Pregnancy is a very special time for everybody involved. As you will already know if you’re expecting at the moment or have children, ultrasounds are an important part of being pregnant.
Not only do they give parents very special opportunities to see their unborn baby, they also provide valuable information about the health and development of your baby. You can get all the scans you need on the NHS but some people choose to have private scans instead of or as well as the scans they’re entitled to on the NHS.
Private pregnancy scans offer a number of benefits including:
- You can enjoy much longer appointment times which ensures that you have plenty of time to look at your scan and discuss the findings.
- You can get the results of your scan as well as a detailed report all on the day of your appointment.
- No referral is needed – you can contact a private clinic directly to make an appointment.
- There are no restrictions on the number of people you can invite to your scan.
- Visibility scans – unless there are concerns about your unborn baby, your first NHS scan will be at 12 weeks. A private clinic can offer you a visibility scan as early as 12 weeks. This allows you to see and hear the baby’s heartbeat and monitor its early development. A visibility scan is ideal for those who are unsure about how many weeks pregnant they are or for those who have any concerns about the health of their baby.
- There are a number of wonderful technologies that allow expectant parents to see more detailed images of their unborn child. Most NHS services offer 2D ultrasound scans but if you’re happy to pay a little extra money, a 3D or 4D scan can give you a fascinating glimpse of your child before they’re born.
- Scans are a special and emotional experience and they can therefore feel very personal. Some women feel more comfortable seeing the same doctor for every scan which you can do when you go private. Another benefit of this is that it gives your doctor the chance to get to know you and your pregnancy very well.
- You can benefit from more regular scans. Unless you or your doctor have any concerns, most women will only receive two NHS scans throughout their pregnancy. One will be during the 8-14 week period and the other at 18-21 weeks. Private scans enable you to have as many as you like throughout your pregnancy. Examples of other types of scans you can have include:
- Nuchal scan – this is a very detailed scan and blood test to assess the likelihood of any fetal abnormalities such as Down’s Syndrome.
- Wellbeing scan – this type of scan looks at the baby’s growth and checks that there is no sign that the baby is struggling. It’s usually carried out between 28 to 32 weeks but can be carried out at other times if you have any concerns.
Many other types of scans are available including cervical assessment, gender scans, presentation scans and endometrial thickness scans.