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Which pregnancy scan is right for me?


A brief guide on our pregnancy scans for mums to be!


Starting from finding out the great news all the way to the big day when you’re little treasure is ready to make his or her grand entrance into the world; your pregnancy is a journey and one which we are very proud and happy to be a part of. During the course of your journey if this is your first pregnancy then you will have a lot of new information thrown at you and naturally the process of what services are included as part of your NHS care and what is available privately to you may seem very daunting and confusing.


This seems to be a recurrent theme we see from our lovely mums to be that come for their private scans as they all make common comments such as;


“How many scans do I get on the NHS?”

“I always thought private scans would be so expensive and didn’t realise that they are actually affordable”

“I did not know you can have the Gender Scan from as early as 16 weeks”

“I assumed I would find out the gender as part of my NHS scans” (Although you can this is not routinely the case or the primary purpose of the NHS scan)


The NHS choices website has a great article explaining what is involved and what happens as part of your NHS care and we would strongly recommend having a read of that, please click here to go to the article or on the image below.



The way we work with our private pregnancy scans is always related to the number of weeks pregnant you are (often referred to as number of week’s gestation). This determines what scans you are eligible for now and in the future. The reason for this quite simply relates to the growth and development of your baby over time as even the terminology for your baby changes with the progression of your pregnancy – you may see or hear these terms (fetal pole, embryo, fetus).


It is for this reason that we also have two gender scans – Gender First (16 – 20 weeks gestation) and Gender Express (20 – 34 weeks gestation) – we also have a previous article discussing the differences between these two in more detail – click here or image below for have a read of that.




Furthermore this is the reason why each scan has a specific window in which it is applicable – to use an example for our 3D-4D bonding scan packages they are applicable from 22 up to 34 weeks gestation, and again a common question is well my baby will have developed earlier and later than that so why do you only allow those times? Again the reason is due to your baby’s development. Prior to 22 weeks although your baby is growing and developing and have recognisable features there is not a lot of fat under your baby’s skin and so although 4D scans are certainly possible the resulting image may not be what you’re expecting as you will predominantly see your baby’s facial bone structure. Likewise beyond 34 weeks (we ideally say between 22-27 weeks is optimum for 4D scans) the amount of space and fluid around your baby will be limited due to its size and growth, which is important as this is what gives contrast to the images (imagine taking a picture of your face pressed against a wall or cushion – how well could you make out your face!) therefore even though 4D scanning is available it just is not the right time.


Our Early Scan is available from 6 weeks gestation up to 11 weeks the goal of the scan is to assess the viability of an early pregnancy using ultrasound and determine if it is a single or multiple pregnancies. Each scan has a baseline element of a reassurance check involved in the scan even if that is not the main objective of the scan and on the most part this check is the same but may differ on the scan again this is due to the stage of the development your baby is at the time or period that the scan covers. To find this information out on each scan page across all our services you will see a see a section with the heading as shown below which tells you clearly what is the main objective or primary purpose of the scan and any specific information relating to that scan.


What is the main objective of this scan?


As mentioned above the reassurance check typically includes the following (check each scan page for any specific notes on this);

  • Visualising fetal heartbeat
  • Visualising movement of your baby
  • Determine position of your baby
  • Determine position of placenta
  • Assess amniotic fluid surrounding your baby.

By now I hope it’s a bit clearer to you on why timing is so important and so to make it easier to see what our scans are and when they fall into place – we have produced the below diagram which shows at a glance when and within what time period each of our scans fall into place.




Lastly we thought an image by itself is a bit boring and we had some spare time so we made a video too! Please have a look at it below and kindly like and subscribe smiley