If you have been given your hospital maternity notes already, please bring with you these with you. Victoria may want to refer to previous scans you have had elsewhere to check that your baby is growing well. But don’t worry if you haven’t been given them yet and there is not anything else that you need to bring.
Most of the scans done at Beard Mill Clinic are abdominal scans. Cervical assessment and endometrial thickness scans have to be done as internal scans, where a specially designed probe is placed gently in the vagina. Occasionally very early pregnancy scans also need to be done internally as well, but Victoria will always try abdominally first and only suggest a transvaginal scan if she is sure the views and information gleaned will be significantly better done this way instead.
No – you are not required to have a full bladder for any scan at Beard Mill Clinic, so please don’t worry about drinking lots beforehand.
The sex of the baby can almost always be determined from 17 weeks onwards and parents are welcome to ask at any scan performed after 17 weeks. However Victoria will keep this a secret if you don’t want to find out before the baby is born.
There is no limit to the number of people coming with you and you are welcome to bring other family members and friends with you. We are happy for you to bring your other children with you too, but do remember that little ones sometimes lose interest quite quickly and this can distract from your enjoyment of the scan.
Yes, Victoria will sit with you after the scan and use specially designed software to show you what she has seen and how the measurements fit within the expected range. She will then summarise the findings and printout a detailed report for you to take away. This report can be e-mailed directly to other healthcare professionals looking after you if required.
Before the nuchal scan was introduced, the traditional way to screen for Down’s syndrome was by measuring particular biochemical markers (sometimes referred to as hormones) in the mother’s blood. The distributions of these markers are different in babies with Down’s syndrome compared to unaffected babies. However there is a big overlap between these distributions, so the blood markers on their own will not give a definite answer. But adding the blood markers to the ultrasound findings to give you a combined risk will improve the overall performance of the test, resulting in more babies with Down’s syndrome being identified and fewer ladies being given a high-risk result.
If there is time beforehand and it is feasible to do so, Victoria will arrange for you to have the blood test before the scan, so that the results are available when the scan is done and the combined risk can be calculated then and there and discussed with you face-to-face. Sometimes this simply isn’t possible, in which case Victoria will take your blood immediately after the scan and telephone you the following day with the results.