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Ultra Sound Antenatal & Postnatal Scan

Every mother cares for her baby more than anyone else in this world. She considers the health of the fetus before and after the birth. Various scans are employed for these purposes. These scans are formally called 'antenatal and postnatal scans'.

Antenatal scan:

Antenatal literally means 'before birth'. Antenatal ultrasounds therefore refer to those scans that are carried out before birth. They are also called prenatal scans.

Ultrasound scans can provide various details of the fetus. Depending upon the pregnancy, the following details can be obtained:

  • Check the heartbeat of the baby.
  • The number of babies.
  • Detection of ectopic pregnancy. Such a pregnancy can be observed outside the uterus, primarily in the fallopian tubes.
  • To accurately date the pregnancy.
  • General examination of fetus to see if all the organs are functioning normally.

In order to have a comprehensive scan during the early stages of pregnancy, it is essential that the carrying woman drink adequate water prior to the scan. However, this is not very much essential during the later stages of pregnancy. The water content shall push the uterus, thereby providing a clearer picture of the fetus. A particular gel is applied between the abdomen and the skin to ensure that no air gaps are left in the interface. Sometimes a vaginal scan may also be necessary. This may be needed for those women who are obese or in the condition where the fetus is very deep in the pelvic region.

Post-natal scan: In contrast to antenatal scan, this scan is performed for the first few months of birth. These scans are done to diagnose any complications that affect the woman and her baby.

Several postnatal complications are possible to occur. Some of these complications are postnatal anemia, postpartum hemorrhage, puerperal pyrexia, thromboembolism etc. For diagnosing conditions like these, comprehensive scans are very much necessary. In severe situations, immediate diagnosis has to be done. An example of such condition is pulmonary embolus wherein the diagnosis has to be urgently done. A lung perfusion scan is done in this case.