Giving women a third scan at the end of their pregnancy could dramatically reduce the number of unexpected breech births and the risk of babies being born with severe health problems, research suggests.
Pregnant women in the UK have routine scans at 12 and 20 weeks only, with no further scan offered in the third trimester unless they are considered at risk of a complicated pregnancy. The researchers hope their findings could lead to a change in guidance for clinicians that will improve maternity care.
Prof Asma Khalil, who led the study at St George’s, University of London, said: “For the first time we’ve shown that just one extra scan could save mothers-to-be from trauma, an emergency C-section, and their babies from having severe health complications which could otherwise have been prevented.”
She said the two routine scans were “far too early” to establish how the baby would be positioned during labour. “That’s why a third scan at 36-37 weeks could be a gamechanger to pregnancy and birth care.”
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Source: The Guardian, 7 April 2023