Your midwife or obstetrician may suggest a dating scan early in your pregnancy for a few reasons. Dating scans are often performed between 7 and 12 weeks of pregnancy and there are a few good reasons for having a dating scan:
- You may see your baby's heartbeat, and this can be very reassuring to see and hear
- The scan can determine if the pregnancy is in your uterus, or in your fallopian tubes
- You can see that the placenta is starting to form
- You can tell if you are carrying twins (!)
- Also, a scan early in your pregnancy can more accurately date your pregnancy than using your period date alone.
Research has shown that when we use a due date that has been assessed from an early scan, women are much less likely to need to be induced for going beyond 42 weeks. It also helps with more accurately timing other tests and of course telling the age of a baby who may be born prematurely. As with all tests and scans in pregnancy, a dating scan is your choice.
Melissa Maimann is an eligible midwife in private practice in Sydney. One of the first eligible midwives in Australia, Melissa offers a range of care options for women. Visit Melissa's website to learn more about her services.