As it's nearly Christmas, we thought we'd embrace the spirit of generosity here at First Encounters Ultrasound and offer all the expectant parents out there a couple of new scan packages at super-low prices!
Details about our special scan offers can be found below. Be sure to book your scan sooner rather than later - we have a limited number of appointment slots, and these offers will only be available for so long!
Our genderWellbeing™ package includes both a gender scan and a wellbeing scan. This means that you can find out the sex of your unborn baby AND ensure that your pregnancy is progressing as expected.
This scan package also includes:
- 4 x black and white photographs of your baby (2D)
- 1 x gender reveal scratch card to give to friends/family
- A short glimpse of your unborn baby in 4D
- Photo2Fone™ (your scan images sent to your smartphone)
The Custom4D™ package is a truly great deal because it allows you to see your baby in stunning HDlive vision
for just £50! You can also customise this package in any way you choose by paying to add extra souvenirs and add-ons to your experience. Whether you're looking for an affordable, no-frills baby bonding experience or a deluxe package that's specifically tailored to your preferences, this is the option for you!
Here are some examples of the souvenirs and other extras that you can add to your Custom4D™ experience:
- Find out your baby's gender (+£10)
- MP4 scan video and .jpg photos on USB stick (+£10)
- Heartbeat bear (+£20)
- Photo key ring (+£2.50 each)
- Photo magnet (+£3.50 each)
- Colour photographs (+£2.50 each)
Any questions about these baby scan offers? Give us a call on 02920 732671 or click here to browse our full list of available scan packages!
We offer a wide selection of scan packages
here at First Encounters, and we realise that first-time visitors to our website may be a little uncertain as to which baby scan is right for them. We want to make sure that you have the best possible experience when you visit your nearest First Encounters clinic
, and so we'd like to take a moment to explain the difference between each of our scan options.
Broadly speaking, our 11 available scan packages can be grouped into 3 different categories. These are as follows:
🤰 Reassurance Scans
These scans inspect your baby's growth and development, giving you extra peace of mind during your pregnancy.
- Ensure that your pregnancy is viable
- Check the health of your unborn baby
- Spot any concerns or complications
Our Reassurance Scan Packages:
2D viability, dating and reassurance scan. Includes 2 x black and white photographs.
2D growth, reassurance and wellbeing scan. Includes 2 x black and white photographs.
♀ Gender Scans
Find out whether you're having a boy or a girl!
- Learn your baby's gender
- 99.99% accurate
- Available from 16 weeks
Our Gender Scan Packages:
2D baby sexing scan. Includes 4 x black and white photographs.
2D sexing, growth, reassurance and wellbeing scan. Includes 4 x black and white photographs and a 4dGlimpse™ (a short glimpse of your baby in full 4D vision).
2D sexing, growth, reassurance and wellbeing scan. Includes 4 x black and white photographs, MP4 video recording of scan and all imagery supplied on disc, a Heartbeat Bear, a gender reveal scratch card and a 4dGlimpse (a short glimpse of your baby in full 4D vision)
🚼 2D Bonding & Reassurance Scans
A wonderful bonding experience and a great way to check on your baby's development.
- Ensure that there are no problems with your pregnancy
- Option to find out the gender
- Available from 16 weeks
Our 2D Bonding & Reassurance Scan Packages:
2D growth, reassurance and wellbeing scan with gender confirmation (optional). Also includes a video recording for you to take home.
👶 4D Bonding & Reassurance Scans
A detailed look into your baby's world - see your unborn child in detailed 4D vision!
- State-of-the-art HDlive technology provides the ultimate bonding experience
- Take home a range of wonderful souvenirs
- Guaranteed re-scan if we can't get a good view of your baby
Our 4D Scan Packages:
4D bonding, reassurance, growth and wellbeing scan. Includes 4 x colour photographs. Gender confirmation optional.
4D bonding, reassurance, growth and wellbeing scan. Includes 4 x colour photographs, a photo key ring, and a 5 minute video recording to take home. Gender confirmation optional.
4D bonding, reassurance, growth and wellbeing scan. Includes 8 x colour photographs, 2 x photo key rings, and a 10 minute video recording to take home. Gender confirmation optional.
4D bonding, reassurance, growth and wellbeing scan. Includes 12 x colour photographs, 2 x photo key rings, a Heartbeat Bear
, and a 10 minute video recording to take home. Gender confirmation optional.
Expectant parents are often very keen to discover the gender of their unborn baby, and understandably so - knowing the gender is one of those things that really helps you to feel closer to your little bundle of joy. The people who come to our clinics for gender scans
frequently tell us that the baby seems a lot more 'real' to them once our sonographer has revealed whether it's a boy or a girl, and besides, finding out the sex is a nice little milestone to get excited for when the birth itself still seems a long way off.
With all of that in mind, it's easy to see why mums-to-be and dads-in-waiting might want to attend a gender scan as soon as possible. But attend a gender scan too early in your pregnancy, and it may be impossible to accurately identify the gender - a foetus doesn't develop sexual characteristics until a few weeks in, and nothing conclusive will actually be visible on an ultrasound scan until a little while after that.
What's the earliest I can have a gender scan?
Here at First Encounters Ultrasound we don't offer any gender confirmation scans before 16 weeks gestation. Other scan providers may offer slightly earlier scans, but we would strongly recommend that you do not attend a baby gender scan until at least the 16-week mark. Any earlier, and your baby probably won't have developed sufficiently for accurate gender identification.
Is it worth waiting a little longer?
While we're happy to provide gender scans from 16 weeks onwards, it's worth bearing in mind that not all babies develop at the same speed. Very occasionally, someone will come in for gender confirmation at 16 weeks and the sonographer still won't be able to find positive visual confirmation of the baby's sex. In these cases, we'll usually offer a complimentary re-scan at a later date (we'll never guess the gender if we're not confident in our prediction!) but to avoid disappointment, you may wish to wait an extra few days just to make sure that your baby has developed to the point where we're able to identify the gender.
You may have heard - or read - about the 'Doppler' heart monitors that are currently very popular among expectant parents. Dopplers are small handheld devices that use ultrasound technology to monitor your unborn baby's heartbeat, ostensibly giving you an easy way to hear your child's heartbeat in the comfort of your own home.
It's easy to imagine why these devices have become so popular. They are relatively cheap to purchase, and when they work, they enable you to hear the heartbeat (a very moving experience for many parents-in-waiting) without having to visit a hospital or a private ultrasound clinic.
But there's one problem with Dopplers that we've come across time and again: they sometimes fail to find a heartbeat. Unborn babies tend to move around and change position a lot (especially prior to 30 weeks gestation), and this means that it is often very difficult to find the right spot. And even if you do find the right spot, there's still no guarantee that you'll hear anything - our highly-trained sonographers occasionally struggle to pick up an audible heartbeat, and that's with a visual representation of the baby on-screen.
When a Doppler fails to deliver an audible heartbeat, it can understandably be a source of panic for the mother. In the majority of cases, the foetus turns out to be absolutely fine, but getting stressed and rushing to the hospital is neither healthy nor a particularly enjoyable experience when you're pregnant!
This isn't to say that Doppler monitors should necessarily be avoided. They have provided many heartwarming moments for expectant parents, and in some cases, they can be a great source of reassurance. However, they can also have the opposite effect, breeding panic when in reality the unborn baby is perfectly healthy. Please bear this in mind before using a Doppler, and remember that these handheld home devices are no substitute for a full ultrasound scan carried out by a registered health professional.
We have seen a few scan providers who do offer home visits, but these really are best avoided, for the following reasons:
- Portable scanning equipment is generally inferior to the state-of-the-art machinery found in the best ultrasound clinics
- Plugging equipment into an unprotected power source may result in electric shock to the mother / baby
- As explained here, regulated scan providers in England are not allowed to perform home scans as regulation only extends to a clinic environment
As much as we'd like to offer our clients the full First Encounters experience in the comfort of their own homes, there are simply too many obstacles - we wouldn't be able to deliver the professional, high-quality service that's available in our clinics.
Click here to see details of our ultrasound clinics in Cardiff and Bristol, or visit our Scan Packages page to browse the baby scan packages we offer.
earlyAssure™ scans available in Bristol and Cardiff
Here in the UK, an expectant mother generally won't get to see her unborn child until she attends her NHS dating scan, which tends to takes place at the end of the first trimester (i.e. roughly 12-13 weeks into the pregnancy). However, if you feel you require some reassurance prior to that point, you may want to consider booking an early pregnancy scan
with First Encounters Ultrasound.
How soon can I have an early pregnancy scan?Our earlyAssure™ early pregnancy scan package is available at 8-13 weeks gestation. Most of the expectant parents who come to us for an earlyAssure™ scan have not yet attended their first NHS scan, and so in these cases we serve as a first line of reassurance, offering mums- and dads-to-be a little extra peace of mind ahead of the hospital appointment.
What's included in an early pregnancy scan?
The earlyAssure™ experience is a 2D ultrasound scan that's geared towards dating, viability, and your own reassurance. We will ensure that your pregnancy is viable and estimate a due date based on a crown-to-rump measurement; we will also check yolk sac positioning.
Here's what you'll go home with after attending an early pregnancy scan at First Encounters:
You'll also have the option to purchase additional souvenirs
, such as photographic fridge magnets, keyrings, and extra photos to share with family and friends.
Why get an early scan?
Here are some reasons why you may wish to get an early pregnancy scan:
- If you are worried because you have experienced vaginal bleeding, an early scan will make sure that your pregnancy is still viable
- An early scan will also exclude the possibility that you are suffering an ectopic pregnancy (learn more about ectopic pregnancies here)
- Unlike the NHS scan (which you should still attend whether you decide to get an earlyAssure™ scan or not), a private scan will give you the opportunity to take home souvenirs such as those listed above
Visit our earlyAssure™ page now to book your early pregnancy scan, or click here to see the other scan packages we offer.