Again, these are different terminologies roughly denoting the extensive examination of the fetus and pregnancy that is done around the 20th week of pregnancy. At the Fetal Clinic, we refer this as “Target Scan”
Our target scan has five major objectives and the examination is oriented towards these:
1. How is the support system for the baby?
The placenta is the organ that attaches to the uterus, draws oxygen and nutrients from the mother’s blood and gives to the baby through the umbilical cord; the amniotic fluid or liquor surrounds the baby and allows the baby to develop throughout the pregnancy
2. How is the activity of the baby?
The normally maturing baby shows a variety of movement patterns and these can be observed through the ultrasound examination
3. How is the growth of the baby?
The baby’s size is assessed by measuring the size of the head, tummy, and thigh. These measurements will be compared with the expected size for the period of pregnancy.
4. How are the organs formed?
The majority of the baby’s organs would have completely or nearly completely formed by the time of the target scan. We check systematically from head to toe whether the organ development is appropriate for the period of pregnancy
5. How is the cervical support?
The cervix is the neck of the womb and provides support for the pregnancy to reach the full term. We check whether the cervical length is of sufficient size in order to carry through to term.
Once these 5 objectives have been met, the target scan is completed. This is a very extensive examination and usually takes a minimum of 20 minutes and an average of 30 minutes. When scanning conditions are suboptimal, say when the mother is overweight or the fetus is in unfavorable scanning position within the uterus, the examination time may become longer. Occasionally we may ask you to come for another sitting after a few hours or the next day.