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.

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.

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.

11th Week of Pregnancy

As you’re heading towards the 2nd trimester of pregnancy, your headaches and nausea should start disappearing. In the 11th week already you may feel more active and symptoms of tiredness should fade. You may also notice an increase in appetite, so you will put on more weight in the following months. Your baby is developing complex features and you already have a pretty face for the ultrasound pic on the fridge.

How your baby is developing

At just over one inch and a half in length, your baby can now kick and he or she can even stretch fingers and toes. The kicks will become more frequent over the next 6 months, as your baby grows stronger. By the 11th week, your baby has distinct features, with tooth buds, nail beds, hair follicles and ear flaps already present. Her sense of smell also began to develop and will become more complex until week 30. By then, everything you eat and inhale will be smelled by your baby as well.

In-between the 11th and 13th week of pregnancy, the Nuchal Translucency baby scan can be carried out. This is an ultrasound scan that checks for certain issues, including Down syndrome, and reports initial measurements of your baby. Talk to your OB/GYN doctor about a recommended time for you to have this scan.

How your days are changing

As your morning sickness starts to wane, you may feel hungrier than usually. Stick to a healthy plan with nutritious food and pick fruits and crackers as snacks instead of junk food. Food cravings will also diminish in the next month, so it will be easier to have a balanced diet, with small and various meals. Include plenty of carbs in you plan and get as much protein as possible from nuts and dried fruits. Despite having the need to pee frequently (you have the hCG hormone to blame for that), you need to stay hydrated and drink plenty of fluids. Avoid caffeine, as caffeinated drinks increase the frequency of urination. Constipation is also a common symptom due to pregnancy hormones, so it’s perfectly normal, but you can try diets that help alleviate this symptom.

You will have more energy in the following weeks, so this is the perfect time to plan a romantic trip with your partner. Most pregnant women feel at the peak of their energetic levels in the first part of the second trimester. Just make sure you’ll have everything you need for a safe travel.

The 9th Week of Pregnancy

As you’re advancing into the 3rd month of pregnancy, your baby keeps busy growing. The little one is now almost one inch long and is starting to get the baby-like look more and more each day. The eyes, nose and mouth are becoming more distinct, while tiny ear buds are appearing. Eyes will stay shut for another 5 months, but they have already developed. The essential organs have formed by now and they continue to develop and perfect their functions. Your placenta has more complex functions and has started to produce nutrients and to eliminate waste. You can’t feel anything by touching your belly just yet, but you might hear it. Around this time, your baby’s heart beat should be audible with a Doppler device, so make sure to ask for it at your next appointment.

How to take care of yourself at 9 weeks pregnant

It’s likely that your baby bump is barely visible, and yet all these highly-complex changes are going on through your body. At this stage of pregnancy, most women have symptoms of tiredness and morning sickness. Pregnancy hormones are kicking in, sometimes leading to headaches, backaches, mood swings and other symptoms.  It’s important to take really good care of yourself to diminish the negative symptoms and to make sure your body has enough activity and nutrients to keep you and your baby healthy and growing.

Set your appetite on fruits and vegetables. All day. Every day. There are no healthier and safer sources of vitamins and minerals than the natural ones – fruits and vegetables. If you are having morning sickness, your appetite could be decreased, so try to set up a meal schedule with small and regular snacks. Make it easier to adjust to your new lifestyle by seeking advice from a nutritionist or by informing yourself from the web. There are now quite a few useful apps that can help you follow a nutrition plan for the pregnancy months ahead of you.

Further preparations

Schedule an antenatal appointment with your doctor or midwife if you haven’t done so yet. This is mainly for taking routine tests, but you can also get more informed on your progress and get recommendations on eating, rest and exercise based on your medical history and condition. If you have not had a confirmation of pregnancy from your OB yet, do so by taking the first ultrasound scan, called the Early Pregnancy scan or Viability scan. Based on the early pregnancy scan, the sonographer will calculate your estimated due date and check whether you have a single pregnancy or a twin pregnancy.

After you have had confirmation of pregnancy from your doctor, you now have the certainty needed to make the official announcement to your friends, relatives, co-workers and your boss. You can show the first baby scan photos to your close ones and enjoy the wonderful experience ahead.

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.

The 8th Week of Pregnancy

The baby bump may not be showing by the 8th week of pregnancy in most cases, yet a lot of changes are already going on with your body. Your breasts are becoming more sensitive and tender and you’ll probably need to change your bra to a bigger size by now for proper support. This is caused by the changes in hormonal levels and prepares your body for lactation. In most cases cups will grow by 2 sizes, so it’s practical to buy maternity support bra with two sizes bigger than your current one. You will notice that in this period the areolas around your nipples will begin to darken, also due to the change in hormones.

If you haven’t already followed a nutritional plan, start now. You will need plenty of vitamins and minerals to give your baby all the nutrients needed for a healthy development. Talk to your doctor or a specialist in nutrition about a recommended plan and any supplements you might need. Plan a custom exercise program as well. You will need to strengthen your muscle tone for carrying the weight to come in the next seven months.

Your baby, now at about the size of a raspberry, is growing fast. Although you cannot feel it yet, your baby has already started to move and shift its position. All of the organs have started developing and functioning, and muscles and nerves continue to form. Believe it or not, your baby’s lips begin to take shape around the 8th week of pregnancy, and in most cases fingers and toes are starting to appear. Your baby’s gonads begin to take shape into either ovaries or testicles, although it’s often impossible to see this on the scan that early into pregnancy. You can follow the progress of your growing baby through ultrasound scans now. Many parents find this experience to be magical, as you can actually see the miracle of life unfolding over the course of a few months.

There are genetic screening tests and other tests you can already take during this week. Discuss your family medical history with your doctor to see what tests are needed in your case. Many conditions, such as RH disease, are treatable during pregnancy, so take precautions to reduce all risks and have a safe pregnancy and birth.

The 7th Week of Pregnancy

You’ve reached the halfway mark of your first trimester. Congrats! This is an important mark for most women, as it’s the first time when they can actually see their baby on a scan. It’s also an extremely busy week for your body. Your baby develops extremely fast at this time, with an astonishing rate of 100 brain cells per minute and the heart evolving into a complex organ with dedicated functions. Each baby develops differently, but usually around this week tooth buds and tongue begin to form and arm buds sprout, along with further development of ears, nostrils and eyes. Your baby’s blood type also develops around this time.

For most women, breasts grow at a peak rate and pregnancy aches become overwhelming during the 7th week of pregnancy. This can partly be caused by pregnancy hormones, but discomfort and loss of energy are also due to the fast paced developmental changes in your body. Your taste in food has probably changed. If you’ve already developed aversions towards certain foods, replace them with healthy alternatives to replenish the necessary vitamins and minerals. Due to hormones, urination is much more frequent in the 7th week. Despite that, you and you baby need more fluids intake than ever. Avoid caffeine, it’s associated with some pregnancy risks and it’s a diuretic, which means you’ll pee more. If you’re feeling tired, that’s normal, too. Your system is working swiftly on producing the placenta and developing your baby. Eat as many as 7 small meals a day and exercise lightly to keep your energy levels up.

The good news is that, starting with the 7th week, you’re becoming more aware of your baby and you can already see what’s going on in your tummy with an early pregnancy scan. Seeing their baby for the first time is a wonderful experience for both parents. Your sonographer can check if everything is developing as planned and even calculate your EED (estimated due date). It is usually also possible to detect twin pregnancy during the 7th week.

This is a time of awakening for many women, preparing them psychologically for the journey. Seeing your baby for the first time on the screen and feeling your body change drastically makes you feel closer to your baby and motivates you to eat healthier and get the proper care. You are now much, much closer to becoming a mom.

The 5th Week of Pregnancy

Until now, we have talked about the importance of the first trimester of pregnancy and particularly, about the need of your unborn baby to stay in a warm, healthy and serene place, considering the fact that the baby’s vital organs are developing now. Therefore you, as a mum-to-be, have to make sure that your unborn child has everything it needs for a proper development. Technically, you have to follow now several basic rules: start eating a healthy well-balanced diet, live a healthier life, be more responsible and avoid stress. The risk of genetic abnormalities is increased during the first trimester of pregnancy, so pay attention to your lifestyle!

Your baby undergoes a rapid development during the 4th and 5th week of pregnancy: if, at the beginning of the 4th week of pregnancy, it was no bigger than a poppy seed, by the end of the 5th week, it easily reached the size of an orange seed (5 or 6mm). After conveniently settling in its new home, the embryo starts developing a rudimentary placenta while the yolk sac is being gradually replaced by the umbilical cord; both the placenta and the umbilical cord are in charge of delivering nourishment and oxygen to the baby.

Your tiny baby has already formed its head and small buds are signalling the “location” of the future limbs. The heart starts beating for the first time and the neural tube, which forms into the brain and spinal cord eventually, begins to form. This is also the time when the baby’s gender starts developing. However, you’ll be able to catch a glimpse of your unborn baby’s gender by the end of the 16th week of pregnancy. Nevertheless, some ultrasounds will be able to pick out the baby’s major developments, such as the ears, mouth and nose. Therefore, you are more than welcome to make an appointment to our London clinic to actually see these changes and to have your pregnancy properly and constantly monitored by our highly qualified physicians.

Except for the early pregnancy signs you’ve experienced by now, your body is not showing yet any major changes so most people won’t be able to tell, by looking at you, that you’re 5 weeks pregnant. However, you should consider starting an exercise routine now. Exercises will help you develop good muscle tone, strength and endurance and why not, manage the extra weight you’ll put on. Choose a safe, moderately vigorous activity you like: yoga, walking and swimming are fine when you’re pregnant.

Also, if this is your first pregnancy, you should pay attention to the hormonal changes you’re undergoing, since they may lead to depression. Do not panic! This may not necessarily happen to you but it’s good to know and the sooner you’ll determine the root cause of depression, the better you’ll fight against it!

You may also notice significant changes in your breasts: they may be tender to touch, sore and even swollen. Spotting, especially at night, is also a sign of pregnancy, indicating that the embryo has successfully reached and implanted into the uterus. However, all mums talk about this period as the most beautiful period of pregnancy because now you’re actually feeling that you’re expecting.

Most parents-to-be chose to withhold this wonderful news until after the third month because the risk of miscarriage is pretty high during this period. Remember: this is your private news for as long as you choose! However, if you’ve decided to share this great news with your friends and family, choose an original manner to do so! We’ll come back later on with several ingenious ways to let the world know that a tiny you it’s on its way!!