If you're pregnant and you've recently booked a reassurance scan, you may well be wondering what to expect on the day. Conversely, perhaps you're still trying to decide what kind of ultrasound package is right for you, in which case you may wish to learn more about the reassurance scan and what this option has to offer. Either way, the First Encounters team are here to help!
One important thing to bear in mind is that a reassurance scan is not a substitute for the standard 20 week anomaly scan that's offered by the NHS. Instead, your reassurance scan will complement the results of the NHS appointment, giving you more information and further reassurance that your baby is developing normally without aiming to reach the same level of diagnostic detail.
The main aim of a reassurance scan is to check on the progression of your pregnancy and identify the general health, growth, and wellbeing of your unborn baby. It can be carried out at any point during your pregnancy starting from 14 weeks gestation.
Your reassurance scan will reveal the following information:
- Growth measurements (including head circumference, abdominal circumference, and femur length). This information allows us to plot your baby's growth onto our average growth chart, which will tell us if your baby is developing faster or slower than average. Our ultrasound machine can also use these measurements to calculate foetal weight.
- Fluid levels will be observed - these are crucial to the wellbeing of your baby and to the safe progression of your pregnancy, so if we notice that your levels are markedly above or below the set protocol, we will use the four-quadrant technique to collect additional data that will help your NHS doctor to carry out a diagnostic evaluation.
- An audible heartbeat trace will be carried out during your reassurance scan, allowing you to hear your baby's heartbeat and helping our sonographer to ensure that the foetus is healthy.
- We will also look to identify the baby's position and the placental site to make sure everything is in the right place.
Want to book a reassurance scan?
is our standard 2D reassurance scan here at First Encounters Ultrasound. However, a reassurance scan is included in all of our ultrasound packages (with the exception of pureGender™
), so the information listed above will almost always be collected as part of your First Encounters experience.
Many people aren't quite sure of the difference between a 2D scan and a 3D/4D scan. We offer both options here at First Encounters - today, we're going to explain each option in detail, helping you to select the ultrasound scan package that suits you best.
A 4D ultrasound scan - such as our 4DGrowth&Wellbeing™ package - allows you to see what your baby really looks like via detailed three-dimensional footage. Some clinics offer '3D scans', which give still images of your baby; here at First Encounters, we specialise in 4D ultrasound, which allows you to see your baby moving around in real time. 3D scans produce photographs; 4D scans produce video footage.
Here are some further details about our 4D scans:
- 3D/4D ultrasound technology renders an image from the surface of your baby's skin for unparalleled detail
- Scan footage is projected onto a large plasma television screen, allowing you and your guests to watch
- Our 4D scans are popular among expectant mothers who have already received their dating and anomaly scans, and who now wish to take a closer look at the baby that's growing inside them. Our 4D scans make fantastic baby bonding experiences, giving you a detailed glimpse into your baby's world and bringing you a little bit closer to the child you're about to bring into the world.
- Some of our 4D scan packages (e.g. 4DGrowth&Wellbeing™) include complimentary baby sexing; others allow you to find out the sex upon request. However, gender confirmation is always done via a 2D ultrasound scan, even if your package includes 3D/4D imaging.
- After your 4D scan, you will have the opportunity to purchase a variety of lovely souvenirs that can be shared with friends and relatives. These range from printed photographs and DVDs to key rings, fridge magnets, and our adorable Heartbeat Teddies (featuring your unborn baby's heartbeat!)
2D ultrasound scans don't offer the same level of detail as our 4D packages - you won't really be able to see your baby's face, for example - but they still allow our sonographers to get all the important information about your child. Options like our Growth&Wellbeing™
package are designed to reassure you about your baby's growth and wellbeing; other 2D scan packages can even tell you whether your unborn baby is a boy or a girl!
Here's a little more information on our 2D baby scans:
- A 2D ultrasound scan produces a black-and-white image that show's your baby's skeletal make-up and allows the sonographer to identify any potential anomalies. As previously mentioned, this two-dimensional view is also ideal for gender confirmation, but please check if this is available with your chosen scan.
- While a 2D scan doesn't afford the same level of detail and bonding as a full 4D package, you and your guests will still be able to watch the scan on our plasma screen TV and purchase a variety of cute souvenirs after the appointment.
Still not sure which scan is right for you?