These scans are performed for several reasons. The principal reason is for reassurance that the pregnancy is progressing satisfactorily and that the baby’s heartbeat is present. The age of the pregnancy is easily determined through ultrasound measurement and the presence of one, two or more babies is established.
The examination is usually carried out by scanning through the abdomen but if the pregnancy is very early, scanning via a probe inserted into the vagina may be appropriate (transvaginal ultrasound).
This scan is of value to any woman who may have concerns about her pregnancy, who is unsure of how far along she is or simply wishes to see the pregnancy at an early stage.
Using new ultrasound technology it is possible to obtain life-like images of the unborn baby in three and four dimensions (4D is moving 3D). Such images are very popular with parents since they provide easily recognisable images of their baby’s face in particular which they can share with family and friends. Smiling, yawning and sucking is often seen depending on how awake or asleep the baby is.
The quality (how clear they are) of the 3/4D images is mostly determined by the baby’s position and how far along the pregnancy is. The best time to do a 3/4D scan is between 26 and 30 weeks. It is difficult to influence the baby’s position but time is set aside to allow the baby to wake and move around if necessary. If it is not possible to obtain satisfactory images (which is very unusual) for whatever reason then we will make arrangements for a further scan or adjust the charge depending on your preference.
The images are stored on to a CD Rom so providing a lasting record and scan pictures are available also.