure if there's a problem.
They will look at the placenta itself and will take note of its position, which may have implications for later in the pregnancy.
You should then see the black-and-white image of your baby appear on the screen.This is a measurement of the amount of fluid at the base of the baby's neck and it can indicate a higher risk of Down's syndrome.Not all areas offer this test as routine but when it is offered it is usually done at the 12-week scan.I had to drink so much bloody water before my scan only to find there was a delay before my appointment – I felt like I was going to explode.I'll never forget one nurse asking me, 'Do you think you could just pop to the loo and let just a little bit out? ’ When it comes to the actual scan you'll lie on your back and then some sticky, clear gel will be rubbed over your abdomen.He or she may need to prod your belly a bit to “encourage” the baby into a suitable position.After a long first trimester, when you might well have had worries, or even wondered if there can really be a baby in there, it is a great comfort and a huge relief to see your baby on the screen and have the reassurance that everything is OK in there.The sonographer will check your baby's spine for any visible abnormalities.They will also look at the head, limbs, feet, heartbeat and check that the major organs are developing as they should.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.