How common are these "growth scans?" — The Bump
3rd Trimester

How common are these "growth scans?"

I've been seeing a lot of posts about women getting growth scans and ultrasounds done when they hit about 34 weeks and up. My doctor has made no mention of another ultrasound or growth scan. Is this something everyone is supposed to get done, or only if a problem is suspected? I am about to go in for my 36 week appointment, which will be my group B strep swab and first internal. It would be nice to get a growth scan or another ultrasound too, but I am pretty sure that is not on my schedule?

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Re: How common are these "growth scans?"

  • Growth scans are usually given to women in High Risks pregnancies.  Normally most women get one u/s at 20 weeks and that's it.  Some doctors "may" order a growth scan later in pregnancy if they want to check on the baby's size but it's not a given and depends on the practice and how they run things.

    Feel lucky that you're low risk.  I have to have an u/s every 4-6 weeks because of a low Pap A protein which can cause Pre-e and/or stop growth of the baby.  I'm a nervous wreck every time I get the u/s because I'm afraid they'll find the baby stopped growing.

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  • My office doesn't do them unless you are measuring at least 2 wks ahead or behind or having other issues. 
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  • my ob does a routine growth scan at 32 weeks for all her patients...i will get one too

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  • REOMREOM member
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    My OB's office does routine u/s at 36 weeks to check on the size and position of the baby. For all patients, not just high risk.
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  • I am not high risk, so my OB is not ordering one for me.



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  • I am considered high-risk because of age (38) and I had a few losses in the past. So, i have had u/s at weeks 8, 12, 20, 26, 30, 34 and will have one on Tuesday at 37 weeks. I have friends that have only had their one u/s, so it is not common here unless you are considered high-risk. Our Maternal Fetal Medicine doc does all of them, my doc's office has not done any of my u/s.

     

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  • Growth u/s aren't standard at my office either.  They only do them if you're high risk or if they suspect a problem, your fundal height consistently measuring way behind or way ahead for example.
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  • My doctor does not do them unless the baby is measuring large or small. Since they can off by at least 2 lbs. my doctor does not really deem them as a helpful tool. 
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  • I'm getting one because I've gained a lot of weight (over 50lbs) and my doctor was concerned it may translate over to baby. I've always measured right on time every appt. I'm also AMA because I'm 37 yrs old. 

    Lillian April 17, 2012
  • I'm getting one b/c my fundal height is measuring 3 weeks ahead AND b/c I'm going to have my 3rd c-section with this one. Sometimes there are issues with placental position when there are repeat c-sections, so he's going to check it out.

     That being said, I've always had late 3rd trimester growth scans (my oldest is 8 1/2) b/c my fundal height is ahead. 

  • This is my 3rd pregnancy and only my 20 week u/s has been "routine" for me in all 3. Never any mention of a growth one around 36 weeks (which, honestly, I would turn down anyway).
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  • My doctor just ordered one at 35 weeks to double check on the size of the baby since I just hit my pre-pregnancy weight last week (lost 10lbs during morning sickness). She's not worried because baby is kicking like crazy all day long and my bump is getting bigger, but it seems routine to check things out. I'm not worried because I haven't had any problems for the whole term and my doctor agrees. My doctor's about a week ahead of me in her term (third baby) and she is also getting one this week.
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  • imageREOM:
    My OB's office does routine u/s at 36 weeks to check on the size and position of the baby. For all patients, not just high risk.

    This. I've been to 2 practices and both have done them as standard procedure between 32-34 weeks. 


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  • My OB with DS did them routinely, but he also didn't know  (from what I could tell) how to tell a baby's position from external palpation. DS was transverse, which was good that we knew and could address ahead of time. I am seeing a MW this PG and will not have one done. She can tell with her hands on my belly how baby is positioned. In terms of guessing the weight, I see them as pretty useless--a 2lb range of error on a baby that may only weigh 6-10 lbs is HUGE!

  • Growth scans at my OB are standard around 32 weeks and not just for high risk pregnancies. They also check the baby's position, amniotic fluid levels, cord again etc.  It also may have something to do with your insurance policy.
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  • As mentioned previously, I think it depends on your OB and insurance. My OB does one routinely at 7/8 weeks to confirm pregnancy (single, double, etc) and then at 16 weeks if you opt for the first trimester screening, then 20 weeks for a full anatomy scan. With both pregnancies I've had multiple ultra sounds after that point due to issues. For this pregnancy I am high risk due to a two vessel cord (and previously a low lying placenta) and have growth scans every 4 weeks.
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  • I get them every other week since I am high risk :-(
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  • Most doctors in our area do one u/s at 20 weeks and no more. The only time I have heard of all these extra u/s is on the internet or for high risk patients. This time around I do get an u/s every few weeks to check on our little girl who has a heart defect. Consider yourself lucky to not have a need for an extra u/s even though I know most think they are fun.
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  • The only reason I have them every other week is because I'm High Risk, and the baby has IUGR.

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  • I only got one because I've had a previous weight loss surgery and the possibility is there that the baby wasn't getting the nourishment that he needed.  Turns out they were right to suspect, because he is small.
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