Monday 8 July 2019

Pregnancy - the benefits of a private ultrasound baby scan

When I found out I was pregnant again and that we were expecting a new addition to the family I felt a rush of excitement. But alongside the joy and wondrous feeling of being pregnant from the moment I saw those two lines appear on a pregnancy test I have felt unconditional love and responsibility to care for my unborn baby

With this pregnancy I feel additional responsibility to be healthy and do my utmost to care for the little one growing inside of me. This time around I have to consider the effect that my type 2 diabetes has on my unborn baby. As my health and diabetes can have a negative effect on the health of my baby I feel worry and concern.

Whilst I have had two scans so far with the NHS - an early pregnancy scan due to unknown gestation and the standard 12 week scan - and will be having my 20 week anomaly scan plus growth scans later on in the pregnancy, in between those scans there is the apprehension of not knowing how little one is fairing. 

To ease the worry there is the option of private ultrasound baby scans. As I have experience of having a private scan with renowned private ultrasound baby scan provider Window to the Womb during my first pregnancy and can relate to the worry and responsibility one can feel as an expectant mother, I wanted to share my thoughts and information on the benefits that a private ultrasound baby scan can provide.

Whether you opt for a private baby ultrasound scan early during the first trimester of pregnancy or later during the second/third trimester, seeing your baby/s move around on the screen and visualise the heartbeat/s can provide enormous reassurance to parents-to-be. 

The different packages available such as early viability, fetal well-being checks and growth measurements which their own various diagnostic checks can provide added reassurance.

Early scan
Unless you have had previous issues in pregnancy or suffer from bleeding most expectant mothers have to wait until their 12 week of pregnancy before having their first NHS ultrasound baby scan.

The beauty of a private scan is that you can have them from 6 weeks. Having an early scan can provide reassurance and ease worry.

Between 6 - 15 weeks you can have an early scan which looks at viability, heartbeat visualisation and confirmation of single or multiple pregnancy. Dating by measurements is also done and an obstetric report with all findings is provided. Depending on gestation, internal scans are available for accurate results.

Well-being check
From 16 - 40 weeks of pregnancy expectant mothers can have a well-being scan.  As well as confirming single or multiple pregnancy and heartbeat confirmation, a private well-being scan is a diagnostic scan where checks are made on baby’s development. 

This professional diagnostic scan offers a fetal well-being report to keep that highlights all results of the scan. The scan looks at the position of the baby and the placenta, checks that the baby is growing normally and can detect some abnormalities. 

Growth and presentation scan
Many expectant mums do not have any additional scans with the NHS after the 20 week scan unless there are known abnormalities with the unborn baby, the mum is considered high risk or there is an unexpected concern regarding the health of the mum or baby. As a pregnancy can last 40+ weeks it can feel like a lifetime not seeing how little one is growing after the 20 week scan until they are born.

With a private ultrasound scan you can choose to have a growth and presentation scan from 26 - 40 weeks. Not only are these scans a chance to see your little one again but more importantly the diagnostic scan looks at how baby is growing. These later date well-being scans look at baby presentation, placenta position, head circumference, abdominal circumference, femur length and estimated fetal weight.

Professional care
When you have a private scan like I did in my first pregnancy when I visited Window to the Womb you can feel safe in the knowledge that the diagnostic scans are carried out by an expertly trained, registered sonographer. The fully qualified medical professional use the highest specification ultrasound technology to carry out the scans.

I also felt reassured by the fact that they primarily focus on the health and well-being of baby, working within established diagnostic protocols to check all is well. Whilst all was well with our first born I have learnt that if they had found an issue they would have explained their findings and helped obtain ongoing treatment and support via their approved NHS pathways protocol. 

Clinic environment
When I had my private scans during my first pregnancy I was surprised by how welcoming the clinic was. The atmosphere was relaxed, comfortable and non-clinical and I loved seeing that our baby was growing well and healthy in a private environment. 

Family time
Unlike most NHS trusts many private clinics allow more than one person in the scan room with the expectant mother. When I had my private scan I loved sharing the experience with my loved ones and appreciated the fact that the scan room was designed to accommodate family and friends who could all see my baby on the screen thanks to the large viewing screen. 

I think this is especially brilliant to allow existing children to be part of the experience as the majority of NHS trusts do not allow children in the ultrasound scan room (our NHS trust strictly forbids children in the scan room).

A private baby scan can start and reinforce bonding between mum-to-be and the unborn baby. Being able to take loved ones with you to the scan can also spark bonding and a positive relationship for family especially dad-to-be and any existing children.

The private scans I had during my first pregnancy helped me bond with my unborn baby and my partner said they helped make it all feel more real and prepare him for fatherhood.

Depending on what scan package you opt for you can be given photos prints of the scan, digital images and movie recording of the scan. These items can be wonderful keepsakes of being pregnant with your baby.

When I had private scans during my first pregnancy I had photo prints and a video recording of the scan along with photo prints of a peek sneak 4D scan. I cherish these items and my son loves looking at them.

Gender reveal
Whilst I decided to have private baby scans during my first pregnancy for reassurance and to check on the well-being of my unborn baby a bonus of having the scans was that we found out and had extra confirmation of its gender. In fact we found out we were having a little boy when I was 17 weeks pregnant (3 weeks before we had it confirmed at our 20 week NHS scan). Knowing the gender helped us to bond with our unborn baby boy and prepare for his arrival.

As the purpose of a baby scan is to ensure the health and well-being of baby, confirmation of gender is usually optional. Some private scan clinics offer gender reveal products such as gender reveal balloons to complement and help you celebrate finding out the gender of your unborn baby.

Have you ever had a private ultrasound baby scan?


  1. A few of my friends have paid for private ultrasounds in the past for peace of mind.

  2. All of the ultrasounds done in our area are private, but you can have family in the room if you like. I loved every ultrasound i ever had, being able to see the baby made my heart so happy.

  3. With my third child I was so anxious bout things going wrong, I think a private scan would have eased my worries

  4. My brother and his wife paid for private scan and they were glad they had it like you said, for assurance.

  5. We never had a private scan with our four pregnancies but I'd have definitely considered it if there was something I was concerned about.

  6. All of the benefits you mentioned are true. I'd be sure to share these ideas to my friends who are mom-to-be's.