What is the Early Fetal Scan?
Early Baby Scan is a brand-new scan which aims to reassure the future parents regarding health of their babies as early as possible. The medical term of this scan is Early Fetal Scan.
This is our signature scan - reassurance for you at an earlier stage of the pregnancy. The Early Baby Scan is an advanced examination of baby’s anatomy at 12 weeks of gestation by meticulous top-to-toe examination of the fetus with special attention to the heart and brain.
During our Early Baby Scan at 12-13 weeks we check more structures than at NHS Anomaly Scan at 18-20 weeks. Our Early Fetal Scan checklist includes examination of the brain, face, neck, chest, heart, the great arteries, lungs, diaphragm, stomach, liver, intestine, abdominal wall, umbilical cord, kidneys, bladder, spine, limbs, hands with fingers and feet. We also check umbilical cord insertion into placenta, umbilical cord vessels and integrity of the amniotic sac.
What is the optimal time for the Early Baby Scan?
The optimal time for Early Baby Scan is: from 12+0 to 13+6 weeks.
- It is possible to perform Early baby Scan from 11 weeks, however the small size of the baby at this early stage can reduce the detection rate. Some structures (like kidneys) are poor visible before 12 weeks.
- It is possible to perform Early Baby Scan at 14 weeks and even later, however at this stage the baby usually have an oblique sitting position in the womb and it can be difficult to scan its structures especially the heart.
How do we perform the Early Baby Scan?
The best results can be achieved by a combination of transabdominal (on the surface of your tummy) and transvaginal scans (TVS). The visualisation of different fetal parts depends on many factors like position of the womb, position of the fetus, maternal abdominal wall thickness and others. The transvaginal scan is optional and in many cases transabdominal scan by our high-resolution transducers can be enough for a thorough check of the baby. In any case, you can opt to avoid a transvaginal scan.
About 10% of women have the position of the uterus tilted backwards (retroflexed). In this situation the resolution of transabdominal scan is very limited and transvaginal scan is much superior. If this is the case we will inform you and you can make your choice to do TVS or not.
We do NOT need full urinary bladder for the scan. Please feel free to empty your bladder before the scan.