Advice Column, Health, Pregnancy, Pregnancy & Baby


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According to Affinity Health, a leading provider of high-quality healthcare, pregnancy ultrasounds are an essential part of prenatal care that can provide valuable information about the health and development of the foetus.

What is a Pregnancy Ultrasound?

From the first glimpse of a tiny heartbeat to the detailed images of a fully-formed little human, ultrasound technology offers a window into pregnancy’s mysterious and wondrous world.

Each ultrasound provides expectant parents a unique opportunity to connect with their babies, see their features taking shape, and witness the incredible miracle of life unfolding.

How Do Pregnancy Ultrasounds Work?

A pregnancy ultrasound is a non-invasive diagnostic test that uses high-frequency sound waves to create images of the developing foetus in the uterus.

It allows healthcare professionals to monitor your unborn baby’s growth and development, assess the pregnancy’s health, and detect potential risks or abnormalities.

When are Pregnancy Ultrasounds Done?

Pregnancy ultrasounds are typically done at different points throughout the pregnancy, depending on the mother’s and the foetus’ medical needs. The most common times for ultrasounds are the following.

First Trimester

A first-trimester ultrasound is usually done between 6-12 weeks to confirm the pregnancy, determine whether you have more than one baby growing inside you, and assess the foetus’s gestational age.

This ultrasound can also detect any abnormalities or potential risks to the pregnancy, such as ectopic pregnancy or miscarriage.

Second Trimester

A second-trimester ultrasound is usually done between 18-22 weeks of pregnancy to check the development of the foetus, including its size, weight, and organ development, and detect structural abnormalities, such as heart defects or cleft lip/palate.

Third Trimester

A third-trimester ultrasound is usually done between 28-32 weeks of pregnancy to check the position of the foetus, which is essential for planning delivery, as well as access the placenta and the amount of amniotic fluid surrounding the foetus.

In some cases, doctors may do additional ultrasounds in the case of a high-risk pregnancy.

Benefits of Pregnancy Ultrasounds

Pregnancy ultrasounds offer several benefits for both the mother and the baby, including:

  • Early detection of potential problems
  • Improved prenatal care
  • Increased peace of mind
  • Facilitating communication between the doctor and the expectant parents
  • Detecting multiple pregnancies
  • Providing a record of the pregnancy

Good to know: To minimise the risks associated with pregnancy ultrasounds, it is crucial only to have ultrasounds when a healthcare provider recommends and to use qualified healthcare professionals who are trained in ultrasound techniques.


Maternity Benefits from Affinity

Affinity Health’s Maternity Benefits cover the costs of bringing new life into the world, ensuring that members can enjoy the most precious time without worrying about money.

Members can access comprehensive maternity and postpartum benefits, including scans, blood tests, health advice, and guidance via Affinity’s Telehealth Call Centre (simply call 0861 11 00 33).

The benefits are subject to policy types and Affinity Health rules, including coverage for hospitalisation, antenatal consultations, growth sonars, and pathology tests.

Affinity Health also offers an all-inclusive birthing plan that provides members with access to gynaecologists, sonographers, social workers, psychologists, dieticians, and antenatal classes.

With Affinity Health, new parents can rest easy knowing they have access to affordable and accessible healthcare products that protect them when it matters most.

For more information on Affinity Health’s Maternity Benefits, click here.


About Affinity Health

Affinity Health is South Africa’s leading health insurance provider, offering you a range of options, including access to the widest national provider network. We understand the importance of medical insurance that meets your needs, budget, and lifestyle. Our healthcare products are designed to protect you and your family when it matters. We strive to give our clients peace of mind and the highest standard of service. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.


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