At a glance
To check on the growth and welfare of your baby in the second and third trimester. This service includes Dopplers for measuring blood flow from the placenta to your baby, these are critical in monitoring growth in the latter stages of pregnancy.
• No GP referral required
• Longer appointment duration
• Service not generally available on the NHS
• Same or next day appointments
• Weekday, Thursday evening or Saturday clinics
• Convenient central London location
You will receive
• Your results on the day
• Two-page clinical report
• Estimated fetal weight calculated, if desired
• Gender identification at no additional cost, if you want to know
• Complimentary black & white picture of your baby (normally £2.50)
What happens with your results?
The results are presented in a two-page report complete with charts. During your appointment we will go through your report and fully explain our diagnosis.
What does it do?
A welfare scan is a highly accurate way to check on the growth progress of your baby. It is recommended if you have had previous birth complications, such as pre-eclampsia, growth restriction, diabetes and still birth and if you develop problems during the course of your pregnancy.
It is similar to the growth scan, available from the earlier time of 14 weeks of pregnancy, but the welfare scan also includes Doppler checks to measure blood flow.
What are Dopplers?
A Doppler is is a function of the ultrasound machine that measures blood flow and pressure in blood vessels.
Although the welfare scan is performed from 20 weeks of pregnancy Dopplers check are most useful from 24 weeks onwards, and consists of the following:
- Maternal Doppler – the blood flow from the mother to the uterus (uterine artery Doppler) is checked. This measurement will give an early warning about the possibility of bleeding in later pregnancy, blood pressure complications, such as pre-eclampsia, or the possibility of a slowing of your baby’s growth in late pregnancy.
- Feto-Placental Doppler – the blood flow in the umbilical cord and special blood vessels in your baby’s body is checked as a measure of the welfare of your baby and the placenta.
Why do I need a welfare scan?
- Do you have diabetes, hypertension or cardiac disease?
- Have you had previous small babies or complications in your pregnancy?
- Is your baby suspected to be breech or has its movements and growth reduced?
- Do you have a multiple pregnancy?
In these circumstances a number of welfare scans are advised to observe the ongoing progress of your baby.
A welfare scan will confirm normal growth of your baby and it is particularly recommended if you have certain health problems, or have had previous complications during your pregnancy.
What happens during the welfare scan?
The sonographer or consultant takes various measurements of your baby and compares them to a set of fetal growth charts. These charts predict the size of your baby’s growth at any particular stage in your pregnancy.
During your appointment the sonographer or consultant will:
- Check your baby’s heart beat
- Measure the circumference and diameter of your baby’s head
- Measure the size of your baby’s waist
- Measure the length of your baby’s femur
- Examine your placenta
- Check the amount of fluid around your baby
- Check the baby’s movements
- Measure blood flow in your umbilical artery and other places in your baby’s circulation
- Input all the measurements and data into our Fetal Database to compare and chart your baby’s growth
- Check the gender of your baby – we’ll only tell you if you want to know
This data is included in a detailed medical report, available at the end of your appointment.
You may also want a welfare scan if…
- You’ve had unusual pains in the tummy or spot bleeding
- Your baby has been moving less
- You have fallen or been involved in a traffic accident
Take a peek in 3D!
The growth scan is performed in 2D, but if you want to see your baby in 4D you can add a 4D Sneaky Peek to your growth scan appointment at no extra cost (usually £30).