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The team at Princess Anne Maternity Unit aims to provide you with individual, woman-centred care, and to support you and your family to have as normal a pregnancy and birth experience as possible. During your pregnancy you will be offered regular appointments with a midwife or obstetrician. They check that you and your baby are well, give you support and information about your pregnancy to help you make informed choices. Here you will be able to find out about available maternity services and discuss your early pregnancy care. You can choose and book the hospital where you would like your baby to be born and you will be asked for information useful to your pregnancy care and the birth. Please feel free to ask at any time about anything you are unsure about or which is worrying you.


We use cookies to allow us and selected partners to improve your experience and our advertising. You can understand more and change your cookies preferences here. The probe sends out ultrasound waves — sound waves with a frequency higher than the human ear is able to hear — to produce images of your baby, which the sonographer studies on a screen. Ultrasound scans have been used for many years, and there are no known risks to you or your baby from having the routine scans offered in pregnancy.

How accurate are dating scans?

There are numerous myths and facts about pregnancy scansincluding queries about pregnancy ultrasounds and radiation, so it's worth reading up before you get booked in so you have all the information you need. But for most women having straightforward, healthy pregnancies, the early pregnancy scan and the anomaly scan are all that are recommended.

Taking place between 8 and 14 weeks, the early pregnancy scan, or dating scan, is your first pregnancy ultrasound.

This scan will be done as a black and white 2D scan. The dating scan will establish how far along you are and give you an estimated due date.

Dating scan

This is called the combined test, because it involves a blood test as well as the scan, and can be carried out between 10 and 14 weeks. It takes up to two weeks to get thebut you should be told within three working days if your baby is at high risk. Based on the result, you might choose to have further tests to get a definitive answer.

Talk to your midwife about how to arrange this. This is also done on the NHS as a black and white 2D scan. This traditional scan - which you get on the NHS - creates a cross-sectional view of your baby, producing outlines rather than a 3D rendition. If you get a printout from this type of scan it'll be black and white, flat-looking and you may need some help in interpreting what you see.

While this might not sound that thrilling from an 'experience' point of view, diagnostically it is highly accurate when it comes to growth assessment, checking amniotic fluid and looking Nhs dating scan the majority of birth defects.

You can also find out the sex of the baby from this kind of scan if you wish - and if your baby is in the right position.

Early pregnancy scan (booking or dating scan)

A trained sonographer will gather good information from this scan, including skeletal make-up and internal organs including brain developmentand they'll be carrying out lots of different measurements while you're being scanned, many of which you might not even be aware of. As well as the Nhs dating scan NHS scans, there are several different types of private scan that you might choose to have. Unless you are having entirely private antenatal and maternity care — in which case your two Fetal Anomoaly Screening Programme FASP scans are likely to be carried out by your private team rather than the NHS — these private scans are nice-to-haves rather than must-haves.

Pregnancy scanning as early as six weeks isn't generally carried out on the NHS and the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists RCOG recommends that scans shouldn't be carried out before 10 weeks gestation unless they are clinically indicated. However, if you want a scan this early to see whether your pregnancy is developing normally, you could go for a private 'viability scan'.

They might be able to give you a scan without you having to pay to have it done privately and also do other checks to make sure you and your baby are healthy.

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A viability scan can either be performed transabdominally on the surface of your tummy but if your pregnancy is in the very early stages, you might be offered a transvaginal scan using an internal probe. Sonographers can usually tell you the sex of your baby at your NHS anomaly scan at around 20 weeks. However, the further on in your pregnancy you are, the easier it is to get an accurate idea of whether it's a girl or boy. This type of scan is performed transabdominally occasionally transvaginally from 11 weeks to around 14 weeks and, Nhs dating scan other things, is used to assess the chance of Down's syndrome and other chromosomal abnormalities.

It will be given to you on the NHS if there is a clinical reason for offering it to you but you can also pay for one. You will be given an estimate of your individual chance of these for this pregnancy and it is calculated by taking into maternal age, the measurement of two hormones in the mother's blood and the scan findings of nuchal translucency thickness, the nasal bone, blood flow through your baby's heart and any abnormalities detected.

Along with the diagnostic testing, you should also receive full counselling concerning the ificance of these chances, as well as options for further investigations. In the second half of your pregnancy, you can get a really clear view of your growing baby through a private 3D or 4D scan.

You should also be able to find out the sex, and usually get a selection of pictures or, in the case of 4D scans, video to take home. The best time to do a 3D or 4D scan is usually towards the end of your second trimester or at the start of your third trimester around weeks. A 3D ultrasound is created by taking Nhs dating scan images from various angles and piecing them together.

These tend to be offered by private establishments as part of 'souvenir' packages rather than for medical diagnostic purposes.

With 3D you can see the contours of your baby's face, including their mouth and nose, and you might even see them yawning, moving or poking their tongue out. Before you have a 3D or, Nhs dating scan, a 4D scan, think about whether you actually want to see this level of detail — some parents-to-be like what the baby looks like to be a surprise for when they are born.

There are few clear medical benefits of 3D over 2D, and experts say they should only be done if there's a medical need some NHS fetal medicine units have 3D scanners but only for use if it's medically necessary. For example, showing the extent of spinal lesions or skeletal disorders and seeing the detail of the brain, where there is suspicion that something is not as it should be.

Diagnostically, 3D images may enable sonographers to further assess some abnormalities that could be trickier though not impossible to examine in 2D, such as cleft lip. Some researchers have suggested that they can also be useful in explaining any abnormalities to parents, who may be better able to visualise what's wrong with a 3D image than with a 2D one.

If you want a 3D scan you will most likely have to organise it privately and because of the cost of the equipment and software they are expensive. Diagnostically, both 4D and 3D scans enable you to look at your baby's features more closely, but with a 4D scan you get video footage and not just a still photo.

12 week pregnancy dating scan: here’s what to expect

Depending on the type of scan you have e. Additionally, the sonographer Nhs dating scan be able to check growth, the position and appearance of the placenta and the amount of amniotic fluid. Also, being able to digitally store the scan also enables a medical team to reload the files and examine them after the event, allowing for even closer inspection of the foetus even when the appointment is over.

If you want a 4D scan you're likely to have to pay for one privately. The same applies for 5D scans, which have sharper images and a higher resolution than 2D, 3D or 4D. There are a range of reasons you might choose to have private scans in addition to the standard two NHS ones, including reassurance, to find out your baby's sex or to get photos or video footage of them inside your womb. According to our survey of parents in30 per cent paid for a private scan. Reasons for choosing to go for a private scan included wanting a 3D scan, a 4D scan or being scanned because they were having IVF.

The coronavirus pandemic was also a factor. Being able to have their partner at the scan with them when this was restricted in the NHS was cited as a reason for going private.

Feeling anxious about your baby is quite natural during the early stages of your pregnancy and if you have any concerns you should consult your midwife first. If a scan reveals a possible problem with your pregnancy or baby, the sonographer might ask for a second opinion from another professional. This might be done straight away or you may have to come back for another scan. It has extensive online advice and a helpline that you can call to help you understand the information the midwives and doctors have given you and make the right decisions for you and your family.

The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists RCOG says that attending antenatal care, such as routine scans, when you are pregnant is essential to ensure the wellbeing Nhs dating scan you and your baby. If you are well and have no complications from past pregnancies and are due a routine scan, you should be able to attend as normal and your partner should be allowed attend with you but you may want to check with your maternity team to make sure this is the case.

If you are in self-isolation and have an antenatal appointment coming up, you should contact your midwife or antenatal clinic to inform them of your situation. If you have any concerns about the wellbeing or yourself or your unborn baby during your self-isolation period, contact your midwife or, out of hours, your maternity team for further advice on whether you need to attend hospital or not.

Please check out Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists for any more recent updates. Reviews based on facts. From early pregnancy to the anomaly scan, ultrasounds check that your baby is developing as it should be. We look at the routine scans you can expect on the NHS and what additional options are available privately.

Martha Roberts. In this article. View all. What is an ultrasound scan? When you go for a pregnancy scan, the sonographer a specialist trained in ultrasound scans puts ultrasound gel on your tummy and then moves a handheld probe across your skin.

While the gel might be a bit cold, the scans are completely painless. They monitor whether your baby is growing normally. They can detect some abnormalities. They can show if you have too much or too little amniotic fluid. They show the position of the placenta and your baby, which can affect whether you can plan to give birth vaginally or if you might need a caesarean section. Are pregnancy scans safe?

Screening in pregnancy: dating scan

What pregnancy scans are offered on the NHS? The early pregnancy scan. Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share by. More on this. Related articles Where to give birth The third trimester: weeks What is the role of a birth partner? Compare maternity options.

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