Ultrasound FAQs

At BabyConnections we are here to support you, your pregnancy and your baby.  If you require any further information please contact us on 01633 820301 and we will be happy to discuss any of your queries.  Please see below some common questions and answers that might be useful.

2D, 3D and 4D ultrasound scans - what’s the difference?

2D ultrasound has been around for many years and primarily gives you a view of your baby’s internal organs and skeleton.  Two dimensional scanning is routinely used in the NHS and private sector to assess a baby’s development and provides black and white images.  As technology has advanced we are now able to view babies in 3D which shows the surface of the baby's skin, the facial features and body from the outside.  It is also now possible to see the baby moving in real time 3D which constitutes a 4D video.


Prenatal ultrasound – should I have additional scans and how should these fit in to my NHS scans?


At BabyConnections we look to complement your NHS scans and not replace them.  It’s really important that you attend your 12 week (Dating scan) and 20 week (Anomaly scan) scans in the NHS.  We can provide any ultrasound scanning that your require, from an early reassurance scan prior to the 12 week scan, a second opinion 12 week or 20 week scan, gender determination, reassurance scans at any stage through the pregnancy through to high tech 3D/4D scans, the choice is yours.

3D/4D scans are not performed to be diagnostic and detect abnormalities.  They are a fantastic way to bond with your baby, to see the little person inside of you which can benefit the parents and entire family.  3D/4D scans make the pregnancy even more real and lifelike.  When your baby is born you will feel like you have met them already as the 4D scan is accurately lifelike.


Is ultrasound scanning safe?


Ultrasound scanning is entirely safe with no recorded side effects and has been used for well over 30 years.  Many research studies have been undertaken to determine safety to the mother and baby with no known adverse outcomes.  At BabyConnections we commit to keeping scanning times as short as possible, however ensuring that you see everything you require within the allotted appointment.  

A small probe is placed on Mum’s tummy which emits sound waves with the same frequency sound waves being used for 2D, 3D or 4D scanning.


3D/4D scanning – when should I book for the best result?

We believe that the optimal time for you to attend for a 3D/4D scan is between 26 and 32 weeks.  Your baby has had time to develop and the facial features will be more visible.  Between these time periods there is still enough room and fluid (which transmits the sound waves) around the baby to allow movement and manoeuvring into good positions for imaging.


Who can I bring with me?


We would like you to feel at home at BabyConnections, so you are invited to bring with you whoever you please for the scans.  Scans can be experienced and enjoyed by the entire family, or your friends.  Our Sonographers are well used to scanning with other children present and it’s really exciting for them to see their new brother or sister.


Does the ultrasound machine make a difference?


It certainly does.  At BabyConnections we use a state-of-the-art Toshiba Aplio 500 ultrasound system which gives pictures of your baby in superb clarity, even when they are moving.


Who performs the ultrasound?


All scans at BabyConnections will be performed by a qualified Sonographer who has undergone the most rigorous training and the best placed healthcare professional to perform obstetric ultrasound.  Our Sonographers are all educated to Masters Level.  Sonographers can not only look at the baby but are qualified to look at the mother’s pelvis as they have obstetric and general medical ultrasound qualifications giving you peace of mind.  All of our staff are highly qualified and very experienced practitioners who have worked for many years in the NHS and the private sector.


Is there any preparation before the scan?


Yes there is.  In order to achieve optimal scan pictures and clear results we ask you to drink 1 pint of water 1 hour before your appointment time and not to empty your bladder before the scan.  For your comfort we ask you to wear a skirt/trousers and a top which are loose fitting.  It helps if your bladder is as full as possible, however if you are having a scan after 24 weeks whilst it is not always essential, a full bladder can sometimes assist when baby is low lying.


What happens during the ultrasound scan?


An ultrasound scan is painless scan and has no known risks.  An ultrasound probe is placed on your stomach with some jelly applied to the skin which helps achieve a good quality image (you’ll even have warmed jelly so it’s not too bracing!).  The Sonographer will then apply a little pressure to the probe and the stomach to check your baby’s position.  All images will be present on a large Ultra High Definition screen for you and your guests to enjoy, so you can see all of the action.  If the baby is in a difficult position for us to see clearly then you may be asked to go for a short walk to see if the new addition moves around in your pelvis.  You may be asked to breathe in and hold your breath which permits better pictures.


Am I guaranteed perfect pictures of my baby?

Unfortunately, there are no guarantees of perfect scans as we are dealing with mother nature.  We give ourselves the best chance of success with skilled Sonographers, great equipment and clear preparation instructions.  If we are unable to tell the gender then we will scan you at a later date free of charge.  If the baby is not in a good position for a 3D/4D scan then again we will scan you after you have been for a stroll and a hot drink which allows the bay time to change position.  A repeat scan on a different day would be at the discretion of the Sonographer, given their experience, and be dependent on whether they think that better images can be achieved.  We will do our utmost to attain beautiful pictures for you to treasure.


Can multiple babies be scanned?


Yes, we can scan twins and triplets.  The babies are positioned very snugly so you might need to consider coming for your 3D/4D scans slightly earlier between 23-26 weeks.  There is a slightly increased charge for multiples as the scans take much longer to complete.


Are appointments necessary and do I need to pay a deposit?


Appointments are required to prevent you having unnecessary delays.  We often have same day or next day availability.  We ask you to pay a 30% deposit to secure your appointment.


Are scans expensive and what are the payment methods?


We have a full range of packages to suit all of your needs and they start from as little as £40.  Please see our 'Scan packages' section for prices and a breakdown of what is included within the scan.  We would ask that you kindly pay a 30% deposit to secure your booking which can be taken over the phone and the remainder would be payable using a card or cash on arrival to BabyConnections at St Joseph’s Hospital.


Where do I park and do I have to pay?


There is ample complimentary parking at St Joseph’s Hospital which is closely located to the scanning suite.

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Early viability scan(6-12 weeks)*
Early pregnancy support package Silver(6-12 weeks)
Early pregnancy support package Gold(6-12 weeks)
Early pregnancy support package Platinum(6-12 weeks)
Nuchal Translucency (NT) Scan(10-13 weeks)
Dating scan(12 weeks+)
Gender Gold(16 weeks+)
Gender Platinum(16 weeks+)
Fetal anomaly scan(20-24 weeks)
Growth of baby package Silver(12 weeks+)
Growth of baby package Gold(12 weeks+)
Growth of baby package Platinum(12 weeks+)
4D bonding experience Gold(26-32 weeks)
4D bonding experience Platinum(26-32 weeks)
Baby wellbeing and presentation scan(36-42 weeks)
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