When looking into booking a private ultrasound scan, there are a few things you should consider in order to ensure that you are not only getting the best value but equally the most comprehensive scan for your money, without compromising any aspects of the service. Listed below are a few things you should keep in mind before booking an ultrasound scan.

Here are the key points to consider when choosing your scan provider:

Is the company regulated, and will your scan be carried out by qualified healthcare professionals with experience of obstetric ultrasound and 4D?

It's easy to spot a regulated provider by checking the company's name against the CQC or HIW register. Reputable, regulated companies will often display widgets linking to the relevant regulatory body on their website, thereby confirming their current 'approved' status. Regulated providers are required to operate to the highest standards, ensuring a safe experience that's conducted by qualified healthcare professionals who are experienced in the provision of obstetric care.

However, not all qualified sonographers are practised in the art of 4D, and the lack of practical experience required to produce a quality 4D scan can often result in disappointment when the standard of service advertised is not what you receive. We are proud to say that First Encounters can provide evidence of conforming to a number of regulatory standards, the details of which can be found here, All of our sonographers are carefully-selected individuals who are registered with the Health Professions Council, which means that they reach the required standards for training, professional skills, behaviour and health. They are highly experienced and practised in the provision of 4D ultrasound, and are fully committed to producing the best result possible in each unique case.

Is the latest equipment being used, and is it safe?

Many ultrasound machines used in small private studios are purchased second-hand and not supplied direct from the manufacturers with the relevant safety certification. If installed incorrectly, such machines have the potential to cause electric shocks, which may be emitted through the probe to your tummy!

It is imperative that isolation transformers are correctly installed to minimise this risk; however, while you may assume that such a safety issue would be routinely assessed as part of the regulatory assessment, such detailed checks are surprisingly not made during inspections. Therefore, this serious safety risk can often remain undetected until it’s too late.

Here at First Encounters, we use the very latest, state-of-the art equipment, which is professionally installed and regularly serviced by the manufacturer. Not only do we provide excellent quality imagery, we also ensure that safety risks to you and your baby are eliminated.

Are scans available from different providers equal and comparable in price?

Each provider will offer a selection of scans relevant to the service required; however, it is important to read between the lines.  For example, whilst the emphasis of your chosen scan may be to establish gender depiction or indeed to achieve beautiful 4D souvenir imagery, it is also vitally important that the health and wellbeing of your baby is not dismissed.

Some providers will NOT include reassurance at all, whilst others will offer a verbal wellbeing report. Here at First Encounters, we provide a written pregnancy report with every scan performed, with an obligation to ensuring that your pregnancy is progressing in line with the advised gestation age. Such evaluation ensures that, should a situation arise, the relevant action can be taken without delay.

Are the facilities satisfactory?

If possible, take a look at the clinic you'll be attending before booking your scan. You want your ultrasound experience to be as comfortable and as enjoyable as possible, especially if you're planning to share it with friends and family, so it's a good idea to research the provider's facilities ahead of time. Click here for details on First Encounters' three clinics.

Are there any reviews online?

Look for testimonials from previous clients, and make sure that the information is relevant and trustworthy. Many franchise operations provide very differing experiences, and reviews are often misleading to the people who read them.

First Encounters is managed by a core family team, who are committed to strong customer service values and ensuring that the service offered at each of our locations meets the same high standards.

Our review page includes testimonials from customers based in a variety of locations, so you can be assured that each of our facilities is highly recommended by those who have visited previously.

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A private 4D scan can be a once-in-a-lifetime experience, which offers you and your loved ones a breathtaking first glance at your baby, forming a bond that is quite simply invaluable. While some inferior clinics may be able to save you money, the difference in quality could make a huge difference to the experience you get, resulting in long-term disappointment if the service does not live up to your expectations.

We at First Encounters cannot be beaten on the quality of the service we provide. Our prices fully reflect the excellence of service we offer to each and every one of our customers; to gain a thorough understanding of what we have to offer, please visit our About Us page or view the variety of scan packages we have on offer at our clinics.
We get asked all sorts of questions here at First Encounters. When is the best time to have a scan? Are 4D ultrasound scans safe? Should I find out the sex of my baby? These are all common queries; however, the most common question of all has nothing to do with how our scans work. Rather, it's related to the cost of our 4D ultrasound packages.
 
Many people think that 3D/4D scans will be too expensive for them, but most are pleasantly surprised when they see our price list. Obviously, the exact cost depends on which package you select, but whether you want a no-frills 4D scan or the full baby bonding experience, we think you'll find our prices very reasonable indeed.

So how much does a First Encounters 4D ultrasound scan actually cost?

Anything from £89 to £169. Here's a quick list of the 4D packages we offer, with prices shown in brackets:
  • Classic4D™ (£89) - Includes full growthAssure™ report, plus 4 glossy colour photographs and a photo key ring. Gender confirmation optional.

  • Deluxe4D™ (£99) - Includes full growthAssure™ report, plus 5min video recording, 4 glossy colour photographs, and photo key ring. Gender confirmation optional.

  • Superior4D™ (£129) - Includes full growthAssure™ report, 8 glossy colour photographs, 10min MP4 video, 2 photographic key rings, and gender confirmation (if requested). You'll also receive all of your scan photos on a USB stick, making them easy to share with friends and relatives.

  • Ultimate4D™ (£159) - Our top 4D ultrasound package offers everything an expectant parent could ask for, including 12 glossy colour photographs, a 10min MP4 scan video, all scan photos on a USB stick, a heartbeat bear, 2 key rings, a photo magnet, and gender confirmation if requested.
Full Range of Packages >                                                Contact Us To Book Your 4D Ultrasound Scan >
 
Some people, upon learning that they are pregnant, want to go for a scan ASAP. If you are interested in an early pregnancy scan, we recommend our earlyAssure™ package, which is available from 8 weeks onwards. Most of the mothers who come in for an earlyAssure™ scan have yet to attend their first NHS appointment, which means that we really are giving them their very first glimpse at the child that's growing inside them.
 

Why should I get an early pregnancy scan?

The earlyAssure™ scan is primarily intended as a viability and reassurance scan. It will:
  • Confirm whether your pregnancy is viable
  • Exclude the possibility of an ectopic pregnancy
  • Find out how many babies you're carrying and when you're due
We will also monitor your baby's heartbeat and take a crown to rump measurement. Many of the women who request an early pregnancy scan have experienced vaginal bleeding and wish to ensure that their baby is healthy and that the pregnancy is viable.
 

Why can't my scan take place until I reach 8 weeks?

The use of abdominal ultrasound prior to 8 weeks gestation can often result in failure to detect a heartbeat or even achieve a good visual representation of the foetus. This prevents us from giving an accurate assessment of your pregnancy and the health of your unborn child. For this reason, we recommend 8 weeks as the minimum gestation period for an early pregnancy scan.
 
 
This package includes an earlyAssure™ report, 2 black and white photographs of your scan, and a £10 Loyalty Discount card to use against your next scan.
 
New responsive site

Our brand new website is now live! We would like to say a huge thank you to Designer Websites and Genesis Digital Solutions for the development of our new responsive website and online booking system - customers can now browse our scan packages and book appointments with ease on any device, from desktop PCs to smartphones and tablets.

We pride ourselves on the provision of the very best service available, and this starts at the point of booking. We are very proud of our new website; we trust that you will find it informative and easy to navigate, and we look forward to welcoming you in the near future!

Click here to return to our homepage, or check out our available Scan Packages now!