Ultrasound Baby Scans

Early Dating Scan (6–10 weeks)

The purpose of an Early Dating Scan is to:

  • Confirm that your baby is developing normally in the first trimester of pregnancy
  • Date your pregnancy in order to estimate when your baby is due
  • Reveal if you are carrying one baby, twins or more
  • Detect your baby’s heartbeat
  • Rule out the possibility of an ectopic pregnancy
  • Confirm that the baby is developing in the correct place within the uterus
  • An Early Dating Scan is particularly beneficial if you have previously miscarried or experienced bleeding. Depending on the position of your uterus, a trans-vaginal scan may be required.

Nuchal Scan (11–13 weeks)

  • The purpose of a Nuchal Scan is to:
  • Allow the sonographer to measure the volume of translucent fluid in the space behind your baby’s neck
  • Estimate your baby’s risk of having chromosomal abnormalities such as Downs Syndrome, Edwards, Patau and Turner Syndrome
  • Determine whether more invasive diagnostic testing, such as CVS or Amniocentesis is necessary
  • Examine your baby’s heart in greater detail
  • Determine your baby’s sex (in around 70% of cases)

A routine blood test is also taken during this scan. For more information on Amniocentesis or CVS please see:

Anomaly Scan (17–24 weeks)

The purpose of an Anomaly Scan is to:

  • Check that your baby is developing normally at the mid pregnancy stage
  • Look at where the placenta is lying in your uterus
  • Take various measurements to make sure that your baby’s growth is on track
  • Check all your baby’s body parts for conditions such as cleft lip and palate, spina bifida, and any abnormalities of the brain, heart and other organs
  • Determine your baby’s sex if it couldn’t be determined during the nuchal scan

An Anomaly Scan is a wonderful event as it allows you to see your baby’s face, limbs, hands, feet and heartbeat for the first time.

Wellbeing Growth Scan (24–42 weeks)

  • The purpose of a Wellbeing Growth Scan is to:
  • Determine the growth and health of the baby by taking body measurements and estimating his / her weight
  • Measure the amount of amniotic fluid surrounding your baby
  • Assess the blood flow from the placenta to your baby by Doppler ultrasound
  • Assess the position in which your baby is lying in the womb, i.e. posterior or breech
  • Check the placental position and appearance
  • Examine the movements of the baby


The Portland Hospital
212 Great Portland Street, London W1W 5AH


The Women's Wellness Centre
274 Fulham Road, Chelsea Walk, London SW10 9EW


132 Harley Street
London W1G 7JX

© Dr Duncan Birth 2022