Why do you need Fetal Well being/Growth Scan?
This is a scan where we have a watchful eye on how the baby is developing in the mother’s womb.
Various measurements will be taken during the scan and plotted on a growth chart, according to the gestational age. Smaller or larger than the expected size of the pregnant woman’s abdomen, complications during the previous pregnancy and maternal diabetes or high blood pressure are some of the reasons that make a growth scan important. The following are some of the fetal measurements taken during the scan.
- Biparietal diameter (BPD) measurement across the head.
- Head circumference (HC) measurement around the head.
- Abdominal circumference (AC) measurement around the abdomen.
- Femur length (FL) measurement for the length of the thigh bone.
- Measurement of volume of the amniotic fluid around the fetus and the blood flow in the umbilical cord.
2. Estimated fetal weight
A combined measurement can indicate the estimated fetal weight (EFW). The EFW graph helps to find out whether the fetus is average, larger or smaller in size for its gestational age. Most small fetuses are healthy. If the growth of a fetus is inadequate, it is called fetal growth restriction (FGR). Other than that, reduction in the volume of amniotic fluid and a change in the umbilical cord blood flow also indicate FGR. Doppler test will be used to measure the umbilical artery blood flow and the volume of the amniotic fluid.
3. The Amniotic Fluid Index (AFI)
An AFI shows indication of amniotic fluid volume in the uterus. The pregnancy risks increase if the volume of the amniotic fluid is too much or too little. The maximal vertical distance in the amniotic cavity is used to measure the AFI in four quadrants of the uterus. The AFI decreases after 40 weeks of gestation.