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.