An anomaly is something that is different from what is normal or expected. Fetal anomalies refer to unusual or unexpected conditions in a baby’s development during pregnancy. Fetal anomalies may also be known as congenital anomalies or birth defects.
There are two general categories of fetal anomalies:
Some fetal anomalies may affect both the baby’s structure and function.
We perform an ultrasound scan to check for fetal anomalies as part of your routine prenatal testing, usually between weeks 18 and 23 of your pregnancy. The scan enables us to view your baby’s development, including:
While a fetal anomaly scan reveals most conditions, it is possible that some defects may not be visible until later in your pregnancy.
In the unlikely event that your fetal anomaly scan indicates a potential concern, Mercy’s maternal and fetal medicine specialists will explain the findings and discuss the next steps with you.
Not all fetal anomalies require treatment; some, such as certain heart defects, may resolve on their own before birth. Others may need specialized care during delivery or soon after the baby is born. Rarely, treatment may be needed while the baby is still in the uterus.
Mercy's team of maternal-fetal medicine specialists, pediatric specialists, nurses and clinical educators are experts in caring for babies with medical issues. They will help you prepare for any special needs your baby may have, and offer support and guidance throughout your pregnancy and delivery.