Purpose of dating scan
This will give you a more precise estimated due date.Are you expecting just one baby, or could it be twins or (gulp) even more?
Not all areas offer this test as routine but when it is offered it is usually done at the 12-week scan.The clarity of the picture depends on a number of things.For instance, if you have any abdominal scarring or are overweight the picture may not be as clear.Occasionally, if they can't see what they need to, the sonographer may ask you to have a transvaginal scan, where a very thin probe is used to look at the baby from close to the cervix. You will be able to watch the monitor and see the first pictures of your baby, which is always an extraordinary moment, whether this is your first baby or your fifth.It may not be immediately obvious which parts of your baby you're looking at, but the sonographer will be able to help you work it out.If you're pregnant and over 40 it's worth bearing in mind that your risk factor will automatically be higher because of your age.
The pregnancy screening tests and scans you'll be offered vary slightly between different parts of the UK, so ask your midwife or GP what's available at the hospitals in your area.
He or she may need to prod your belly a bit to “encourage” the baby into a suitable position.
After a long first trimester, when you might well have had worries, or even wondered if there can really be a baby in there, it is a great comfort and a huge relief to see your baby on the screen and have the reassurance that everything is OK in there.
They will look at the placenta itself and will take note of its position, which may have implications for later in the pregnancy.
A low-lying placenta usually moves up later in the pregnancy but if it doesn't, it can cause problems in labour so they will want to check its movements throughout your pregnancy.
The scan is primarily for dating but the sonographer will also look in on a few more things at the same time.