Ultrasound 16 Weeks Hand Wave, And Healthy?

 The ultrasound window to our babies is continually fascinating to all of us. We never tire of seeing a great view of a wave or a thumb suck, or even that first peek, well, you know, at the boy or girl parts! As your gyno we are hoping to find out a lot more than just fingers and toes. We are looking at the uterus, the pelvis, the ovaries, the placenta, the fluid, and the baby's anatomy and growth. Detection of birth defects (anomalies) is one of the pluses of the technology. However, many moms and dads, and grandmas and grandpas are a bit taken back to realize that the detection accuracy is only from 16-44% based on studies done on ultrasounds at under 24 weeks according to the 2014 Joint Workshop on Ultrasound in pregnancy published in the May American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology. As dismal as that detection rate for all anomalies sounds, it's encouraging to hear that the detection rate for lethal fetal anomalies is as high as 84%. Determining health of the baby is a complex, and on going process, that begins with prenatal care, and continues after birth when the internal window becomes the more visible external exam.


  1. Mom's who are obese are both more likely to be at risk for a higher rate of birth defects and there is at least a 20% lower detection rate of the fetal birth defects according to the newest data from the Joint Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development along with other Pregnancy Ultrasound organizations.


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