Every woman has the opportunity to have an extensive ultrasound around week 20 of the pregnancy. It is a complete check for physical abnormalities with the baby. The size of the baby is also measured.
If you choose to do this test, the ultrasound will be reimbursed by the basic package of the health insurance company.
The idea behind this ultrasound is that it gives the parents a choice. If a (serious) defect is found, the pregnancy may be terminated until week 24 of the pregnancy. With certain defects it may be beneficial to know that the child has need of a particular treatment or care. The disadvantage of this ultrasounds is that frequently something abnormal is found that, in retrospect, was not an indication of a defect. Or that something abnormal is found that doctors cannot give any information on because they cannot determine what precisely has been found so nothing can be clarified. Such an outcome can cause (mostly temporarily) stress and doubt to the parents. This can “ruin” the remainder of the pregnancy which can be very stressful. Especially if it turns out be nothing to worry about.