Pregnancy week 18 means that it’s about time for your second major ultrasound scan. This scan is known as the detailed scan or fetal abnormality screening test because it does exactly that - screens and detects fetal abnormalities.

Detailed scan may not pick up everything

After all those weeks of growing, we need to ensure that all the pregnancy milestones have occurred. Do note that although your obstetrician and ultrasonographer are trained to pick up suspicious looking details, detection rates are not always 100%.

The following factors may affect their ability to detect any abnormalities during the detailed scan:

  1. A large body habitus
  2. Previous surgery
  3. Fetal position
  4. Decreased amniotic fluid

Detailed scan: So is it a boy or girl?

Boy or girl? That is the million dollar question isn't it? Many couples feel that they can't plan for the baby's arrival unless they find out the sex of their baby. There are so many things to think about - baby clothes, names, room colours and much more.

The good news is that your baby's external genitalia are sufficiently well developed to be visualised on the detailed ultrasound scan. If it behaves well and is in the optimum position, you may be able to get your answer on the spot. Otherwise, better luck during your next scan.

Preparing for baby’s room?

You might be in the midst of decorating your baby's room and choosing wall colours. Try wall papering instead of painting. Household paint can contain low levels of toxic chemicals and solvents in the paint. Although there is no research about the safety of painting during pregnancy, it's better to err on the side of caution.

Your baby at Pregnancy week 18

Pregnancy week 18  is a very exciting week. Not only will you be able to find out your baby's gender, it gets even better.

From now on, you will start experiencing your baby's movements. Some women describe them as wave of bubbles or even the twitching of a fish tail! This magical feeling that cannot be adequately described, it has to be experienced!

During the scan you might see your baby move. Seeing it moving in real time during the scan is a marvelous experience for most.

At pregnancy week 18, your baby's bowel movements begins. It's version of waste (meconium) is starting to build up in its tummy and should only be released after birth.

Ref: M19​