Second Trimester

20 Week Ultrasound: Let’s Get You Ready

March 21, 2024

Author -

Melissa Iftimie

So, you're approaching your 20-week ultrasound – it's a pretty important and exciting time. Here’s what you need to know to get prepared for this big appointment.

Ahh, the 20-week ultrasound, also known as the anatomy scan or mid-pregnancy ultrasound, is a significant milestone in pregnancy. More than just a medical check-up; it's a beautiful moment where you get a detailed glimpse of your little one. You might even see them move or find out if they have your nose! Here’s what to expect.

What happens at the mid-pregnancy ultrasound?

You will show up at your doctor’s office or a special office that just does ultrasounds. The person who operates the ultrasound machine is called a sonographer. This is her specialty!

This scan is pretty thorough. They look for any signs of abnormalities or developmental issues. But don’t worry too much – it's not uncommon for some things to be hard to see, depending on the baby's position or other factors. The exam typically includes the following key elements:

Detailed Anatomical Survey

The primary purpose of this ultrasound is to examine the baby's anatomy in detail. The sonographer checks the brain, face, spine, heart, stomach, kidneys, bladder, limbs, and other parts to ensure they are developing normally.

Assessment of Fetal Growth

Baby is going to get all her measurements taken! This includes the head, belly, and femur bone in the leg. These help to estimate the baby's weight and check if the growth is on track.

Gender Reveal

If the parents wish to know, and if the baby is positioned favorably, the ultrasound can often reveal the baby's gender.

Placenta Position

The sonographer checks the position of the placenta. This is important because a low-lying placenta (placenta previa) needs to be watched by your healthcare team.

Amniotic Fluid Assessment

The amount of amniotic fluid surrounding the baby is checked. That's the fluid in your womb that keeps the baby safe and comfy.

Screening for Anomalies

The ultrasound screens for various physical anomalies or congenital conditions. This includes checking for markers of chromosomal abnormalities.

Cervical Length Measurement

Sometimes, the length of the cervix is measured to assess the risk of preterm labor.

Discuss Results

After the scan, your healthcare provider will discuss the findings with you, making sure you understand everything and answering any questions you might have. Don’t be surprised if the person who does the ultrasound is not the person who discusses the results with you. If this is the case, expect to wait in the room for a little bit while your provider reviews the results.

What Should You Wear?

Wear clothes, duh! But more specifically, it helps if you wear something that the ultrasound gel can get on. So no drycleaning! Most likely, you’ll just have to scooch your pants down and pull your shirt up. Although cute, we don’t recommend wearing a jump suit, romper or a dress.

Can Your Village Come?

Check with your provider about how many people you can bring with you. In most cases the rooms are quite small so it might not be comfortable for more than one guest.

Other ways you can involve your village? Post an update on your baby page sharing your new ultrasound pictures!

What About Pictures?

Depending on where you go, you may get all the photos shared with you digitally or a selection printed on the spot. Don't be shy about asking for photos if you want them!

Can the Gender Reveal be Wrong?

It’s rare, but yes! Read all about our deep dive on that part of this ultrasound here. 

Have You Thought About How You Will Reveal Baby’s Gender?

With your free Villie Baby Page you can host a game where friends and family guess baby’s gender. It is a real fun way to tap into the competitive spirit of family and friendship. 

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