What Will You See During Your Pregnancy Scan?


Seeing your baby on the screen during your private pregnancy scan is often a magical experience, but it can also be a bit confusing or disappointing, especially during the earlier ultrasounds. Read on to find out what you can expect to see when you have an ultrasound at our clinic in London.


Early Pregnancy Scans

  • Early private pregnancy scans can be performed in London from about 6 weeks.
  • The heartbeat can be detected from around 7-8 weeks, so you may not hear it if you have an early scan.
  • You won’t be able to recognise your baby, but you can see the round gestational sac that is supporting him or her.

12 Week or Dating Scan

For most parents, this will be their first private pregnancy scan in London and the first chance to see their baby.

  • You should be able to recognise your baby’s head and body on the screen, especially when you see the face in profile.
  • The legs and arms are still relatively small at this stage, but you will see them moving around.
  • The sonographer may point out some of the organs, such as the heart but you might not be able to recognise them by yourself.
  • The baby will mostly appear white or grey, while the surrounding amniotic fluid will be black.

20 Week or Anomaly Scan

Most women will have another ultrasound at around 20 weeks, but you may want to arrange some extra private pregnancy scans in between the routine appointments or later in the pregnancy.

  • You should be able to tell how much baby has developed since the 12 week scan as the limbs, hands and feet will be much larger and clearer.
  • You might also find it easier to recognise the white spine and other parts of the skeleton.
  • The sonographer can usually tell if you’re expecting a boy or girl, but you might not be able to work it out for yourself.

4D Ultrasound Scan

4D scans look very different to conventional ultrasounds.

  • You will see a 3D colour image of your baby.
  • The scan focuses on baby’s face rather than on the internal organs so it will be much easier to recognise what you’re looking at.


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The contents on this site is for information only, and is not meant to substitute the advice of your own physician or other medical professional.