Pregnancy should be a special, blissful moment in a woman’s life. Sadly, though, not all pregnancies are smooth and problem-free, and not all pregnant women manage to enjoy this magical journey.
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Why an Early Reassurance Scan?
If you have experienced the loss of a baby in a previous pregnancy, you might feel extra worried and anxious now that you are expecting again.
Being pregnant after a loss can be very difficult and lonely, and waiting for your twelve-week scan might be too much for you to bear. Perhaps you are pregnant for the very first time after difficulty conceiving, and you may find it hard to hang on until that twelve-week mark.
First-time expectant mums, in general, have lots of questions when it comes to pregnancy, and no-one to ask.
You might decide to turn to “Doctor Google” and start searching for information on how to check the wellbeing of your baby. This, nonetheless, might contribute to increasing your stress just when you need to stay relaxed.
As you’ll surely know, stress is not good for you or your baby, so anything you can do to keep stress levels to a minimum during pregnancy is great. One of these things could be as simple as booking an early reassurance scan.
The NHS offers only two routine scans, one in the first trimester, at around 12 weeks, and another one at around 20 weeks). On the other hand, a private clinic will be able to accommodate your request for a much earlier appointment.
At Imaginatal, we can scan you from your sixth week of pregnancy. This is an early reassurance scan, and that’s exactly what we aim to provide: a high-quality ultrasound, carried out by a skilled sonographer, to check on your baby and give you the peace of mind that you need and deserve.
Not only is an early scan important to help you feel more reassured and comfortable in the knowledge that your baby is developing well. It is also a wonderful way to start creating that all-special bond between you and your child which will last a lifetime.
Another great benefit of reassurance scans is the ability to rule out any potential pregnancy complications as early as possible. This is very important especially if you’ve had a high-risk pregnancy in the past, previous pelvic surgical procedures, or if you are currently high-risk due to your age, BMI, lifestyle habits, or other factors.
What Happens on the Day?
So, now that you’re all booked in for your scan, what exactly can you expect from your visit? When you arrive at the clinic, you’ll be warmly welcomed by our receptionist staff, who will take your details and invite you to take a seat in the waiting area.
Unlike what would happen at a public facility, our clinic only allows a maximum of two families at any one time. This means that your visit will always take place in a quiet, private environment.
Once the sonographer is ready for your scan, they will ask you to come into one of the scanning rooms, and talk you through the examination. Because at this stage baby is still very tiny, sonographers tend to get a much better view by performing an internal scan, so that might be required if you are around six weeks pregnant.
This is not a painful procedure, but might be slightly uncomfortable. Just make sure you tell the sonographer if you experience any discomfort, and they will stop and only start again once you are ready.
If the idea of having an internal scan doesn’t appeal to you, that’s totally fine. After weeks 7-8 of gestation, it’s generally possible to perform an abdominal scan and be able to see your baby without any issues. Only do what you’re comfortable with, and our trained staff will support your decisions.
Your sonographer will check everything that needs to be checked at this gestation: the correct location of the pregnancy, baby’s heartbeat and heart rate, crown to rump measurements, and estimated due date. How exciting will it be to be told when you can expect your bundle of joy to make his or her appearance?
To make the experience even more magical, you will be offered a black and white scan picture of your baby as well as a scan and well-being report.
An early reassurance scan can also, of course, tell you whether you have one or more buns in the oven: yes, we’re talking about twins and multiples! Just like they can check on the well-being of one tiny baby, our expert, HCPC-registered sonographers can perform all the necessary checks on several little ones.
Imagine how thrilling it will be to find out that your bundle of joy is, in fact, two bundles? That’s definitely something that you want to discover as early as possible.
What if There Are Any Issues?
Sometimes, an early reassurance scan doesn’t show what we would like to see, and this could be down to many different reasons. We have a robust referral pathway in place at our clinic to direct you back to the NHS Early pregnancy Assessment Unit (EPAU) in the local trust hospitals who have issued us with the appropriate Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) to use in such instances to ensure a seamless transition of our clients care from us back to the hospital
A very common one is the fact that you might still be a bit too early in your pregnancy for us to be able to check on your baby.
If that’s the case, there’s absolutely no need to worry. We are very happy to offer you a second appointment in a few days’ time, to have another closer look at things. Oh, and we don’t charge you for it.
What Type of Reassurance Can You Get?
Let’s talk numbers and statistics, just for a moment. You might know that one in four women experiences the loss of a pregnancy, which means 25% of expectant mums.
Research has shown that, if a baby’s heartbeat is detected at 6-7 weeks into the pregnancy, the miscarriage rate falls to only 10%. The rate keeps falling as the weeks go by, becoming as low as approximately 1% by the 12-week mark.
Only an early reassurance scan can help you to breathe a sigh of relief knowing that your baby’s healthy and strong heartbeat means that they are doing well and their development is progressing as it should.
In the same way, establishing the due date by measuring the baby’s crown to rump length can help you to feel reassured that your little one is growing as they should. This information can also benefit you to inform your midwife if you are already further gone or not as far gone as you had thought you were. Then your NHS appointments can either be arranged to be brought forward or moved back to ensure you don’t miss out on any crucial tests or procedures performed at only specific times during pregnancy.
These are important aspects to keep in mind when deciding to book your early reassurance scan, instead of having to wait for weeks and weeks before your NHS trust can schedule your appointment.
And What About COVID-19?
Last but not least, a quick word about the COVID-19 pandemic. At Imaginatal, we take the wellbeing of our patients and staff extremely seriously. We know that the current pandemic can take its toll on your feelings and emotions, and we want to assure you that our clinic is taking all the precautions to keep you safe.
When attending your appointment, you will be asked to wear a mask and sanitize your hands. Our toilets are also equipped with antibacterial handwash and are serviced on a regular basis.
You have probably heard that most NHS hospitals are still not allowing any partners to attend ultrasound appointments, and this might make you feel uneasy. We have some good news for you: at Imaginatal, you can bring one partner as well as up to two children under the age of 12.
So, whether you want dad to attend, or if your other children insist on sneaking a peek at their future little brother or sister, we are more than happy for them to tag along.
Of course, they will all need to follow any relevant government guidelines in terms of COVID-19 safety. If you want to know more, feel free to give us a ring or drop us an email. And if you are interested in reading about how the pandemic might affect your pregnancy, and what tips you can follow to stay safe and enjoy your bump, check out our blog about coping with Covid during your pregnancy.
Ready to Book Your Early Reassurance Scan?
If you are currently expecting your little bundle of joy, and just can’t wait to have a peek at them in the first few weeks of pregnancy, then we are here for you.
At Imaginatal you can book your early reassurance scan from six weeks, giving you the peace of mind that you deserve to enjoy this wonderful journey.
Don’t put it off: simple book below or call us today to schedule your appointment!