An Interview with Your Baby Scan

Providing Reassurance in The Various Stages of Pregnancy

Anxieties during the beginning stages of pregnancy – whether for first time parents, couples who have previously experienced complications, or those who have taken on the process maybe two, three or even four times before, are often at an all-time high. For it is during those first few weeks that so much can change, with the on-track development of the foetus being a major concern for all. To alleviate such concerns, soon-to-be-parents can sign-up for an early reassurance scan, which checks the positioning of the baby, traces their heartbeat and assess the ovaries and pelvic area of the mother.

Private pregnancy ultrasound centre Your Baby Scan specialises in such reassurance scans, ensuring clients receive the time, space and support needed from as early as five weeks. Alongside initial scans confirming pregnancy, the clinic’s highly trained and experienced sonographers provide gender and bonding scans in the later stages with 2D, 3D, 4D and HD iLive options available. Here, we sat down with Your Baby Scan to find out more about the services they provide, alongside their various benefits.

Why should pregnant mothers consider getting an early scan?

We highly recommend that pregnant mothers come in from seven weeks onwards, as at this stage the baby’s heartbeat becomes visible during the scan. We feel that seeing baby’s heartbeat on the large screen in the clinic gives real reassurance.

How early can you complete a scan?

We can complete scans from as early as five weeks. This is known as a pregnancy viability scan and is carried out internally. During, our sonographers will check the implantation of the embryo to make sure that it is located and developing normally. Our sonographers will also complete a well-being check to ensure that there are no signs of ectopic pregnancy at this stage.

When can you determine the gender of the baby?

We can determine the gender from 16 weeks onwards. Both male and female start initially as a nub that begins to develop from 12 weeks until either the male or female genitals are formed. By 16 weeks, it can be reliably seen whether this is male or female, any earlier than this, and the reliability is reduced as things are still developing.

What else can you see on a scan at the various different stages of pregnancy?

From 16 weeks onwards, we can not only see your baby’s heartbeat but we can also listen to it on the loudspeakers in the scan room, which is an amazing experience – both for first-time parents and for those who already have children. Once we reach 21 weeks, we get to see your baby’s features taking shape. We can see their face, fingers and toes in 3D and moving in real-time as they stretch and yawn, with all movements being displayed in 4D. Whilst we can see this from 21 weeks onwards, your baby doesn’t have much fat beneath their skin at this stage. However, by 27-29 weeks they’re equipped with the fat that makes them look more familiar and will also keep them warm when they’re born.

How does Your Baby Scan ensure the quality and accuracy of its scans?

At Your Baby Scan, we strictly use fully-qualified, experienced HCPC registered obstetrics sonographers. HCPC registration is important as it ensures that the qualifications that our sonographers hold meet all of the UK standards. We thus ensure that our staff have full knowledge of what they’re looking at during every stage of the pregnancy – from early right through late in the pregnancy.

How can you help pregnant mothers celebrate their news?

We have the widest range of gender reveal items, from our coloured lights in the room at no-charge and smaller items like sweet boxes, through to confetti, smoke cannons, smoke bombs, gender footballs and even fireworks to light up the night sky pink or blue.

How should pregnant mothers prepare for their scan?

Eating and drinking well during pregnancy is essential, regardless of the stage, but keeping your fluids up in advance of your scan helps with position and image quality. If you’re coming in for a 3D/4D scan, we recommend having a nutritional meal about two hours before your appointment, full of good energy rather than sugars. This will digest and pass through to your baby, helping to keep them nicely awake rather than sleepy or overly active.

What else sets Your Baby Scan apart from its competitors?

The experience in our clinics has always set us apart from competitors. Our clinics are calm and relaxed, with the average appointment length being 30 minutes+, meaning that customers aren’t rushed in and out. This gives you time to bond with your baby properly and then also select any images that you would like to print in private on our iPads.

Is there anything else you would like to add?

During COVID-19, we recognised how important it is for family and friends to be involved in the pregnancy journey, but it was equally important for us to limit the number of people attending in-person for everyone’s safety. Thus, in response, we created the UK’s first and only live streaming service, with friends and family able to watch the scan from the comfort of their own home, anywhere in the world, in real-time as it happens.