Your midwife will request your first scan and an appointment letter will be sent to you. Alternatively, if you are over 12 weeks pregnant, you may be phoned to offer you a short notice appointment. Click here for the hospital map.
Why would I have a dating scan?
The department offers two screening tests during pregnancy in accordance with the national fetal anomaly screening programme. The scans are offered to all pregnant women but they are not compulsory. Consent for the examination will need to be given before the examination can take place , and staff will be happy to answer any questions to ensure that the parents understand what is going to happen and possible outcomes.
You will then need to have a blood test after the scan.
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The blood test in combination with the ultrasound results and some personal details such as age will then provide you with a risk factor of the baby having one of the syndromes. This also involves a blood test after the scan or an appointment will be made for a suitable date. The main purpose of the scan is to look for physical abnormalities in the unborn baby.
We usually learn that the baby appears to be healthy and developing well, but sometimes we find a problem. If this happens the findings will be explained to you and follow up appointments will be arranged. Scans are not guaranteed to find all problems. Sometimes we have to say there might be a problem, but we cannot say for certain. In a small number of cases, babies are born with abnormalities that were not spotted by the scan. Sometimes it is difficult to get a good picture if the baby is lying in an awkward position, is moving around a lot or if you are above average weight; this does not mean there is anything to worry about.
Obstetric (pregnancy) screening scans
We recommend that you bring a partner, a friend, or a family member when you have the test because you might be anxious. We suggest that if possible, someone should accompany you to and from the hospital. The notes contain all the medical information and documentation the Sonographers are required to see before undertaking the scan so the scans cannot take place without them. Also if we identify a problem that requires us to refer you directly to another department or consultant they will need your notes.
Radiology has no child care provisions within the department, and in accordance with the national recommendations children cannot come into the scan room. Remember, an ultrasound scan is an important medical examination, and it is treated in the same way as any other hospital investigation.
We allow one adult in the room with you, both due to lack of space but also due to the fact that this is a medical examination that requires a great deal of concentration to ensure the accuracy of the findings. As the baby is shown and findings discussed throughout the duration of the scan there is not an opportunity for people to swap over during the scan either. Why is my appointment after the time frame for the combined screening? Appointments are booked using the information given on the request from your midwife and we try to book all appointments in the relevant timeframe.
However, if there were no appointments available in the timeframe required you will have been given the next available appointment. The department does have a cancellation list that is used when patients need alternative appointments. If your appointment is not in the correct timeframe you will automatically go on the cancellation list but you can also request to go on the cancellation list as well. What happens if I am on the cancellation list for an alternative appointment?
Booking team staff will contact you if an appointment becomes available. In order for the Sonographer to get good images of your baby, the procedure is carried out in a dimly lit room.
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You will first be asked to lie on a couch. You will then be asked to raise your top to your chest and lower your skirt or trousers to your hips.
Tissue paper will be tucked into your clothing, to protect it from the ultrasound gel which will then be put on your tummy. The gel makes sure there is good contact between the machine and your skin. You'll be able to discuss this with your midwife or consultant. If you want to find out the sex of your baby, you can usually do so during the mid-pregnancy scan but this depends on the policy of your hospital. For example, if your baby is lying in an awkward position, it may be difficult or impossible to tell. Some hospitals have a policy of not telling patients the sex of their baby.
Speak to your sonographer or midwife to find out more. You will need to check if your hospital provides this service. If they do, there may be a charge.
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How long will a scan take? Can ultrasound harm my baby? When are scans offered? When will I get the results? Do I have to have scans? What can a scan do? Can I bring anyone in? What if everything looks normal? What if there's a possible problem? Is it a girl or a boy? Can I have a picture? What happens at a scan and what will they tell me? Ultrasound scans in pregnancy Ultrasound scans use sound waves to build a picture of the baby in the womb.
What will happen at the scan? Can an ultrasound scan harm me or my baby? Hospitals in England offer all pregnant women at least 2 ultrasound scans during their pregnancy: The sonographer will be able to tell you the results of the scan at the time. Do I have to have ultrasound scans? What can an ultrasound scan be used for? An ultrasound scan can be used to: You may like someone to come with you to the scan appointment. If everything appears normal, what happens next?
If the scan finds there might be a problem, what happens next? If necessary, you will be referred to a specialist, possibly in another hospital. Finding out the sex of your baby is not offered as part of the national screening programme. Can I have a picture of my baby?