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You will have two ultrasounds during your pregnancy: the term ultrasound and the 20-week ultrasound. If everything goes well after that, you will, in principle, not have another ultrasound. Unless there is a medical reason for it. It may be that you are losing blood, that your baby is not growing properly or that there are other medical reasons. But even if everything goes well, you want to see your baby more than twice during your nine months pregnancy. We have made a list of the different ultrasound scans for you.  

The first ultrasound is called the term ultrasound and takes place between 10 and 12 weeks. If you are pregnant with two or more babies, the term ultrasound may already show this. The second ultrasound is the 20-week ultrasound. During this ultrasound your baby will be extensively checked. They will check whether your baby has an open skull or spina bifida, whether there is enough amniotic fluid and whether your baby is growing properly (see also chapter 6).The Midwife). Besides the two regular ultrasounds there are also the following ultrasounds:

Early ultrasound

If there is a loss of blood at the beginning of the pregnancy, suspicion of an ectopic pregnancy or doubt about the duration of the pregnancy, an ultrasound scan can be made around the 6th or 7th week to see if anything is actually wrong. Based on the ultrasound scan, the midwife or obstetrician will discuss further options with you. 

Growth ultrasound

The 20-week ultrasound or an external examination by the gynaecologist or midwife may reveal that your baby is not growing enough. If this is the case, the gynaecologist or midwife may conduct a growth ultrasound. This involves measuring the head, upper leg and abdominal circumference. From these values, the computer calculates the size of your baby and produces a graph called a p-value. Is your baby's estimated weight at p-20? Then 20 percent of babies are smaller and 80 percent are larger than your little one at that moment in your pregnancy. A small baby does not necessarily mean that it is not healthy. For example, if the parents are smaller than average, a small baby isn't a big deal. This also applies to large babies. Usually several growth echoes are necessary to get a good idea of how your baby is growing (The gynaecologist). 


If the 20-week ultrasound shows that everything is going well and you and your baby are doing well, that is the last ultrasound. But we understand very well that you would like to see your little one again between your 20-week pregnancy and the delivery. In that case you can have a pre-echo. The word says it all: an ultrasound for fun. This way you get the chance to have an even better look at your baby, nowadays even in 3D and 4D. A 3D ultrasound is not black and white like a 2D ultrasound and you can see depth. A 4D ultrasound is even a moving image. In both cases you can take the pictures or video's home, so you can enjoy and admire your baby at home. Another advantage of a pretecho is that you can bring more people with you. At a medical ultrasound often only your partner can come along, but at a pretecho you can bring for example grandpa and grandma as well.Pregnancy Portal). How fun is that?!


KNOV. (s.d.). Echoes. Consulted from

NVOG. (2019, August 21). Growth ultrasound. Consulted from

Pregnancy Portal. (2019, November 6). Pretecho. Consulted from