Frequently asked questions

Do I need a Doctor's referral letter?


You Do Not Need A Doctor’s Referral For any of our Scans.




When is the best time to have an Ealry Pregnancy Scan?


We perform the Early Pregnancy scan from 7 weeks up to 14 weeks of pregnancy. Some mums-to-be like to come in at 8 weeks to see the heartbeat. At this stage, you will normally get to see the pregnancy sac, the heartbeat, and fetal pole (the fetal pole is the beginning of the spinal cord). If the scan is performed too early (i.e. before 8 weeks), you may not see the heartbeat. This is nothing to worry about as the heartbeat is not always detectable before 8 weeks. Other mums-to-be prefer to wait until 12 weeks so that they can see the babys head, limbs, hands and feet.




How should I prepare for an Early Pregnancy Scan?


It is important to ensure that your bladder is full prior to the appointment, as a full bladder will enhance the image quality. While there is no need to have your bladder uncomfortably full, we recommend that you drink between 1 and 2 pints of water or liquid approximately one hour before your ultrasound scan. The liquid in your bladder provides a contrast and improves the quality of the image on the screen.




What is a 4d Scan?


Using The Latest Ultrasound Technology With Our State Of The Art GE Voluson Machines, It Is A Moving 3D Image, The 4th Dimension Being Movement.. You Can See What Your Baby Looks Like Before He Or She Is Born! Often It Is Possible To See Your Baby Yawning, Smiling, Blinking And Sucking Their Thumb. We Also Have A 42 Inch Plasma Screen On Which You Can See Your Baby´s movements In Real Time Colour.




What is the difference between 3D and 4D?


There are two elements to the 3D/4D scan. The 3D element are the pictures. You get four colour prints of the baby´s face and body, 10-20 colour pictures on a CD, and two black and white prints. The 4D element add the dimension of movement to the pictures. A DVD is taken of any movement the baby makes throughout the whole scan.




Is it safe?


Ultrasound Has Been Used In Obstetrics For Over 50 Years. Despite Many Trials And Studies It Has Not Been Proven To Cause Harm To Either Baby Or Mother. The Safety Of Ultrasound Is Constantly Evaluated By The British Medical Ultrasound Society. The 4D Scan Uses The Same Ultrasound Output Levels As The Ordinary 2D Hospital Scan. The Machine Uses Sophisticated Methods To Transform The 2D Image Into A 3D/4D Image. There Is Increasing Evidence That Seeing Your Baby On Ultrasound Increases The Bond Between Mother, Father And Baby. Please Note That The 3D/4D Scan Uses The Same Sound Frequency As A Normal 2D Black And White Scan.




What should I do to prepare for a 3D/4D scan?


It is recommended to have a Full Bladder for your 3D 4D Ultrasound Session. Overall Hydration Increases The Amount Of Amniotic Fluid Around The Baby Which Translates Into Better Pictures. It Is Important That You Drink Lots Of Water In The Few Days Leading Up To Your Ultrasound. On The Day Of Your Ultrasound Scan However, We Will Have You Empty Your Bladder Before Beginning As To Optimize Visualization. This Is Different From Other Ultrasounds! Also, If You Are In Your Later Months The Fluid Filled Bladder Will Push Up The Baby´S Head Up And Out Of Mom´S Pelvis So We Get Better Images.




When is the best time to have a 3D/4D scan?


Although We Normally Perform The 3D/4D Scan Between 22 And 32 Weeks, (It Can Be Done Pretty Much At Any Stage During The Pregnancy), Our Experience In Providing This Service Over The Last 7 Years Indicates That Between 24 – 29 Weeks As Guide For Optimum Time To Have A 3D Scan To 26 – 28 Weeks. At This Stage, Your Baby Will Have Rounded Facial Contours, Which Give An Accurate View Of The Characteristics Of His/Her Face. There Is Plenty Of Fluid Around Your Baby To Allow For Movements And Provide A “Window” To Watch And Enjoy The Experience. Before 22 Weeks The Baby, Although Perfectly Formed, Can Tend To Look A Little Slim. After 32 Weeks The Baby Is Starting To Fill The Whole Womb And So Arms, Legs, Umbilical Cord And Placenta Can Be In Front Of The Baby´S Face, Making Pictures Very Difficult To Attain. 4D Scanning Can Be Done Before Or After This Stage, Depending Upon Circumstances. Please Discuss This With Us Before Booking. Many Women Choose To Come In Twice Or More To See Baby´S Various Development Stages.




Does this scan reaplce a complete diagnostic ultrasound


ABSOLUTELY NOT! This Scan Is Entirely Just To Look At Baby´S Face. We Will Confirm Heartbeat, Number Of Babies And Position Of Baby. We Do Not Estimate Fetal Weight Or Diagnose Fetal Abnormalities. Should We See An Obvious Problem, We Will Of Course Draw Your Attention To It, So That It Can Be Followed Up By Your Own Doctor And Hospital. Please Note, At No Time Does This Replace The Complete Diagnostic Ultrasound Done Routinely In Your Own Hospital.




I'm having twins, can I still get a 3D/4D scan?


Yes, but please come before 25 weeks as there are two babies in there and as you can imagine it gets pretty busy with arms and legs! It is not usually possible to see both babies in the same image area. There is no extra charge for a twin 3D/4D scan.




Will the scan always be successful?


Usually, but not always. Every baby is different and appearances on scan depend on baby´s age, position, amount of fluid and mother´s BMI (body mass index). While we make every effort to obtain good pictures, sometimes baby may be lying in an unfavourable position and it is not possible to see their face. Should this happen you will be given the option to reschedule.




Can you tell the sex of the baby?


Depending on baby´s position, we are happy to give our opinion as to what sex the baby is. However, ultrasound sexing of baby is not always 100 percent accurate, due to the position of baby and umbilical cord. Adequate foetal positioning is essential to assessing the baby´s gender. The ultrasonographer will give you her or his best assessment. As with any scan in your own hospital, there is always a chance that you may accidentally see the sex of baby, we will our best to ensure that you do not see it by chance and you will not be able to tell from the images. There are instances when fetal position may not allow proper visualization to adequately make that determination. When this happens you will be invited back free of charge for limited gender check.




How can I pay?


All clinics accept payment by cash or credit card or you can pay online in advance.




Can I invite family and friends to join me for my ultrasound scan?


The scanning suites at our clinics are designed for an intimate scanning experience for the parents to be, grandparents, siblings or friends who can share the experience by viewing the 42” flat screen monitors as the scan is carried out. You are more than welcome to bring up to 3 guests with you to your scan.





❖  DUBLIN RATHGAR

✆  01-9696220 | ✉ info@babyscan.ie

❖  DUBLIN SWORDS

✆  01-2897605 | ✉ info@babyscan.ie

❖  GALWAY Galway West Business Park

✆  091-394243 | ✉ info@babyscan.ie

❖  CORK BALLINCOLLIG   

✆  021-4826855 | ✉ info@babyscan.ie

❖  DERRY N.I

✆  (0044) 02871271688 | ✉ info@babyscan.ie

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* Our Scans are Non Diagnostic