First Encounters Safe Scan
Here at First Encounters Ultrasound, we are dedicated to the safety and wellbeing of everyone who visits our clinics. No matter which of our scan packages you select, we want you to feel completely confident and reassured when you choose us as your scan provider.

As you browse our website, you will likely see our 'Safe Scan' badge on a number of different pages. This is our own personal seal of quality, and it represents our commitment to keeping you safe from potential hazards and health risks when you undergo a First Encounters baby scan.

We accomplish this in two ways: by employing experienced, qualified sonographers and by using certified state-of-the-art scanning equipment from the world's leading supplier.

Our Sonographers

Our sonographers - the members of staff responsible for carrying out each scan - are all qualified health professionals who are capable of identifying diagnostic issues as well as capturing high-quality souvenir imagery. Every First Encounters sonographer is registered with either the Health Professionals Council (HPC) or the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC), which means that they meet these regulators' exacting standards in a range of important areas such as hygiene and professional behaviour.

All of our sonographers are fully qualified, fully trained, and highly experienced. They all hold postgraduate diplomas and know exactly how to conduct a safe scan that gets the best possible results for the expectant mother while keeping her and her unborn child completely protected throughout. 

Our Equipment

The equipment we use to carry out our scans is all supplied by GE Healthcare, the world's leading manufacturer of ultrasound/baby scanning equipment. Our 2D, 3D and 4D scans are performed using the GE Voluson E6, with HDlive technology that's capable of capturing clearer, crisper images than ever before.

More importantly, though, all of our machines are rigorously tested and certified safe for use, so rest assured that your safety will be preserved no matter what type of scan you opt for.

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There are countless ultrasound clinics operating in the UK today, but many of them don't go anywhere near far enough in the safety measures they take. An alarming number of scan providers don't employ registered health professionals or use certified scanning equipment, and this approach can unfortunately lead to dire consequences.

Here at First Encounters, we do everything we possibly can to ensure the safety of you and your unborn child. Click here to browse our available scan packages, or feel free to contact us now if you have any further questions.
Reasons to choose First Encounters Ultrasound

As demand for 4D ultrasound scans increases, we're seeing more and more new people entering the field and offering to provide baby scan experiences at competitive prices. Sadly, the quality of the service provided varies hugely from one company to the next, and it's heartbreaking when expectant parents pay for a private scan and end up with low-grade images that are barely even worth sharing.

Here at First Encounters, we strive to deliver the best possible service to our customers. We firmly believe that we're head and shoulders above most scan providers operating in the UK today - here are 10 reasons why:

1. We are an approved and regulated scan provider.

First Encounters Ultrasound is registered with and approved by the Care Quality Commission. As a CQC-regulated provider, we ensure that you are cared for by qualified healthcare professionals (our sonographers) who are licensed to perform ultrasound scans using equipment that is certified safe for purpose.

2. We employ licensed sonographers who are qualified and experienced.

All of our sonographers are registered with the Health Professionals Council, the regulator for health professionals throughout the UK. In order to achieve HPC-registered status, one must meet the Council's standards for training, behaviour, health/hygiene, and professional skills. Many of the 4D ultrasound scan packages currently flooding the market are NOT carried out by registered healthcare professionals, which could mean that potential complications with your pregancy go undetected.

3. We use advanced GE Healthcare equipment with HDlive technology.

Our scans are carried out using the latest GE Voluson E6 ultrasound machines, with genuine HDlive technology. GE Healthcare are the #1 manufacturer for the baby scan sector and their equipment is championed by legitimate scan clinics across the globe - no other unit comes close to the standard of clarity that our machines produce (especially when it comes to 4D HDlive scans).

4. Our equipment is certified safe for purpose.

Every piece of machinery we use to carry out our customers' baby scans is inspected, tested, and certified safe for purpose. Many scan providers, sadly, do not meet this standard, using uncertified and potentially unsafe equipment that puts both mother and baby at risk.

5. We are accomplished in both diagnostic and souvenir imaging.

Our sonographers specialise in diagnostic ultrasound scanning, meaning that they are qualified to carry out your souvenir scan AND assess the health and growth of your unborn child. 

6. We provide printed pregnancy reports with every scan.

Everyone who undergoes a scan at one of our clinics also receives a First Encounters pregnancy report. This is a detailed document containing all the information we gather during your scan, such as gestation age, estimated due date, various measurements, and the position of your baby inside the womb.

7. All of our employees are trusted, caring professionals.

We've already described the qualifications and accreditations that our sonographers hold, but just as important is the friendly, caring approach employed by everyone here at First Encounters, from our administrative staff to the sonographers themselves. We do everything we can to make each customer feel totally welcome and completely at ease when they come for their scan.

8. Our scans are carried out in a relaxed, spacious clinic environment.

As mentioned above, we're committed to ensuring that expectant parents feel relaxed and at ease in our clinics. Our clinics are comfortable and modern, with enough space to accommodate everyone who might attend. We also maintain very high standards of hygiene and safety within our clinics.

9. Children, family and friends are always welcome.

Each scanning room has space for up to 6 guests. You are more than welcome to bring anyone you wish, including friends, relatives, and even young children who are eager to say hello to the newest member of the family!

10. We offer a comprehensive and competitive range of scan packages.

Unlike many providers who simply offer a single 'one-size-fits-all' scan package, we have ten different packages to choose from. The best package for you will depend on the type of images you wish to capture, how far along you are, and the souvenirs you want to take home after the scan. Click here to compare the available options.

Still not convinced? Take a look at our Reviews page, or look at what our customers have been saying about us on Facebook!
We are very pleased to announce that First Encounters customers will now have access to a brand new scan package: the Classic3D™!

This package will combine the amazing experience of 3D imagery with the benefits of our reAssure™ scan, providing you with fabulous souvenir imagery while also allowing you to track the health, growth, and wellbeing of your little one. During your scan, you will be given the opportunity to discover the sex of your baby; however, this will be your choice, and you can rest assured that we will never spoil the surprise if you'd rather not know!

Classic3D™ scan will allow you to view your unborn baby in stunning 3D imagery; you will also receive a set of high-resolution images to commemorate your experience. This brand new package is available in both our Bristol and Cardiff clinics, which can be found here:

Studio B12,
Pure Business Park,
Kestrel Court, Harbour Road,
Portishead, BS20 7AN

Caron House, Oak Tree Court,
Mulberry Drive,
Cardiff Gate Business Park,
Cardiff, CF23 8RS

If you would like to find out more about the Classic3D™ package, please click here or get in touch with the First Encounters Ultrasound team.
When you book an ultrasound scan with First Encounters, you can be sure that you will receive a truly comprehensive service from our team of experienced sonographers, who will give you a unique and memorable experience to treasure for a lifetime. We realise that your scan will be a rather emotional process with lots of new information to take in, and so we provide each of our customers with a personalised pregnancy report once the scan is complete. This report can be taken home and kept forever as a souvenir of your scan.
 
There are three different First Encounters pregnancy reports, each one containing slightly different information. Which one you receive will depend on the scan package you select. Here's what they look like:
 
First Encounters Pregnancy Reports
 
Aside from making lovely keepsakes, the purpose of these reports is to document as much information about your baby as possible, giving you a written record of your unborn child's status at the time of your scan. This will give you something to reflect on following the scan, allowing you to better retain vital details about your pregnancy that you may have missed during your visit or simply forgotten about afterwards.
 
The pregnancy report also provides an invaluable indication of your baby's health, allowing you to identify any potential complications or abnormalities.
 
Here's a quick summary of what is included in each pregnancy report:
 

earlyAssure™ Report

Included with the following scan packages:
This pregnancy report includes the following information:
  • Essential details (heartbeat confirmation, indications of movement, number of foetuses)
  • Amniotic fluid levels
  • Gestation age 
  • Estimated date of delivery (EDD, also known as your 'due date')
  • Crown-rump length
 

Wellbeing Observation™ Report

Included with the following scan packages:
This pregnancy report includes the following information:
  • Essential details
  • Position of baby (indicated via diagram)
  • Amniotic fluid levels
  • Placenta position
  • Gestation age
  • Due date
  • Baby's gender (male or female)
 

growthAssure™ Report

Included with the following scan packages:
This pregnancy report includes the following information:
  • Essential details
  • Position of baby (indicated via diagram)
  • Amniotic fluid levels
  • Placenta position
  • Gestation age
  • Due date
  • Growth details (including head and abdominal circumference, femur length)
  • Baby's gender (if requested)
In the unlikely event that we need to provide you with a referral, these details will also be noted at the bottom of your report.
 
If you would like more information about our range of scan packages, you can view them in greater detail here. If you have any further questions, please get in touch with us and let us know how we can help.

There is very little in life that compares to the very special feeling and excitement that comes with being pregnant. Undergoing an ultrasound scan, keeping track of your baby’s development, and watching them grow can provide very special bonding moments for a couple that’s expecting.  

In addition to providing these special moments for new families, scans can also pick up potential health issues and warning signs that can be caught by attending private scans in addition to the usual 8-14 week NHS Scan. Your baby’s health is our main priority here at First Encounters, so all of our sonographers are fully trained to identify any potential health issues during your scan.  

During every scan, we perform some essential checks to ensure that your baby is growing and developing at a healthy rate. Firstly, we measure your baby’s growth in the womb and compare this to the average for how far along you are. If your baby is significantly smaller or larger than average, this can indicate a problem; if your baby appears small, then this could mean that your baby is not growing properly. This can be because your baby is not getting the oxygen it needs to thrive. There are many reasons as to why this can be, such as abnormalities in the placenta, medical conditions, or the fact that you are carrying twins.  If one of our sonographers identifies this to be an issue, we will inform you immediately and refer you to a hospital if we feel that this is necessary. 

Secondly, we will measure your amniotic fluid levels. When you are pregnant, your growing baby is protected inside an amniotic sac within your womb. This sac is filled with fluid to protect your baby from harm if your tummy is bumped or squashed while you are pregnant. The amount of amniotic fluid increases throughout your pregnancy; however, if your baby is smaller than expected for the date, it could be because you have low fluid levels. 

Our sonographer will check your fluid levels, and if we find any abnormalities, we will refer you to a hospital to get a professional medical opinion. 

As well as determining the due date and the gender of your baby, private pregnancy scans are designed to reassure you that you and your baby are developing well, and that there are no issues throughout your pregnancy.  A private scan should NEVER be used as a substitute for a standard hospital scan, but undergoing a private scan in addition to your NHS scans can alert sonographers to potential health issues that were not present (or visible) at first. 

Click here to book your pregnancy scan with First Encounters. For more news and advice about your pregnancy, follow First Encounters on Twitter