NEW RESEARCH TO HELP IMPROVE PARENT EXPERIENCES OF SCANS DURING PREGNANCY
Scans during pregnancy
All expectant parents in the UK are offered routine ultrasound scans during their pregnancy to check on their baby’s growth and development. Most of these scans will be reassuring for parents, however sometimes the scans can detect unexpected findings in the baby
Advanced imaging in pregnancy including 3D/4D ultrasound (US) and fetal magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) can produce incredibly detailed images which can help health professionals to learn more about unexpected findings that an unborn baby may have. This can be useful to plan treatment for the baby during pregnancy or immediately after birth, but can also be a worrying time for parents who are given an unexpected diagnosis.
Healthy relationships between parents and their unborn babies are important for normal infant brain development, their improved mental and physical health, and their achievement at school and beyond. Good parent-fetal bonds can also contribute to improved mental health for parents. However, the effect that pregnancy scans can have on the bond that develops between parents and their babies isn’t yet fully understood.
The AFI study vision:
With this research, we hope to gain insight into expectant parents’ experiences of pregnancy imaging and to study its effect on parent-fetal bonding. In particular, we are interested in to find out more about;
- The experiences that parents have of pregnancy scans
- How parents experience advanced pregnancy imaging (US and MRI)
- Parents’ experiences when their unborn baby has unexpected findings detected during scanning
With a better understanding of how parents experience pregnancy scans, we hope to develop recommendations that may help further improve imaging services, to fully care for and support all parents during scans.