Pregnant? All you need to know about your first scan

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Getting a glimpse of baby is an exciting part of your first trimester

Woman holding scan photo

© Getty - Handbag

Your first scan or 'dating scan' is usually performed between weeks 8-12 of your pregnancy.

You'll be able to see your baby (or babies!) for the very first time and be given the option for further tests to check for Downs syndrome.

Using scanned images your sonographer will be able to measure your baby. This will help determine how far along you are in your pregnancy and you'll then be provided with a due date.

The additional test offered is called the 'combined screening test' and is offered to women between 11-14 weeks pregnant. It's completely optional but it does help to identify pregnancies that have a higher chance of being affected with Downs syndrome.

Combined information from your ultrasound and a bloodtest will give an idea of your baby's chances of developing Downs syndrome. You'll be contacted either by letter or phone depending on the outcome of the screening.

For a clear ultrasound scan drink plenty of water beforehand. It's a good idea to wear a long top and leggings or a dress and tights so that you can easily get your bump out for the scan.

Make sure you bring some spare change as many hospitals charge if you want more than one copy of your sonagram.

Then have fun showing off your baby's very first photo!

For more information on pregnancy health and advice go to
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