Richmond Practice - Private pregnancy care and baby scans

Private pregnancy care and baby scans
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What scans can I have, when, and what will they show?

Before 5 weeks it is difficult to see any signs of pregnancy with current ultrasound technology. Ultrasound is a noninvasive diagnostic test that uses sound waves to create a visual image of your baby, placenta, and uterus, as well as other pelvic organs. The only reason for having a scan before you are six weeks pregnant is to rule out an ectopic pregnancy. In the UK, the National Health Service provides only two routine scans during pregnancy: the nuchal scan and the anomaly scan.

Dating scan*, from 6 to 11 weeks: This early pregancy scan checks the location of the embryo and the date when the baby is due. We also take blood tests to check blood group, thyroid function and screen for infections, including toxoplasma and varicella.

Down's risk screening, from 11 weeks and 2 days to 14 weeks: A specialist nuchal scan to measure the nuchal translucency is combined with a blood test and maternal age to give a combined risk for Down's syndrome.

Early anomaly scan*, 16 weeks: The scan checks for some major abnormalities like spina bifida.

Gender scan, from 17 weeks: To find out the baby's sex, if you wish to.

Anomaly scan, from 18 to 23 weeks: An extensive ultrasound to assess the baby's development, organs, and especially the brain and the heart.

28 week bloods*: Test for diabetes* (oral glucose tolerance test), cytomegalovirus*, anaemia, repeat testing for toxoplasma*, atypical antibody screen and fetal growth scan*. Please allow 2 hours for this appointment and remember to fast for 12 hours before.

28 week routine visit: Routine check.

32 weeks and onwards wellbeing check: Fetal growth scan* for the baby's position and wellbeing.

Streptococcus check*, 34 weeks: Swab for group B streptococcus.

37 weeks onward: Regular checks, including fetal growth scan*, for the baby's position and wellbeing.

Consult your gynaecologist / midwife:
  • prior to any ultrasound examination for discussion
  • if you have any doubts of the necessity of any scan
  • if you have concerns of your baby's well-being at any stage of your pregnancy.
At Elsbeth's Doctors we can provide a complete range of pregnancy scans as part of your maternity care and all visits include a routine check. As well as the scans listed here, there are other scans available if you have any concerns for the wellbeing of your baby, or just want to see it. Partners, close friends or family members are welcome to attend the appointment with you. Reports and scans are saved and given to you on a USB stick provided by us.

* Indicates appointments or tests not routinely available from the UK National Health Service



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