An expectant mother in the UK usually receives at least two ultrasound scans over the course of her pregnancy. The first is a 'dating' scan that gives her an approximate idea of when her baby will be born; the second is used to check for anomalies in the unborn child.
Given that these hospital scans are offered at no charge, you may wonder why so many people also choose to pay for private scans with companies like us. What, exactly, do we offer that the free scans don't?
We're glad you asked! Here are 5 reasons to book a private ultrasound scan with First Encounters
1) 3D/4D technology. Your hospital scans will be carried out using standard 2D ultrasound equipment, which is perfectly adequate for checking on the health of your baby but not ideal if you want to take a closer look at what he or she looks like! Our clinics are equipped with the latest 3D/4D ultrasound equipment, giving you the opportunity to glimpse into your baby's world and see ahead of time which parent the unborn child most resembles.
2) Gender confirmation. Depending on the hospital you visit, you may not have the option of finding out your baby's sex during your standard scans (some hospitals refuse to discuss the gender of unborn babies as a matter of policy). However, we at First Encounters are more than happy to help you find out whether baby is a girl or a boy, and - as an added bonus - you'll be able to keep your friends and relatives guessing with the help of our cute Gender Reveal Cards.
3) Photos and DVDs. Many hospitals do not provide take-home pictures of the babies they scan, and those that do will often charge extra for this service. All First Encounters scan packages include at least 2 photographs as part of the price, and several also include DVD recordings of your scan footage.
4) Comfortable, spacious clinics.
Let's face it: hospitals aren't always the nicest places to be, and if you're planning to bring guests along to your ultrasound scan, you may prefer to bring them to a spacious, relaxed environment that will allow them to feel comfortable while they wait to meet your baby. We have clinics in Bristol
, and both are designed to give everyone present the best possible experience on the day of your scan.
Finally, we offer a range of fantastic souvenirs
that no hospital will ever provide. You can get your unborn baby's picture on a key ring or fridge magnet; you can get a printed report that serves as a permanent record of your scan and its findings; you can even get your baby's heartbeat recorded onto one of our adorable Heartbeat Bears!
Convinced? Click here to book your First Encounters Ultrasound scan, or call 02920 732671 to speak with our customer service team!
Once your pregnancy has reached the second trimester, you may want to find out whether your unborn child is a boy or a girl. There was a time when expectant parents simply had to wait until the big day to discover the gender of their new arrival, but modern technology makes it possible to learn the sex of a baby months before he or she is delivered.
If you want to know whether to expect a little girl or a baby boy, First Encounters Ultrasound offer the following gender scan packages:
Gender confirmation is also offered alongside many of our other ultrasound packages - simply advise your sonographer if you wish to learn the sex of your baby, and they will be happy to tell you.
2D sexing scan, 18-26 weeks, includes 2 black and white photographs
2D sexing/reassurance/growth/wellbeing scan, 16-32 weeks, includes 4 black and white photographs
2D sexing/reassurance/growth scan and 4D bonding scan, 20-32 weeks, includes 4 colour photographs
Gender Confirmation - Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Why should I find out the sex of my baby?
A: Not everyone wants to know their baby's gender ahead of time, and you may prefer to keep it as a surprise, but many expectant parents request gender confirmation to help them decide on a name, decorate the nursery, pick out clothing, and so forth. Others simply find that knowing the gender helps them to feel closer to their baby - it's easier to picture your future child when you know whether they're going to be male or female!
Q: Do ultrasound scans ever get the gender wrong?
A: No sexing scan is 100% infallible, and the opinion of your sonographer should not be taken as an airtight guarantee that your child will turn out to be the gender specified. However, we will point out that - should you visit our clinic to find out the sex of your baby - your scan will be carried out by a fully-qualified obstetric ultrasound specialist with extensive knowledge and experience. They will give you their professional opinion regarding your baby's gender, and this will almost always turn out to be correct.
Q: How soon can I find out my baby's sex?
A: Your baby's sexual organs won't be visible on an ultrasound until roughly the 14-week mark, and even then it can be difficult to accurately judge his or her gender. We recommend waiting until you are 16 weeks pregnant to undergo a gender confirmation scan.
Q: Can I have a 4D bonding scan without finding out my baby's gender?
A: Of course! We appreciate that some people don't want to know the sex ahead of time, and so our sonographers will not reveal anything unless you specifically ask them to do so. Feel free to give us a call on 02920 732671 to tell us exactly what you want from your scan - we'll be more than happy to recommend a package that suits your needs.