Purpose of dating scan

That baby is due in a week — you feel as big as the Death Star, you have to pee 7 million times a night and you just want that baby out!

But should you keep going to work as usual, or fumble through the car seat installation instructions and get that birth bag ready?

A simple ultrasound could help with this decision, new research suggests.

Ultrasound measurements of the cervix, the passageway at the entrance to the uterus that opens up to make way for a baby during delivery, can reveal whether labor is likely within the next week, according to a new study.

An ultrasound is one of the most exciting things for parents-to-be to experience.

Using sound waves, the ultrasound takes a picture of your baby in the womb.

[Blossoming Body: 8 Odd Changes That Happen During Pregnancy]The method is safe, and women already get frequent ultrasound scans during pregnancy, said study co-author Dr.

However, transvaginal ultrasounds reveal the shape of the entire cervix, allowing doctors to see if the process has started, Berghella said.Cervical checks, in which a doctor manually feels the length and softness of the cervix with his or her fingers, are typically not very reliable, Berghella said.However, studies have shown that women who have a short cervix, less than 1 inch (2.5 centimeters) long, as measured on ultrasound scans during mid-pregnancy, are at high risk for preterm birth.Guessing game, waiting game Though most women are given an official due date, it is often just a rough estimate.Only 5 percent of women deliver on their due date, according to American Academy of Pediatrics.

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