How Important Is an Anomaly Scan- Morphology Scan?

For many pregnant women, an anomaly scan is both exciting and terrifying. This test generally allows your doctor ( and you too if you’re curious, and you probably are!) to have a closer look at your baby. You can expect the scan between 18 and 20 weeks into your pregnancy journey. 

What to Expect at Anomaly Scan

Let’s get into the details. During an anomaly scan, the sonographer produces and images that is compared to a standard image of a baby at 20 weeks. You can expect a head and bone measurements, heart rate, and as the name suggests, any anomalies on your baby’s physical growth and development.

If you haven’t had a previous ultrasound, this could be a chance to get an in-depth look at your soon to come bundle of joy! You may want to share this moment with your partner or a loved one. Seeing an image of your baby is quite a special experience. It is also possible to know the gender, if the baby’s position allows it. 

What It Reveals 

At a closer look, the sonographer will check for:-

  • The development and functioning of the baby’s heart
  • Cleft lip on the baby’s face
  • The normalcy and functioning of the kidneys and bladder 
  • The shape of the head
  • Proper development of the spine
  • Proper growth of the arms, hands, legs, and feet
  • The stomach and abdominal wall
  • The amount of amniotic fluid
  • The position of the placenta – a low hanging placenta, also known as placenta praevia, might result in excessive bleeding during delivery. It is not alarming during the 20 weeks of pregnancy because it may move away from the cervix with time. 
  • The position of the baby

Depending on the hospital or clinic to go to, the sonographer will guide you through what they will be looking out for. Hospitals such as Kenyatta National Hospital that are training facilities may allow one or more students to learn from your case too!

Why You Should Go for An Anomaly Scan

It is not mandatory to have an anomaly scan. However, it is advisable to track the development and health of your baby closely. Knowledge about placenta praevia, for instance, may save a life.

The anomaly scan is safe for both mother and baby. It may surprise you how much bonding this can bring between you and your partner. The test creates a beautiful memory and you get to carry and printed image home for future reference. Please remember that it is important to ask as many questions as possible during your scan. 

Where to Get It

There are numerous private centres that offer anomaly scans. You can find these in Nairobi’s CBD, and areas near a hospital. You can also choose to get an anomaly scan from the hospital itself it offers the same.


#Please note that development differs from one child to another

# Content intended for educational purposes only, and should not be substituted for medical advice from your doctor.

Last reviewed January 2019

Sources: babycentre, parenting.firstcry

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