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Presentation Scan

Checking the position of your baby to exclude breech presentation and fetal wellbeing

Presentation Scan - Checking the position of your baby to exclude breech presentation

Scan containing important information before you finally meet you little one!

The main aim of the Presentation Scan is to diagnose breech position or other abnormalities in the baby’s position. The clinician assisting you with the delivery will use this information to prepare for your baby’s birth!

Normal pre-delivery baby cephalic position. Sometimes it is impossible to diagnose abnormal fetal positions without using ultrasound.

The significance of your baby’s position

The main aim of the Presentation Scan (or Pre Delivery Scan) is to diagnose breech position or other abnormalities in the baby’s position. We also perform thorough checkup of fetal growth and estimate fetal weight. We assess fetal wellbeing by umbilical artery and middle cerebral artery Dopplers.

Normally, a few weeks prior to birth, the baby will move into a delivery position where the head is positioned close to the birthing canal. However, about 3-4% of babies remain in a breech position. This is where the baby’s buttocks are positioned closest to the birthing canal, resembling a sitting position. Delivering a baby in breech position can be dangerous, but in roughly 50% of cases the position can be corrected by external cephalic version (ECV), which is a manual process performed by an obstetrician to turn the baby upside down in the womb allowing a head-first delivery. Alternatively, a caesarean section may be the safest option.

If your baby is in breech or other abnormal position just few weeks before your estimated due date you need to meet your obstetrics team to discuss the safest way of your delivery.

What do we look for in this scan

In most cases, an experienced midwife can recognise a breech position through an external manual examination of the baby, which is done by feeling for the baby’s orientation through the mother’s lower tummy. However, in some cases, the breech position remains unnoticed until active labour and/or rupture of membranes.

Thus, the main aim of our Baby Position Scan is to recognise an undiagnosed breech position.

Some of the other things we also look out for include:

  • Monitoring the growth of the baby,
  • Perform ultrasound estimation of fetal weight (EFW),

  • Baby’s well-being (such as movements, amniotic fluid, and fetal Dopplers),
  • The placenta.

Graph showing normal fetal weight bounds throughout the pregnancy 

Frequently Asked Questions

You have a question? We have an answer.

What is the best time for a Baby Position Scan?

The best time for this scan is at 36 weeks of pregnancy.

By this time, if the baby’s head is not near the birthing canal, there is still time to discuss external cephalic version (ECV) or other delivery plans with your doctor or midwife.

Can we exclude any fetal anomalies using the Baby Position Scan?

The Baby Position Scan is less effective at detecting anomalies for the following reasons:

  • The relatively big dimensions of the baby and the reduced amount of amniotic fluid by this stage of pregnancy severely hinder the resolution of the images and make it virtually impossible to perform a systematic examination of the baby,
  • In the unfortunate event that a serious anomaly is detected, it would be too late to perform a full diagnostic work-up and proper counselling of the parents.
  • If you are worried about late manifesting fetal anomalies, which can develop after the anomaly scan performed at 18-20 weeks, we strongly recommend getting our 3rd Trimester Anomaly Scan or/and Wellbeing Scan.
Is it possible to perform a 4D scan during Baby Position Scan?

Usually performing a 4D scan during a Baby Position scan is ineffective because:

  • The resolution of the image is severely affected by the naturally reduced amount of amniotic fluid by this stage of pregnancy,
  • By this stage the majority of babies are facing their mother’s backs in preparation for delivery, meaning we would not be able to produce a useful scan.
Can I have my images from the scan? What else will I get?

We are happy to provide you the images of your baby, however in majority of the cases it will be impossible to obtain them. Babies at the end of the pregnancy usually facing backwards and it is not feasible to get any images.

Should I opt for the COVID-19 Vaccine in pregnancy?

We strongly recommend following the advice of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) and the Royal College of Midwives regarding the COVID-19 vaccines in pregnancy. It is strongly recommended to take your COVID-19 jabs, including the booster jabs, to protect yourself and your unborn baby from infection. If you have an underlying health condition, it is strongly advised to discuss your COVID-19 vaccination with your regular GP or healthcare provider.

Do you want to know more about our Fetal Presentation Scan?

Contact us now