How Often Can I Have Private Baby Scans?

With private treatment, you have the option to have more frequent scans than you would on the NHS. The NHS generally only offers a dating scan at around 12 weeks and a detailed anomaly scan at around 20 weeks unless the pregnancy is high risk, you are carrying multiple babies or the scans detect potential abnormalities; however, with private scans, you can arrange scans throughout your pregnancy, from an early scan from 6 weeks to a growth scan in the last trimester. Some people prefer to have more frequent scans so that they can keep a closer eye on the development of their baby and enjoy peace of mind that everything is progressing well with the pregnancy; others are happy to just have two scans and some people choose not to have any scans at all; the choice is yours. If you wish to discuss the benefits of ultrasound scans, don’t hesitate to contact a private clinic to talk about the services they offer or talk to your midwife.

Private clinics offer a wider range of scans than the NHS for the majority of patients; you will usually only be offered additional scans and tests on the NHS if there is a risk that the baby has a birth defect or genetic disorder or if you have troubles during your pregnancy. Private clinics offer scans at every stage of pregnancy, including:

  • Early ultrasound scan (from 6-10 weeks)
  • Dating scan (around 12 weeks)
  • Detailed scan (around 18-21 weeks)
  • Gender scan (from 18 weeks)
  • Growth scan (from 24 weeks)

Private clinics also offer screening tests, including NIPT (non-invasive pre-natal testing) and the combined test, which are used to screen for genetic conditions, including Down’s syndrome, Edwards’ syndrome and Patau’s syndrome.

Although ultrasound scanning is safe, there are recommendations related to the amount of ultrasound a baby is exposed to and experts may recommend avoiding lengthy or frequent scans where there is no clear medical need and the baby is growing normally; in cases where the benefits of a scan outweigh the risks (for example if there is a chance of an abnormality), additional scans may be ordered.

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