Where are you based?
Your Baby Scan currently operate 2 private scan clinics in Widnes and Crewe. Each scan centre is open 5 days a week, with both open on a Saturday. The days that we are closed at each clinic differ, allowing us to offer 7 days a week availability between each scan centre.
When can I come?
Whats the best time to come for a 3D/4D scan?
We only offer 3D/4D scans from 21 weeks, but we recommend coming between 26 - 30 weeks for the best images. The earlier you have your 3D/4D scan, the less 'chubby cheeks' baby will have. Unlike some other scan centres, we can scan later than 30 weeks, but after 30 weeks we can't guarantee pictures as the baby may be moving into position ready for birth, and it scan start to get a little more cramped inside the womb.
We can scan in 3D/4D earlier than 21 weeks, but baby isn't very developed at this stage. For safety, we do not offer 3D/4D scans earlier than 16 weeks.
When can you sex my baby?
At Your Baby Scan, we depend of visually confirming the fully developed genitals to be able to tell you the gender of your baby. This is from around 16 weeks, though for some babies it can be a week or two later. Some other scan centres use different methods, such as the 'nub theory' to determine the gender, which is based on the direction that the developing genitals are directing. We find that this is unreliable and as a result will only tell you when we can see the developed genitals.
How does the technology work?
Whats the difference between 2D, 3D and 4D?
2D is a two dimensional image of your baby. This is a black and white cross-section, the same as when you attend your normal NHS scan. A 2D is best for our sonographers to be able to see the internal bones and organs of your developing fetus/baby as it offers a clear view throughout the body. For this reason, we use 2D scans for our Early Reassurance, Dating and Presentation Scans.
3D is a three dimensional image of your baby, this means you can see depth - no, you don't need to wear special glasses. :) The external probe that we use omits sound waves in different directions and measure those sounds wave bouncing back, much in the same way sonar works. From this information, our machine builds up a 3D image of your baby. Our 3D scans typically take a look at your baby's cute button nose and tiny fingers.
The 4D image is the term given to the 3D image moving in real-time, so you may see baby waving, having a drink, or sometimes they are naughty and may be pulling their chord.
HD is a high definition image of your baby, using an artificial light source the images of the baby are much better quality. Unlike some scan centres who charge a premium for this, here at Your Baby Scan all 3D/4D scans will feature HD iLive images
What machine do you use?
We use a variety of Mindray ultrasound machines at our scan centres, each full up to date with current standards, and regularly serviced. We evaluated ultrasound machines from a number of manufacturers including GE, Samsung and Siemens, and decided that Mindray offered a combination of most natural imaging, and innovative technology, which we can make use of.
We regularly keep our machines up to date with the latest models, software and equipment including the latest transvaginal and 4D probes.
Is an ultrasound scan safe?
There is currently no evidence to suggest that ultrasound (including 4D Bonding Scans) are harmful, however, it is important that you have all of the facts about the risks associated with the procedure before coming to your decision on the matter. In general, it's recommended for good measure to keep your scan times to a minimum, and that this is particularly during the early stages of pregnancy, for this reason, we will end scans during the very early stages of pregnancy once we have been able to provide you with the reassurance that you seek.
The following links will help:
- Public Health England guidance
- NHS Fetal Anomaly Screening Programme
- Care Quality Commission (CQC) - Choosing a baby scanning service
- British Medical Ultrasound Society (BMUS)
- EFSUMB – European Federation of Societies for Ultrasound in Medicine and Biology
Whether you choose to have a scan with us or not, it is essential that you keep your NHS Ultrasound appointments.
Does ultrasound use radiation?
It is a very common misconception that because our 2D images show a cross-sectional image in black and white, which can similar to an X-Ray in appearance, that Ultrasound also uses Radiation to capture images. Ultrasound does not use radiation to create the images that you see. Instead ultrasound uses high frequency sound (beyond that audible by humans or animals) to produce the images that you see; much in the same way as a sonar on old submarines.
What will the scan be like?
Who can I bring to my scan?
Here at Your Baby Scan we want your experience to be the complete opposite to your NHS scan. We know that they only allow 2 people to your scans. We want you to be able to share your experience with your mum, dad, nan, gran, aunt and uncle and even your neighbour! We have a large scan room with seating for 8 people, but if people don’t mind standing then the more the merrier. We have a large TV screen in Widnes, and an even bigger projection screen on the wall in Crewe, so everyone can see.
Boy or Girl I want to know, can you tell me?
Sure our sonographer will do their best to be able to sex your baby, if they cant on your first visit we will bring you back free of charge for another try.
What if I don’t want to know the Gender?
Then this is fine. Just make sure you let our sonographer know and she will try and stay away from this area
Do you charge more for twins or more babies?
No, although we would suggest a 30 minute appointment to ensure you get plenty of time to see all of your babies, you are more than welcome to come to one of our standard appointments if you have twins and you will not be charged any extra. This simply allows less time to see each of your twins.
Do I still need to have my NHS appointment?
YES, absolutely! Our sonographers want to make sure you see your baby and don't carry out a full abnormality check during your scan. Our sonographers will perform a wellbeing check during your scan, but this does not go into the level of detail required during an abnormality scan, which by itself could take up the entire time that you appointment is planned for, and would leave no time for you to bond with your baby or see them in 3D/4D. As a result, the wellbeing check doesn't cover all the things that your midwife needs to see and know so its best to still keep up with all of your NHS scans and appointments.
How can I get to you?
Do you have parking?
Yes, both of our scan centres have dedicated parking. For details specific to each scan centre click here.
Can I get to you via train or bus?
Yes you can. Both of our scan centres are located on bus routes, and main-line train lines with train stations within walking distance. You can find details for each scan centre here.
What happens if I’m late for my appointment?
If we can we will try and fit you in to accommodate you, we may have to re arrange for another day. We do ask that you try and let us know if you are going to be late or cant make your appointment. You may lose your deposit if you don’t let us know.
If you can let us know that you're on your way, but are likely to be late (e.g. stuck in traffic) then we may be able to let the next appointment go in for their scan early, and you can take their appointment slot. In any case, we'll do our very best to see you as soon as it is safe to do so.
What if the sonographer does pick up on something?
Whilst we don’t go out of the way looking for problems, if our sonographer does notice something unusual then with your permission we will refer you to your midwife or local hospital and our sonographer will provide you will a clinical report of our findings and letter to take with you.
Each of our sonographers are fully qualified in performing diagnostic obstetric ultrasound scans, so they are more than capable of measuring for example the amount of fluid around baby, or nuchal translucency inline with NHS and UK protocols, but they will not perform these measurements unless they happen to have a cause for concern.
Our sonographers will absolutely not hide away from telling you if there is something wrong.
What if you can't see my baby's face?
If we can't get a picture of your baby's face, we will do everything we can on the day. We may send you back into our waiting area with a cold drink and some sweeties to get your baby moving or we may ask you to go for a stroll which can all help to get baby moving. We suggest that if you have been traveling for a while you come earlier than your appointment time and make sure you get to have a little walk around before coming in (don't be late for your appointment).
If you have booked our Premium package which includes Face+ you will be offered the opportunity to come back on another day to try again at no additional charge. Standard package customers have the option to upgrade to Premium on the day.
Do I need a full bladder for my early scan?
For all scans up to 21 weeks we require a full bladder prior to scanning. Filling your bladder helps to lift baby out of the pelvis and make it easier (and therefore clearer) to see which is essential for checking baby's wellbeing.
Anything you drink can take around 20-30 minutes to get to your bladder so we recommend drinking around 2-3 pints of water 20-30 before your appointment time so that it has time to fill up. Anything you drink after you arrive for your appointment is likely to be filling your bladder after your scan has been completed which could make for an uncomfortable journey home.
Do I need a full bladder for a scan later in pregnancy?
Whilst it's not going to make your images any clearer attending an appointment later in pregnancy, we still recommend having a full-ish bladder for your appointment if you can. We understand that this is much harder later in pregnancy with a baby bouncing around inside you, and if you can't that's fine.
Having even a partially full bladder can help to encourage baby to move when you empty it, so it can be a good tool to help if you have a stubborn baby, but even if you have an empty bladder, we have lots of other techniques available to try to get that little one into the right position for images.