In this age of instant uploads and social media sharing, we realise that many of our customers wish to access and share their scan images quickly and efficiently via their mobile phones & laptops.

 
In order to give expectant parents both a physical keepsake and an easy-to-access digital copy of their scan images, we have decided to introduce a brand new photocloud service for First Encounters customers. This service allows you to access the scan images that come with your chosen package on your personal devices, enabling you to instantly view, download, and share your precious imagery. You can print and distribute your images from our photocloud™ however you like!
 
You will be able to access your scan images via photocloud™ for up to one month after the date of your scan, and we try to upload your images to the photocloud™ within one hour of your scan finishing. This service is available with selected scan packages at both our Cardiff and Bristol clinics.
 
Click here to browse our full range of scan packages, or if you've already had your scan with us - head over to the photocloud™ page and use your unique password to access your photos!
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 £99 to £169. Here's a quick list of the 4D packages we offer, with prices shown in brackets:
  • Classic4D&Growth™ (£99) - Includes full growthAssure™ report, plus 4 glossy colour photographs and a photo key ring. Gender confirmation optional.
  • Deluxe4D&Growth™ (£109) - Includes full growthAssure™ report, plus 5-minute video recording, 4 glossy colour photographs, and photo key ring. Gender confirmation optional.
  • Ultimate4D&Growth™ (£169) - Our top 4D ultrasound package offers everything an expectant parent could ask for, including 12 glossy colour photographs, a 10-minute MP4 scan video, all scan photos on a USB stick, a heartbeat teddy, 2 key rings, a photo magnet, and gender confirmation if requested.

4D footage is amazing if you want to bond with your baby. We were able to capture this adorable little baby smiling! 

As you can see, we offer a huge range of 4D ultrasound scans that are sure to suit whatever requirements and budget you have! Take a look at the full range of 2D and 4D scans we offer here by clicking the button below or give us a call on 02920 732671 to book your 4D scan today!

View All Scan Packages >

Given that pregnant women in the UK receive two (and, in some cases, more than two) free ultrasound scans on the NHS, some people may be a little unsure as to what private scan providers like First Encounters bring to the table. How do private baby scans differ from their government-funded counterparts? Is a hospital scan still necessary if you're planning to undergo a private scan anyway?
 
 
Well, first of all, we'd like to make one thing perfectly clear: our scans are not intended to replace the dating and anomaly scans offered by the NHS.  Under no circumstances do we recommend getting a private scan instead of a standard hospital scan; instead, services like ours are intended to complement the crucial NHS scans, allowing you to monitor the vital signs across a longer period and enhancing the pregnancy experience for you and those closest to you. 

Monitoring your pregnancy

Here are some examples of the data that our sonographers will record when you come in for your private scan:
  • Growth measurements
  • Weight measurements
  • Baby position
  • Placenta position
  • Fluid levels (low fluid levels can be dangerous and may lead to early delivery)
Your NHS scans will provide you with a lot of information and spot any problems that present themselves at the time, but augmenting your basic scans with an additional private scan allows you to monitor your baby's growth across a broader period. This means that we can not only give you continued peace of mind but also catch any problems that develop after your hospital scans.

Enhancing your experience

While pregnancy can be a very stressful experience, it is also a time of great joy and excitement, both for the expectant parent(s) and for their nearest and dearest. This is the side of pregnancy that First Encounters aims to enhance - here are some of the ways in which we do it:
  • Comfortable, modern clinics with state-of-the-art equipment
  • Space for up to 6 guests to observe your scan in our comfortable viewing area
  • 4D scan packages that let you glimpse your baby's world in incredible detail
  • A range of gender scan options (note that some NHS hospitals do not offer gender confirmation)
  • A wide variety of souvenirs to choose from, including our adorable Heartbeat Teddy & Confetti Shooters
These are the things that set our scans apart from standard hospital scans (and, indeed, from those available in other private clinics). While the NHS dating and anomaly scans are still a crucial part of ensuring that your pregnancy goes as smoothly as possible, undergoing a private baby scan is a different - and hopefully far more enjoyable - experience altogether.
 
 

A common first sign of pregnancy is tenderness of the breasts and from this point onwards you can expect to experience a variety of other changes. Your breasts, much like the rest of your body, need to prepare for the arrival of your little one.

  1. Initially, a flood of hormones will start to change the breast tissue so it’s able to make milk, this can make your breasts feel swollen and tender. A common misconception is that your breasts will grow to a humongous size. This isn’t always the case, but you should definitely expect them to change in size.

 

  1. As your breasts grow, you might notice that veins and glands appear more noticeable, your nipples and areola might become a few shades darker too. All of these changes are completely normal. At this point, you might want to consider going for a bra fitting as you may not be able to fit in your usual bras anymore. Cotton, stretchy & comfortable bras are ideal during your pregnancy, and will likely come in handy after the birth when you are breastfeeding!

 

  1. Breast lumps are very common during pregnancy but can cause you to worry when you find them. According to breastcancercare.org.uk, the likelihood of a woman of child-bearing age, or bearing a child, developing breast cancer is highly unlikely, however, it's recommended that you have any new breast lumps checked by your GP, which will also put your mind at ease.

 

  1. After sixteen weeks of pregnancy, your breasts are capable and ready to produce milk. At this time, it’s likely that you might experience some fluid leaking from your nipples. We recommend purchasing some washable nipple pads that you can place inside your bra if you’re worried about people noticing.

 

We hope you have found this blog helpful, if you experience any abnormal discomfort, or you notice any unusual changes in your breasts during your pregnancy, you should contact your doctor.

If you’d like to come and see us for a First Encounters ultrasound during your pregnancy then click the button below to view our different scan packages.

Our Scan Packages >

It can be difficult to secure an ultrasound scan at an NHS clinic over the Christmas period. But don't worry, our First Encounters clinics & phone lines are open throughout the Christmas period. If you'd like to make an enquiry or book an appointment, please refer to the Christmas opening hours chart below.

From all of us here at First Encounters, we hope you have a very Merry Christmas, and we look forward to seeing you soon!

Date

Cardiff

Bristol (Portishead)

Sat 22nd

Clinic open

Phone lines open 8am - 4pm

Clinic closed

Phone lines open 8am - 4pm

Sun 23rd

Clinic closed

Phone lines open 8am - 4pm

Clinic open

Phone lines open 8am - 4pm

Mon 24th

Clinic closed

Phone lines open 8am - 4pm

Clinic closed

Phone lines open 8am - 4pm

Tues 25th

Clinic closed

Phone lines closed

Clinic closed

Phone lines closed

Wed 26th

Clinic closed

Phone lines open 8am - 4pm

Clinic closed

Phone lines open 8am - 4pm

Thurs 27th

Clinic open

phone lines open 8am - 8pm

Clinic closed

Phone lines open 8am - 8pm

Fri 28th

Clinic closed

Phone lines open 8am - 8pm

Clinic closed

Phone lines open 8am - 8pm

Sat 29th

Clinic open

Phone lines open 8am - 4pm

Clinic open

Phone lines open 8am - 4pm

Sun 30th

Clinic open

Phone lines open 8am - 4pm

Clinic closed

Phone lines open 8am - 4pm

Mon 31st

Clinic closed

Phone lines open 8am-4pm

Clinic closed

Phone lines open 8am - 4pm

Tues 1st

Clinic closed

Phone lines open 8am - 4pm

Clinic closed

Phone lines open 8am - 4pm

Wed 2nd

Clinic open

Phone lines open 8am - 8pm

Clinic closed

Phone lines open 8am - 8pm

Thurs 3rd

Clinic open

Phone lines open 8am - 8pm

Clinic closed

Phone lines open 8am - 8pm

Fri 4th

Clinic closed

Phone lines open 8am - 8pm

Clinic closed

Phone lines open 8am - 8pm

Sat 5th

Clinic open

Phone lines open 8am - 4pm

Clinic closed

Phone lines open 8am - 4pm

Sun 6th

Clinic open

Phone lines open 8am - 4pm

Clinic open

Phone lines open 8am-4pm