How do 3D & 4D scans differ from 2D scans?
2D, 3D and 4D ultrasound scans all use sound waves to generate an image of your baby. But, unlike 2D scans, 3D and 4D scans are able to capture three-dimensional images of your baby. A 3D scan is a still image and a 4D scan captures a video showing your baby moving around inside the womb.
3D and 4D scans aren’t typically made available to mums until around 24 weeks because time needs to be allowed for your baby to grow and gain some weight. If you have a 3D or 4D scan earlier, you might be disappointed by the results because your baby’s facial features won’t be fully developed yet.
At 16-weeks, 2D ultrasound scans can tell you lots about your baby, including; baby’s gender, size and overall wellbeing.
What can I expect at a 16-week 2D ultrasound at First Encounters?
At First Encounters, we offer a range of insightful 2D scans to mums at 16-weeks. Our gender’N’growth™ scan and Premier gender’N’growth™ also offer a 4dGlimpse™ of your baby.
What can I expect at a 4D Bonding & Reassurance scan at First Encounters?
At First Encounters, our 4D scans are available from 24-32 weeks. You and up to six guests can watch your unborn baby in motion. All of our 4D scans are displayed onto a large HD LED screen in our spacious scanning room while we capture stunning 3D photographs for you to keep. We also provide aPhoto2fone™ service that gives you an easy-to-access digital copy of your scan images.
If you want to find out what else is included in our 4D Bonding and Reassurance Scans, or if you want to book in for a 16-week Gender Scan, then please visit our website to find out more information and book yours today.
It is very common amongst expectant mothers to have a third-trimester growth scan, between 28 and 32 weeks gestation, to check that their baby is growing the way it should be. Here we look at some of the frequently asked questions surrounding this scan such as why it is needed, what happens during and what can the results tell you.
Why do you need to have a growth scan at 32 weeks?
As mentioned, this scan is conducted to ensure that your baby is developing and growing as expected. Hospitals may offer this scan as a routine or may recommend it if they suspect too much amniotic fluid. As a result of this scan, you will be able to see:
- The position of your baby in the womb
- If your baby is smaller or larger than expected
What happens during your 32-week growth scan?
Your growth scan will be conducted in the exact same way as all your other ultrasound scans, using gel on your stomach and a transducer device which allows you to see an image of your baby. Here, your sonographer will be able to:
- Evaluate the volume of amniotic fluid surrounding your baby
- Measure your baby’s head, abdomen and thigh bone
- Measure the blood flow around your baby’s body
What does the 32-week growth scan tell you?
The 32-week growth scan looks at your baby’s wellbeing by measuring its biophysical profile. During the scan, the sonographer will be looking to see if your baby:
- Opens and closes its hands
- Stretches and flexes
- Moves its arms and legs frequently
- Makes breathing movements
From this scan, the sonographer will be able to see if your baby is small for gestational age (smaller than expected), possibly due to a lack of the necessary nutrition through the placenta or restricted levels of oxygen. Or if your baby is larger than expected, which is usually not a medical concern. If for some reason your baby is significantly larger than expected, you may need to get tested for gestational diabetes, a measure for the levels of glucose in your blood. High levels could result in birthing complications and enhance the likelihood of induced labour or a caesarean. In regards to the position of your baby, this scan will show whether your baby is head down (normal position), feet first (breech position) or laying sideways (transverse position). Your doctor may advise you to have an ECV (External Cephalic Version) if your baby is in breech position. This is a completely safe procedure whereby a surgeon pushes down and around on your abdomen in order to turn your baby into a normal head-down position for birth.
Our scan packages
Here at First Encounters, we offer a fantastic growth scan package that is available to you from 14-40 weeks gestation. Our growthAssure™ scan focuses on many of the things listed above such as growth and weight calculations, placenta position, fluid volume measurements and identification of baby position. All of which is documented in a growthAssure™ Report that you can take home and keep. To view further information on this scan or any of our scan packages, hit the links below!
If you have specific questions regarding any of our ultrasound scan packages, please do not hesitate to get in touch with us today – contact or send an enquiry.
growthAssure™ Ultrasound Scan >
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.
We all love a bargain, and if you're interested in booking a 4D baby scan and getting a breathtaking glimpse of your unborn baby's face, you may be tempted to visit a deals / vouchers website like Groupon or Wowcher to see what discounts are currently available online. Groupon in particular seems to be perpetually flooded with dirt-cheap 4D ultrasound packages, with providers sometimes cutting their prices by 50% or even more in the hope of filling up more scan slots.
However, before you book a discounted 4D scan through a Groupon or Wowcher deal, here are some things you should take into consideration:
Many of the scan providers on Groupon are fairly new companies.
Offering a heavily-discounted scan package through a website like Groupon is a popular way for new scan providers with no established market presence to 'get the word out', as it were. An eye-catching offer can be a good way to get people talking about your company, and the hope is that customers who get the cut-price package will come back later for a full-price scan and/or recommend the clinic to their friends and family members in future.
The problem for customers, however, is that brand new companies have no track record by which to judge them. Established scan providers tend to have lots of reviews online, but when you go to a recently-opened ultrasound clinic that's using Groupon and Wowcher to drive that initial burst of bookings, you may not have any way of knowing whether they are able to provide a safe, satisfactory scanning experience using the right methods and equipment. This could mean that the sonographer is unable to capture good-quality footage of your baby, and in the worst cases, it could even put you / your baby in danger (e.g. from electric shocks).
Scan time may be very limited, and you may not be offered a re-scan.
We've found that many providers who sell their scan packages for reduced prices compensate for this by packing as many scan slots into the day as possible. This means that each customer's scan period must be rigidly adhered to and that's not always conducive to a satisfactory scan experience. For example, if the company has allotted 10 minutes for your 4D scan and the sonographer finds upon commencing the scan that your baby is facing the wrong way, you may not have time to go for a walk and try again because this would cause you to overrun your 10-minute window and cut into the next customer's appointment.
When this happens, most companies would offer a re-scan on a different date, but the fine print on Groupon offers often includes a stipulation like this:
"If satisfactory imagery cannot be obtained, no re-scan will be offered."
This means that you would have to pay full price for another appointment if your first, discounted appointment did not yield satisfactory scan footage / photos.
Why choose First Encounters?
Here at First Encounters Ultrasound, we never run offers through websites like Groupon or Wowcher - all of our scan packages are priced as seen here
. However, we believe that we provide an experience that's far superior to any you'll get through those websites. Here are just a few of the reasons why:
- All of our scans are performed by qualified, experienced medical professionals.
- We only use certified safe equipment from GE Healthcare.
- Our appointment slots always include time for multiple scan attempts.
- We always offer a complimentary re-scan if satisfactory imagery cannot be obtained on your first scan date.
- Our reputation is second to none - just look at the reviews on our Facebook page!
In the past, expectant parents weren't able to meet their baby until he or she was born. But thanks to the miracles of modern ultrasound technology, mums- and dads-to-be no longer have to wait that long!
Of course, ultrasound scans have been with us for over half a century, but the images captured during 'traditional' ultrasound scans - while useful for diagnostic purposes - don't give a particularly good impression of what the baby actually looks
like. However, more recent breakthroughs have allowed us to get a good, clear look at an unborn baby's face, and thanks to the latest HDlive technology
from GE Healthcare, we at First Encounters are able to offer an truly unparalleled level of detail to parents who are keen to sneak a peek at their 'bun in the oven'.
This image was captured using a GE Voluson E6 with HDlive technology. As of July 2016, all of our 3D/4D scans are conducted using a Voluson E6.
to compare our packages and book your baby scan online, or read on to find out what you can expect when you meet your baby at our clinic!
What to expect from your First Encounters scan
We have two ultrasound clinics: one in Cardiff
, and another in Bristol
. Both have ample parking available for customer use, so don't worry about finding a space!
Once you've arrived, we'll welcome you into our spacious, modern clinic and show you to one of our comfortable scanning rooms (all of which have room for up to six guests - everyone is welcome, including young children!).
One of our scanning rooms.
Our sonographer will make sure you're comfortable and feeling at ease before commencing the scan. The scan itself will take anywhere from 5 to 20 minutes depending on the package
you've selected. With any luck, we'll be able to get a great look at your baby on the first attempt, but if they're feeling camera shy we may ask you take a gentle stroll in order to get them moving.
During the scan, you'll see your baby in crisp HDlive vision - you should be able to tell which parent they most resemble, and you may even be lucky enough to see them smiling or waving back at you from the plasma screen!#
After your scan, you can collect all of the gifts and souvenirs included in your chosen scan package, as well as any others that you've decided to add on (click here
to view what we have to offer).