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Things To Know About 5th Month Scanning

By Sharon Thomas

Rapid changes happen in the body of a mother during the fifth month of pregnancy. This is the time when the little one starts to kick inside the womb. And, of course, this is the best time to start talking regularly to your baby, as you might get a response with a movement. The size of the belly during this time varies from woman to woman. But mostly, a significant protrusion can be seen.

Talking about the hospital visits, you will have an important meeting with your doctor during the fifth month. And, this is for the scan of the second trimester.

This scan is called the 'anomaly scan'. Some even call it the 'morphology scan' or the '20 week scan'. This is usually taken during the weeks from 18-20. If you are preparing yourself for the scan and wondering what to expect, this article is for you. Get to know all about it.


How To Prepare Yourself For The Scan?

No special preparation is needed for the anomaly scan. Just see that you are relaxed and get to the hospital at least 15 minutes before your appointment time, so that you are not stressed out due to the rushing.

To take the scan, your bladder need not be full like the first trimester scan. So, you need not concentrate on that. The one thing that you should know is that unlike other scans, this one will take some time to finish, around 45 minutes or even faster if the baby is co-operative.


How Is The Scan Done?

The scan during the fifth month is done abdominally. The doctor or the sonographer applies gel on the belly and moves the transducer over it to get the images of the baby on the screen. In some cases, if your doctor wants to examine your cervix, a transvaginal scan is also done.


What Will The Baby Look Like?

A clear picture of the baby can be seen, unlike the previous scan, when the formation of the body is not complete. The bones appear white, the muscles which are soft appear greyish in colour and the amniotic fluid surrounding the baby will be in black colour. You will be able to see your baby move and even make faces. The baby also urinates every half an hour inside the womb during this time.


What Detections Are Made During An Anomaly Scan?

This is the scan which is done in detail to examine the baby for some abnormalities. Abnormality in this case mainly refers to any deformations in the growth of the body. Some of the conditions that are checked for are listed below. This is not a list to freak you out. Most of these conditions are not common. It is just to provide information on what the doctors check for during the anomaly scan.


Open Spina Bifida

This is a deformation that happens to the spinal cord. It is otherwise called ‘open neural tube defect'. This can be found in 6 out of 10,000 births. This condition can be easily detected visually on the screen during the scan.


Cleft Lip

This is a condition that is very much known to all. It is a defect in the formation of the lips. The lips will be found to be split. The intensity of the split can vary from case to case. This happens in 10 out of 10,000 births.



This is also a type of neural tube defect. This occurs as a result of the malformation of the bones of the skull due to which the brain gets damaged severely during the development stage. It happens in 6 out of 10,000 births.


Diaphragmatic Hernia

The damage caused to the diaphragm of the lungs is called diaphragmatic hernia. This leads to problems in breathing after birth. The probability of this condition is 4 out of 10,000 births.


Gastrochisis And Exomphalos

Gastrochisis and exomphalos are nothing but conditions that cause a defect in the abdominal wall. This will lead to feeding problems after the baby is born. They can be found in 5 out of 10,000 births.


Congenital Heart Disease (CHD)

CHD is a problem related to the heart. It can be of three types - with the structure of the heart, with the functioning, or with the rhythm of the heart. Major CHD issues can be found in every 35 births out of 10,000.


Bilateral Renal Agenesis

This condition is characterised by the absence of kidneys. In such cases, there will be very little or no amniotic fluid. This can happen in just 1 out of 10,000 births.


Lethal Skeletal Dysplasias

Lethal skeletal dysplasias are a bunch of about 350 conditions related to the bones of the arms, legs, chest, or even the skull. In most cases, abnormal bone growth can be found, which result in disproportionate growth of some parts of the body. This too happens in 1 out of 10,000 births.


Edward’s Syndrome And Patau’s Syndrome

These are conditions which lead to an unusual structuring of the chromosomes in the cells of the body. This is quite a fatal thing to happen to a baby and there is no cure. It happens in 2 or 3 out of every 10,000 births.


Doctors Also Look For The Following:

The wellness and state of the

  • Umbilical cord
  • Placenta
  • Amniotic fluid

Measurement of the body parts is also taken in order to calculate the weight of the baby.


The Gender Of The Baby

This is the perfect time to check out the gender of the baby. It can be clearly seen in the scan if the baby cooperates. But, in India, as per the rules, sex determination is illegal and punishable. So, this is completely out of question and you will have to keep guessing until the birth of your little one.


What To Do If Any Problem Is Detected In The Scan?

Just follow it up with your doctor and do things as per his/her instructions without panicking. The number of hospital visits will increase if there is a problem, but after all, it is for your baby. Just stay positive.

Read more about: pregnancy prenatal
Story first published: Friday, January 12, 2018, 14:28 [IST]
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