How We Ensure a High Quality Experience at Our Clinic

At Baby Scan Clinic in London, we are committed to ensure that you have a comfortable and safe experience during ultrasound scans and that everything goes smoothly during ordering and making your scan appointment. We aim to further improve your experience with our clinic by offering images and videos that make precious memories and through our friendly staff who will do their best to be helpful to you. Here are a few ways through which we ensure that you will have a high quality experience at every scan appointment with our clinic:

Ultrasounds are carried out by qualified professionals

We are registered with the Care Quality Commission, which means that our services are checked on a regularly basis to ensure that national CQC standards are met. These standards mainly regard how the scans are carried out and how our staff care for patients. Our sonographers will help you be as comfortable as possible during the scan and explain the process in detail. We use gently warmed ultrasound gel to help patients relax.

Making an appointment is easy and fast

Our appointment system works smoothly. After ordering your scan, visit our Appointments page and enter your transaction ID. You will then be able to pick a time-slot for your appointment. That’s it! The system is live, so the time slot you pick will be booked instantly. You can schedule appointments on weekdays and on Saturdays between 9 am and 7:30 pm (we support the Keep Sunday Special Campaign).

If you have any questions about scans or appointments, we’re one phone call away: 020 7099 9644 (office hours are Mon-Fri 9 am – 6 pm).

We invest in state of the art technology

We only use up-to-date 2014 GE Healthcare Scanners to carry out ultrasound scans. This is to ensure that our scans are safe and at the best quality possible. We’re also proud to be one of the first clinics in the world to have the new HD Live Scanners. If you’ve taken an HD live 4D scan, you know what it means to experience seeing your baby in womb at a whole new level of image definition. Quality is in the details. We enable parents to purchase images and videos of their scans – precious memories to be relived in detail thanks to the newest technology.

We keep a warm atmosphere

Our staff is friendly and our clinic rooms have a warm and welcoming design. Have a look at some pictures taken at our clinic.

Your Very First Pregnancy Scan

You can take your first ultrasound scan as soon as you suspect that you’re pregnant due to a pregnancy home test. This can be as early as four weeks, yet an internal transvaginal probe may be used before 7-8 weeks. The main reason for taking this first scan, also called a “viability scan”, “dating scan” or the “early pregnancy scan”, is to confirm your pregnancy – and whether it’s a single pregnancy or a twin pregnancy. The presence of the father is welcome at the first appointment, as mums feel more comfortable with the support of a partner at this very first scan. Here are more things to expect from your first scan:

Calculation of the estimated due date

The estimated due date (EDD) is the approximate date at which you should expect to deliver the baby. The early pregnancy scan is also called a “dating scan” because it estimates your stage of pregnancy and the delivery date. The EDD is calculated based on the date of your last menstrual cycle and other factors like the stage of the pregnancy progress observed during your scan appointment.

Checking for single or twin pregnancy

After the embryo has formed, the sonographer will be able to see if, well, two embryos have formed. Identical twins are at first formed from a single embryo that later divides, so it is possible that one twin may be missed at your first scan, especially if you carry out the scan earlier than 6 weeks.

A scan report

Notes are recorded on a written report during the first ultrasound scan. You can take this report with you at the end of the scan. Keep it for future references at doctor appointments and later pregnancy scans.

Ultrasound images of your baby

At Baby Scan Clinic, we offer two glossy images on the day of the scan, for you to take away. These images make a great addition to a baby album.

How to prepare for the early pregnancy scan

Eat and drink as normal on the day of your appointment and wear lose clothing if possible. Ultrasound images are clearer with a full bladder, which is why we recommend to drink a pint of water in the hour leading to your scan appointment without emptying your bladder.

Read more about what the Early Pregnancy Scan entails at our clinic and the benefits you get. (Hint: mistery gift ahead)

 

How to get your baby to move during an ultrasound

Getting your baby to move around in your belly during a scan appointment is especially desirable for 3D/4D ultrasounds and HD live scans. If your baby is sleeping during the appointment, you won’t get to see too much on the screen and on the video recording. Here are a couple of tips to follow right before your scan appointment that will increase the likelihood of your baby moving and kicking.

Walk around for 10 minutes

Physical activity won’t let your baby go to sleep. You don’t need to exercise heavily in the morning of your ultrasound appointment. Just make sure you have time to walk around for at least 10 minutes right before your appointment starts. It is unlikely that your baby will fall asleep right back during the scan.

Chocolate

Sweets have a good chance of stimulating your baby to move and be more active. For many women, chocolate works great, although you might find other sweets that are more effective.

Ice-cream

Ice-cream and cold, sweet drinks might do the trick for you if chocolate has no effect. Eat a little bit of ice-cream or drink a milkshake before your appointment.

Orange Juice

Apparently, many women have found that orange juice has an energizing effect on their baby. It’s also a healthy drink, so there’s no reason to hold back from experimenting with orange juice to see if your baby becomes more active.

Fizzy drinks

Fizzy, sugary drinks get a response in most cases. You can try to drink a plain sugary drink first, and see if that works for you two. Orange juice is still the healthiest option, but it doesn’t have the same effect on all women who are pregnant.

Milkshake

If ice-cream is very effective for getting your baby to move in your womb, milkshake should have the same effect. This is a good option if the weather is cold and you’d rather have a healthy milkshake than an ice-cream.

Pickles

Sour foods might get your baby to move around, if nothing sweet works. Try pickles, lemon or lime slices, grapefruit juice or sour green olives from the can.

Caress your belly

Gently stroking and brushing your belly usually gets a response from your baby, especially after 17 weeks. Try doing that even during the scan, if the sonographer recommends it.

Everything about the HD live scan

We are proud to be one of the first clinics worldwide to work with the new technology of HD live scanners. Book an appointment for an HD Scan to get better quality images and video recordings of your baby in motion. Read below on how the technology works and how the images will look like.

Benefits of the HD Live Scan technology

The new HD Live 4D Scan technology allows rendering clearer images of your baby. Compared to other ultrasound images, the pictures and video you will see during an HD Live Scan are in high definition and have better colours. It’s very hard to tell how the baby looks like from 2D ultrasound images. With 3D/4D scans you get a much clearer image of how your baby actually looks like in 3D, but this technology does not offer yet the crisp clear, high quality images of the HD Live Scan. Moreover, you will get to see your baby on a large screen. The realistic look of HD scan images is unbeatable at this hour.

How HD scan pictures look like

HD Live Scan picture

HD live scan picture capturing detailed facial traits

HD live scan picture of twins in womb

HD Live Scan image of twin babies

HD live scanners show your baby in a pinkish hue. The images are very realistic due to the accuracy of colours and shadows rendered. Have a look at the image below from a HD live scan and compare it with 3D and 2D ultrasound images.

HD Live Scan image difference from 3D and 2D images

HD live scan image (left), 3D scan image (middle) and 2D gender scan image (right)

When to take an HD live scan

You can book your appointment anytime between 17 and 13 weeks, but we recommend waiting until after 22 weeks for better quality images. The ideal time for taking the HD live scan is around 27 weeks. By this time, your baby’s body will be proportionate, the skin will be opaque and complex facial traits will have developed. This means the images will look better and you will actually get to see how your soon-to-be born baby looks like, whose nose she inherited and how strong her grip is.

Getting your baby to move during the HD scan

You probably want your baby to move around and do some kicking during the HD scan, so it’s a good idea to stimulate the baby to move. In case your baby is sleeping, plan a walk for about 10 minutes right before your appointment. You can also stimulate your baby to move by eating chocolate or other sweets.

Best Times to Get a Pregnancy Ultrasound

After your first appointment with your OB doctor, it is advised to make a planner for your pregnancy scans and tests. Although most scans can be taken in a flexible period of time, for some ultrasounds there is an optimal time frame.

11 Weeks – the Early Pregnancy Scan

This is the first baby scan you can take and one of the most important ones. The early pregnancy scan, also called a viability scan or a dating scan, confirms pregnancy, calculates your estimated due date and checks for twin pregnancy. It can be taken starting with week 7 of pregnancy. The scan images will not show much, but their symbolic value makes them a precious memory.

12 Weeks – the NT Scan

The NT scan is carried out at 11 to 13 weeks and is designed to provide initial measurements of your baby and identify the risk for Down syndrome and other abnormalities. Screening tests for Down syndrome are also taken at 12 or 13 weeks.

16 – 24 Weeks – the Growth Scan

The best time for a growth scan is the one recommended by your doctor. This baby scan can be taken several times and records measurements of your baby. These measurements are compared to the average sizes. The purpose is to track your baby’s development and make sure that your pregnancy progresses as planned.

20 Weeks – the Anomaly Scan

The Anomaly Scan is a notable pregnancy scan, carried out between 18 and 21 weeks. The sonographer will look at the scan in detail to analyse specific anatomical structures.

20 – 36 Weeks – the Gender Scan

The best time to take a scan for finding out the gender is after week 20. The gender scan can also be carried out earlier, at 17 weeks.

26 – 29 Weeks – the 3D/4D Scan and HD Live Scan

The 3D, 4D and HD Live scans can be carried out between 17 and 32 weeks, but the best time for a really cute picture of your baby is after week 26 and before week 30. Before 26 weeks, your baby’s skin is very transparent and you will not be able to see your baby’s face very clearly. After week 30, the chances to see your baby’s face at all are small.

32 Weeks – the Wellbeing Scan

Also called the Late Pregnancy Scan, this ultrasound is carried out between 25 and 36 weeks of pregnancy. Checking the overall wellbeing of your baby indicates how your baby is prepossessing before the big day.

How to Know If You Are Pregnant

Most women learn if they are pregnant or not in the first two months since conception. Pregnancy home tests and blood tests are not 100% reliable and an ultrasound won’t tell you much in the first month. Ultrasounds can check for pregnancy in the second month of pregnancy, but in some situations only a viability scan in the seventh week will accurately confirm your pregnancy.

The home pregnancy test

Home pregnancy tests detect if your urine contains hCG (human chorionic gonadotropin) hormone. This is produced after conception and fertilization, although elevated levels of hCG can also be produced by a cancerous tumour.

Home pregnancy tests are easy to take and read in the privacy of your home, which is very convenient. Most women take this test a few days after noticing a missed period – which is another first sign of being pregnant.  You can take the test earlier if you know that it’s possible to be pregnant, but the test will be less accurate.

The accuracy of urine pregnancy tests is about 97% if the test is taken correctly. Follow the instructions inside the package and take the test in the morning – that is when the urine is most concentrated.

After taking the test, schedule an appointment with your doctor for confirmation of pregnancy through more sensitive tests.

The blood test

Blood tests are more accurate than urine tests and are performed at a clinic. You will not get the results right away. Only schedule an appointment for a blood test if a least a week from a missed period has passed. After this week, there’s a pretty good chance that you’re pregnant, so you are ready to take further tests. Pregnancy tests – both urine and blood tests – are much more accurate after that week.

The Early Pregnancy Scan

Also called a Viability scan, this is an ultrasound carried at weeks 7-11. The sonographer can detect pregnancy earlier than that, but sometimes the scans are not clear before week seven. The nicest thing about the Early Pregnancy scan is the picture. At our clinic, you will get two printed images from this scan, to take away and share with your close ones.

Your doctor will also calculate you EDD (estimated due date) at this appointment and check for twin pregnancy. For clear results, drink a pint of water and do not empty your bladder in the hour before your scan appointment.

The Benefits of a Well-Being Scan during Late Pregnancy

The Well Being scan is an ultrasound carried out in the third trimester of pregnancy to check the well-being of your baby after 24 weeks. During this scan, the sonographer will take several measurements of your baby and check the position of the placenta as well as the amount of amniotic fluid. It is quite similar to the Growth Scan, only the focus of this scan is to check if everything is in order for the approach of the labour moment.

What happens during the Well-Being scan?

The baby’s development is assessed by measuring:

  • the head circumference
  • the circumference of the abdomen
  • the legs (the length of the femur)

In addition to the baby’s measurements, the baby’s position in the womb, the position of the placenta and the amount of amniotic fluid present will be assessed by the sonographer. Several other details are observed and reported, such as breathing movements and umbilical artery blood flows using a Doppler test.

At the end of the scan, all measurements and observations will be included in a report of the scan, which can be used for reference in follow-up appointments or when going into labour. Follow-up appointments are only necessary in case any problem is detected or suspected.

How do I prepare for a Well-Being scan?

There are no requirements prior to taking a well-being scan. You should eat and drink as normal on the day of your scan appointment. Having a full bladder before the scan is not necessary. It is recommended to wear loose clothes, as the sonographer will need to position and move the ultrasound probe along your abdomen. The most important thing is to feel comfortable during the appointment.

When can I take the Well Being scan?

Any time from the 25th week of pregnancy to the final stages of pregnancy up until week 36 is a suitable time for taking a well-being scan. While growth scans are recommended at different points in time to check the evolution of measurements, this is not the case with the well-being scan. If you had a growth scan during your second trimester, bring the report with you at the wellbeing scan. This will help the sonographer to better assess the development of your baby and the transition from mid pregnancy to late pregnancy.

The 4D Ultrasound Scan and Why It’s the Most Popular

4D baby scans are ultrasound scans that use advanced software to render 3D images of your baby in motion. Seeing your baby in motion for the first time is a magical experience for parents, never to be forgotten. This is why 4D baby scans have quickly risen in popularity. At your appointment you also receive a video of the 4D scan to take away. You’ll have a precious memory to share with your loved ones at home, even years after your baby will be born.

The difference between 2D, 3D and 4D ultrasound scans

3D ultrasounds are still pictures of your baby in colour and 3D, while the 4D scan features a fourth dimension: time. That means you will also receive a DVD recording of the scan to see your baby in motion.

3D/4D ultrasounds differentiate from the 2D ultrasound through the type of images they show. 2D ultrasounds are flat looking images in black and white that show rather outlines of your baby, and the skin appears to be transparent. The 2D scan is useful for looking at the internal organs. 3D/4D scan images, however, are formed of multiple flat images of different sections. These images are then converted into a 3D picture, where the skin is opaque and in colour. This enables you to see the baby’s external features from different angles: her shape, her face and other details at skin level.

Benefits of the 4D baby scan

Because it shows images of the baby from different angles, the 3D/4D ultrasounds are used by doctors to diagnose issues at skin level, such as a cleft lip. Besides this medical benefit, the 4D ultrasound scans have the amazing feature of showing your baby in motion. Because of the 3D looking images and the colour, particular details of the face can be seen. You might actually be able to tell if the baby looks more like the father or more like the mother.

The ideal time to have a 3D/4D pregnancy scan

You can have a 3D or 4D pregnancy scan starting with the 17th week, although that might be a bit too early for accurate images of how your baby’s face will look like. It will take another two months for the fat tissue to form under the baby’s skin, which will result in better pictures. Around week 28 is the most promising time to take the 4D ultrasound scan. Already at week 26 you will get better scan images of your baby.

The 4D premium package scan

The 4D ultrasound scan is also the most popular scan at our clinic. This is why it is part of our most elaborate scan package. The 4D premium package scan is not your regular pregnancy scan experience. You will get much more: seeing your baby in 3d, being able to tell resemblances to the dad or mum and seeing your baby in motion. You will receive a DVD recording to take home with you, so you can watch baby in motion over and over again and show it to your close ones.

Get the Most Out of Your Growth Scan

Growth scans are usually carried out in the second and third trimester to check how your baby is growing and if the development goes as planned. You may be recommended to take this scan at the advice of your doctor or your midwife if there are signs that your baby’s growth rate is smaller than expected or that that the amount of amniotic fluid around the baby is too large. Growth scans can be carried out starting with the 14th week of pregnancy.

Your midwife will initially determine if your baby’s growth rate is as expected by measuring your belly with a tape measure and by feeling your bump with her hands. If the baby appears to be growing faster than the average expected rate, there are usually no reasons for worry. If the size of your baby appears to be lower than expected for your stage of pregnancy, however, your midwife will recommend you to take a growth scan for accurate measurements.

What happens during the Growth Scan?

The sonographer will take several measurements with the help of this ultrasound scan and compare it with the average measurements for your week of pregnancy. The circumference of your baby’s head and tummy will be measured firstly, to check whether they are within the average limits. Then, the legs’ size will be assessed, by measuring the length of the femur bone. The amount of amniotic fluid surrounding your baby will be checked by measuring its depth.

The information on all of these measurements is then pieced together in a detailed report that compares your baby’s measurements with the average ones at the respective stage of pregnancy. It is possible for some measurements to be average and for others to exceed it or fall below the limits.

Babies usually don’t grow steadily, but rather at an uneven rate. At least two sets of measurements at different weeks are often recommended for analysing the baby’s growth rate and not just the size at one point in time. Most sonographers recommend serial growth scans for accurate measurements of your baby’s growth rate. By taking the scan in different weeks of pregnancy, your doctor can measure the growth rate and track it as your pregnancy develops, which is more relevant than the information obtained from a single baby scan.

No special preparations are needed for the growth scan. Usually you don’t need to have a full bladder or to eat at a certain hour. Just feel free to eat and drink as usual and dress comfy for your growth scan appointment.

The Anomaly Pregnancy Scan and the Most Common Abnormalities It Detects

The anomaly scan is a detailed ultrasound scan, used for determining physical abnormalities of the foetus early on. The best month for an anomaly scan starts with the 20th week of pregnancy. Most women take the scan between this time and the 24th week. What is the anomaly scan used for and why is it recommended to have it? Find out below.

What is the use of an anomaly scan?

With the help of the anomaly scan, the doctor can take a close look at your baby and your uterus to check that everything is developing normally. Usually a scan lasts around 30 minutes, during which major physical abnormalities are checked by looking at certain factors. Your doctor will look at the ultrasound from various areas and angles and assess your baby’s heartbeat, the position of the placenta and the amount of amniotic fluid around your baby. Measurements to check the baby’s growth and development will be carefully taken in detail, and the baby’s organs will be examined as detailed as the visibility on the scan allows.

Common abnormalities that are checked for during the anomaly scan

Your doctor will also look for signs of some particular disorders when looking at the anomaly scan. Some of these conditions are:

  • Heart conditions, for which your baby’s heart is examined during the scan
  • Spine abnormalities: the doctor will check if the spine and skull are developing normally
  • Certain genetic disorders
  • Chromosomal abnormalities: the doctor will check if the number of chromosomes is normal and for related conditions such as the Down syndrome.

Remember, it’s not always possible to check everything in full details, as there are a lot of factors that can impede having a clear view in certain areas. If, due to these factors, the doctor decides that measurements will not be accurate, either a new appointment will be scheduled or an internal transvaginal probe will be used.

Why is it recommended to have the anomaly scan?

Even though the scan is accurate on the measurements that can be taken, not all abnormalities can be identified during this scan. The scan does, however, greatly reduce the risk of having a miscarriage or severe birth defects due to lack of knowledge about certain abnormalities early on during pregnancy. Talk to your doctor and keep yourself informed about the uses and limitations of the anomaly scan to fully understand how you and your baby will benefit from this scan appointment.