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A Doppler is an ultrasound scan that helps assess the baby's growth and blood flow to different parts of the baby's body including the umbilical cord, brain and heart. This helps to study whether sufficient oxygen and nutrients that the child needs is being supplied via the placenta.
Normal blood flow indicates healthy fetus and any abnormality in the flow of the blood indicates that the fetus is under stress.Doppler scan is performed usually during the third trimester. In some cases (like high risk pregnancies) more than one Doppler scan will be askedby the doctor.
As with all ultrasound scans, Doppler scans are safe when performed by a certified fetal medicine specialist.
The doctor may recommend a Doppler scan in case:
Some of the other conditions for which the doctors recommend Doppler scan are:
Other understanding that can be gained from a Fetal Doppler scan:
A Doppler test during pregnancy can provide details about the blood circulation in the brain, kidneys, heart, umbilical cord, placenta as well as in the uterus.It helps confirm fetal heartbeat
A Doppler ultrasound test is painless and non-invasive. It uses reflected sound waves to see how blood flows through a blood vessel. The sound waves bounce off solid objects, including blood cellsas they move, giving an accurate picture of their speed.The movement of blood cells causes a change in the pitch of the reflected sound waves. This is called the Doppler effect. If there is no blood flow, the pitch does not change.
From this can be calculated the rate of blood flow moving through the umbilical cord between baby and placenta. Functionality and health of the placenta are thereby checked, and also that of other major blood vessels. Blood clots, blocked arteries or reduced blood flow can all be identified, as well as the risk of pre-eclampsia.
What is the difference between a normal ultrasound and a Doppler ultrasound?
A normal ultrasound will not show the rate of blood flow, but a Doppler scan will show the rate of the blood flow and blood pressure in placenta, umbilical cord, brain and heart of the baby.
Normal ultrasound scans shows only the image of the baby but Doppler can help hear the heartbeat and the amount of oxygen and nutrients the baby gets by accessing the blood flow rate.