In this film, the Baby Channel meets pregnant Maria Nichols as she undergoes a 26-week scan, also known as an anatomy survey, to look for anomalies in her baby’s organs.
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Dr. Judith Hibbard: Ultrasound scans are used for a variety of purposes during the pregnancy. Often times early in pregnancy we use the ultrasound in first trimester to assure that the fetus is viable to check her heart beat or if a patient is unsure when her last menstrual period occurred then we can date the pregnancy very accurately in the first few months of pregnancy by doing an ultrasound. In the second trimester when a patient is somewhere between 16 and 22 weeks we can very carefully assess the anatomy of the fetus looking for anomalies, in other words, whether or not the fetus has a heart defect, a spinal defect, whether the brain has formed normally. Tonya Lynch: It's a girl. Congratulations! Maria Nichols: I've pretty much seen just all around an overview of the baby the baby's heart, the baby's face, the gender of the baby, of course it's a girl. Tonya Lynch: Basically she came in for anatomy survey and that's an exam to look at basically everything from head to toe. We've viewed with the brain, the heart, the organs, the extremities. We looked at the placenta as well as the amniotic fluid, the presentation of the baby as well. We generally do the anatomy survey 18 to 22 weeks because you can visualize the heart really well at this time and you can easily maneuver the patient on a table and have the baby to rotate for you. Dr. Judith Hibbard: As the pregnancy progresses we use ultrasound often to determine if the fetus is growing properly. Additionally we can assess fetal well-being by using ultrasound to perform a test called Biophysical Profile. Tonya Lynch: We see a lot of abnormalities and if they come in early enough something as you can see in the first trimester, well most things we can catch in a second trimester. I do an anatomy survey time. It gives moms options if they want to terminate the pregnancy or if they want just deal with the situation and continue with the pregnancy and just deal with the outcome.