Performed at around 32 weeks pregnant, this is the last ultrasound scan you will have before you give birth. At this stage of pregnancy, your baby is nearly fully-developed, with movements and expressions. This final ultrasound scan primarily aims to monitor your baby’s development and well-being, provide a morphology examination and prepare for labour and delivery. It is an important tool for anticipating any complications before labour and helps our team to take the most appropriate measures for both mother and baby. Below are some examples of the checks performed.
- Determine your baby’s position in the uterine cavity.
- Check foetal well-being (active movements, heart activity).
- Check foetal growth by measuring the head, abdomen and specific bones.
- Check development by estimating your baby’s weight.
- Carry out a systematic morphological assessment of your baby.
- Check the placenta, for example its location, which can sometimes block the baby’s exit during labour, and blood flow, which ensures exchanges between mother and baby, using a Doppler ultrasound.
- Check the amount of amniotic fluid.
- Measure the length of the cervix if you are at risk of premature labour.
The morphological assessment is similar to the second trimester ultrasound scan and therefore provides a thorough examination. Approximately 60% of later abnormalities will be detected, such as a heart or kidney condition. Once again, it is important to detect any abnormalities as early as possible, before labour, and make the best decisions for both you and your baby.
It is equally important to measure your baby’s growth because, if necessary, care is needed as quickly as possible. For example, if you have a poor diet or high blood pressure, it may be restricting your baby’s growth. In contrast, diabetes can explain a growth spurt. If this is the case, our priority is to provide appropriate care for these health problems or help you to change your eating habits to ensure your baby grows healthily.
Try not to worry if your baby or placenta is not in the right position during the third trimester ultrasound scan as there is still plenty of time for them both to move before labour.