Tuesday 24 September 2019

Window to the Womb, Swansea Well-being and 4D Scan - review


When I found out I was expecting our third baby I was delighted about experiencing pregnancy again. I love being pregnant and especially love having a bump, feeling the baby move inside of me and seeing it wiggle around on the screen when having scans.

When I was pregnant with T we had a private 4d scan. It was a wonderful experience and I loved not only getting a glimpse into how our first born would look but also having a professional sonographer check that baby was growing well. Then when I was pregnant for the second time with H, for a few different reasons we never had a private antenatal scan. 

So when I found out I was expecting for the third time I started to think about whether I'd have a private pregnancy scan or not. To try and help me decide whether to have one during this pregnancy I looked at private scans in particular the benefits of a 4D scan.

We dabbled with the idea of having a private gender scan but decided that as we would be delighted with either a baby boy or girl and were in no rush to find out that a private gender scan was not something we'd need to do.

However a 4D scan appealed to us both. As I suffer from type 2 diabetes I worry a lot that it will impact on the health of the baby. So even though I I have growth scans with the NHS I am anxious how baby is growing and that all is well. Due to my health worries the idea of having an extra wellbeing check during a 4D wellbeing scan was more than a little appealing.

Along with the reassurance that a wellbeing scan would hopefully provide we loved the idea of seeing what baby looks like and the fact that unlike NHS scans where our hospital strictly forbids children in the scan room we could take the children along with us to a private scan which would hopefully help them begin to bond with the baby.

Window to the Womb
As their name suggests Window to the Womb is private baby scan clinic that allows parents-to-be a glimpse into their baby’s world inside of the womb. The renowned company are specialists in offering professional private baby scans and have clinics nationwide across the whole of the UK.

As checking the health and well-being of baby is the utmost importance and primary purpose of Window to the Womb scans, they offer a variety of private scans throughout the duration of pregnancy from 6 weeks to 40 weeks. Scan packages available with Window to the Womb include early viability, well being and gender, growth and presentation plus well-being and 4D.

All Window to the Womb sonographers are highly trained, qualified professionals who use quality ultrasound technology to scan expectant mothers.

Window to the Womb Well-being and 4D Scan 
The private scan package we had was the Well-being and 4D scan Picture Box package (RRP £99). Suitable from 24 - 34 weeks the scan package included - 
* Well-being scan
* Fetal well-being report
* 4D baby scan
* Optional 99%+ gender confirmation
* 4 photo prints
* All digital images
* Free rescan guarantee (terms and conditions apply)

During the diagnostic scan the sonographer looks at the following well-being checks - 
* Confirmation of single/multiple pregnancy
* Heartbeat check & visualisation
* The detection of some abnormalities
* Baby’s growth to check baby is growing normally
* Position of baby & placenta

As I have been worrying a lot during the pregnancy that the baby will not be healthy especially as I am diabetic, even though our 20 week anomaly scan did not pick up on any issues and both that scan and a later growth scan showed all was well with baby, I was worried about what would happen if the private scan picked up on any health concerns. Would they say in front of the children and cause them to be upset? How would it work informing my hospital and obstetric consultant?

To my relief I was reassured beforehand that if any concerns were found they would take the children to the waiting room and we would be told in private. Plus they would help us obtain ongoing treatment and support thanks to their NHS Pathways protocol.

4D Scan preparation
Once the scan had been booked I received an email confirming the date and time of the scan plus some helpful advice to hopefully ensure a positive scan experience. I was advised to - 
* Drink 2 extra glasses of water every day starting the week before your scan for optimal hydration
* On the day of the scan to have a meal around 2 hours before arriving at the clinic
* Have a drink of cold water 10-20 minutes before the scan to hopefully help get baby moving
* Arrive 15 minutes early to have a walk around to try and get baby awake and moving
* Bring hospital notes in case the sonographer needs to refer to them during the scan

Window to the Womb Swansea
Living in a rural part of Wales I had not expected there to be a Window to the Womb clinic anywhere near us, but much to our delight they have a clinic in Swansea which is a little over an hour’s drive away from us.

Finding the clinic which is located at Maple House in Tawe Business Village, Enterprise Park in Swansea was easy and there was free parking directly outside of the clinic.

Well-being and 4D Scan - first visit
We visited for the scan on a Saturday afternoon when I was 29+5 weeks pregnant.

Much to our delight the clinic allows up to 5 other guests including children to attend the scan. For my scan, my partner and two kids plus my mum came along to see the baby in the womb. As the boys have not been allowed at any of my NHS scans they were very excited about seeing their little baby brother on the big screen.

Arriving at the clinic 20 minutes before the scan appointment we were welcomed into the clinic friendly staff. On arrival the lady on reception explained what the scan would check and what was included in the scan package we were having. She also highlighted optional extras such as extra photo prints, keyring photos and heartbeat bears. I was asked to complete a registration form and if I had my antenatal notes with me. 

The waiting room was a lovely, bright and welcoming space with plenty of seating and an area with children’s toys to keep little ones entertained whilst waiting. 

Unable to resist checking out the toys and the awesome tent my youngest made a swift beeline for the children’s play area.

T, my oldest son was amazed by the incredible photographs taken of babies in the womb at various gestation's being blown away by the superb detail and how baby grows and changes in the womb.

Even though I had arrived early to be able to walk around and get baby moving before the scan, especially considering the distance we had driven meant I’d been sat for awhile, I surprised that within a few minutes we were called into the scan room. Whilst it is usually a good thing not to have to wait around long for a scan (I’ve spent ages waiting at the hospital) considering the distance we’d travelled and my need to walk around some to wake up baby I do wish it had not been so rushed and that I’d had more time or if I had known how quickly we’d be seen I would have made sure to arrive even earlier.

Designed to accommodate friends and family the scan room had extra seating including a sofa for guests to sit on plus three big screens to showcase the scan so that everyone could get a good look as we peered through the window to the womb.

To begin the scan I was invited to lie on the bed and the friendly sonographer put the ultrasound gel on my bump - the boys thought it was hilarious that as the sonographer explained to them that she was putting ‘jelly on the belly’.

The songrapher started off the scan with the wellbeing checks, pointing out the different body parts on the screen and the little heart beating away. 

She then switched to 4D to try and see the baby’s face but it soon became apparent that he was lying in the wrong position to see his face and was asleep and not moving. After a few attempts to get him to move by me moving onto my sides and coughing the sonographer requested we return to the waiting room for a short while to have a cold drink and walk around. 

After a short wait when the boys happily played we were called back into the scan room to see if baby boy had moved and was ready to have his photo taken. Unfortunately he was being awkward and was not feeling photogenic at all.

The sonographer was very patient and tried many times to get a good glimpse at baby, even sending me off to empty my bladder to see if that would help, but in the end decided that it would be best to have me come back another day for a rescan as baby was not playing ball. 
The songropher had a buddy in with her who was very welcoming and friendly, who talked with the boys as they patiently waited to get to see their baby brother. Whilst the boys were being very good, as we could not get a good view of baby they struggled to see him properly and understand what they were looking at. 

Whilst we did not get any images I felt reassured by the well-being checks that baby was growing well which eased my worries about his health. 

Sadly due to the distance, other family commitments and clinic opening hours I attended the rescan without the boys when I was 30+3 weeks pregnant.

My mum and I arrived at the clinic early, about 20 minutes before the scan appointment so that I could have a walk around and hopefully get baby moving. Once again we were welcomed by friendly staff and after filling out the form I had plenty of time to walk around the waiting room to get baby moving. As we were the first appointment and early the waiting room was empty and the songrapher had yet to arrive. I was grateful for the time we had before the appointment to have a drink and walk around and hoped that this time would help make baby move so we could successfully get some images this time round. 

We were then called into the scan room and after getting comfortable the sonographer scanned my bump to see baby.  She found out where baby was lying and we could see his little heart beating away.

After checking all was well with baby she moved to looking at him in 4D and to my joy we managed to see his little face on the big screen in 4D.  

The detail was absolutely incredible!

At the beginning of the scan he was being a little camera shy, covering his face with his hands and appeared to be having a little snooze.

But after moving to lay on my side then back onto my back he moved and we could see his cute face. 

I was overjoyed to see his adorable little face which reinforced the complete, unconditional love I already feel for baby.

I was blown away by the details of his little face and hands plus amazed to see that at the moment he has a full head of hair. My mum was in awe of the scan and how much he looks like his big brothers, with the same nose as H and his lips looking like those of his biggest brother T.

Like the first scan we had, the sonographer carried out well-being checks and I was given a well-being report to keep. Reassuringly it looked as though baby boy had put on some weight since my last growth scan at the hospital and is growing well as should be expected.

The scan came to an end with the sonographer playing my baby boy’s heartbeat so we could all hear it beating away beautifully. I love hearing the heartbeat, it is such as precious sound and one I can’t hear enough of.

Scan photos and Bumpies app
Once the scan was finished we were shown to a computer where we could see all of the images captured during the scan. As the Well-being and 4D Scan Photo Box package we had included 4 photo prints we were told to look at all the images and write down the which images we wanted printed. We could also select images for any optional extras such as magnets and keyrings.

The scan package we had also included all digital images which were sent to me via the ‘Bumpies’ app. Videos are also sent to the Bumpies app if they are part of the scan package or purchased as an optional extra. 

I’d already downloaded the app before the first scan and was given a code (the code was provided in the clinic plus sent to me via email) to download the images to the app. 

Within seconds of adding the code to the app the images were available on the Bumpies app where I can download them as a keepsake or to send to loved ones to see our little bundle of joy in 4D.

Overall experience with Window to the Womb
It was a wonderful experience with Window to the Womb Swansea. The staff were friendly and professional plus the clinic was welcoming, comfortable and child-friendly. I really appreciated the reassurance the well-being checks provided and it was magical seeing my baby boy’s face.

It is a shame that baby was being awkward at the first visit so the boys did not get to experience seeing baby’s face properly during the scan but the experience only highlighted the saying that you should ‘never work with children’ because in this case even when in the womb things don’t go as planned and little ones will do as they please! It is also a disappointment that they never hear baby’s heartbeat and I wish I had asked the sonographer if they could but in the midst of feeling disappointed that we could not get images of baby it slipped my mind.

Even though we had to have a rescan and the boys missed out on the most magical scan experience, hearing the baby's heartbeat and seeing him in all of his 4D adorable galory the experience was incredible, the reassurance the well-being checks provided meant the scan and experience was worth its weight in gold and the boys love the photos of their little baby brother. We all can’t wait to meet him and see if he looks like his 4D photos.

If you’re considering a private well-being and 4D scan to see your unborn baby I would highly recommend Window to the Womb, in particular the Swansea clinic. The Swansea clinic is open 3 days a week - Tuesday evenings, Thursday evenings and Saturday from morning to mid-afternoon. 

* We were kindly gifted the Well-being and 4D Scan Photo Box package in return for this review. All thoughts are my own and images of the cute baby boy are of my baby *


  1. This sounds amazing and not even that expensive either for what you get! This is something I will definitely consider if I ever have kids x

  2. Firstly congratulations!!!!! It can be amazing seeing these scans. We didn't do the 4D ones just the one at the hospital and it's really is amazing seeing them. The 4D scans I've heard are really good!

  3. I've always considered going for a 4D scan but never actually gone. It looks like a wonderful experience though and something I'd definitely consider if I was to have another child.

  4. 4D scans are so amazing! Window to the Womb sound amazing - I wish there had been a provider like this when I had my son.

  5. Wow what gorgeous pictures. I had my third baby in Munich. You get looked after a little differently there, you have a private obstetrician (no NHS obviously so you pay insurance) and you get a lot more scans than we do at home. My Obstetrician tried so many times to do a 4d scan of my little one but each time he had his hands up in front of his face! He's just as stubborn now at nearly 4! :D

  6. We had one 4D scan done when my son was born and it is a wonderful feeling seeing the image of your baby. What a fantastic gift Window to the Womb is offering to new mums and their family

  7. Wow those pictures are incredible, it made me feel quite emotional seeing them. It's wonderful you can have so many people in the room with you, including children which is a major benefit.

  8. I am glad to hear that you had a wonderful experience at Window to the Womb. When I had my children a 3D scan was the big thing. I can't even imagine the feeling of seeing them in 4D.