What happens at a scan and what will they tell me? 

Midwife Tracey Owen explains what happens at your ultrasound scans and what you will be able to find out about the baby.

Find out more about what happens at scans

Transcript of What happens at a scan and what will they tell me?

What happens at a scan and what will they tell me?


 Tracey: In your pregnancy, you’re offered two opportunities to have a scan - one at around about twelve weeks and one again at twenty weeks.


The twelve week one is done to the dating of your pregnancy. Not all hospitals offer this though. And your twenty week scan is done to look at the structure of your baby to make sure its growing well and to exclude abnormalities like Spina Bifida or heart defects.There’s no known side effects to having a scan for either you or your baby. You need to have at least a pint and a half of water at about an hour before you have your scan. The reason for this is it fills your bladder and pushes your uterus which is your pelvic organ up into your tummy so it’s easily seen by the sonographer


Then from there, what you’ll do is when you see your sonographer, you’ll lay on a couch, they’ll put cold gel on your tummy and put a transducer over your tummy, send the sound waves in so they can identify the parts of your baby. This is so they can look at how your baby’s growing and work out how old it is. Normally, if you’re having a twelve week scan, that’s booked in the early stages of your pregnancy when you go and first to see your midwife. She’ll either give you the opportunity to call them yourself to make your appointment or she’ll make the appointment for you.


On average a scan takes fifteen minutes but if it’s more complicated it can take up to 45minutes so be prepared. Having a scan in your pregnancy’s a great time for you and your partner to bond with your baby. It’s the first time that you’ll realise what’s going on with your body and you get to see what’s growing inside. Enjoy it - It’s one of the best times of your pregnancy.


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