The Hey Baby Experience (4)
All of our scanning packages, even the 2D packages, include the Hey Baby Experience. After we have completed our wellbeing checks, and optional gender confirmation, in traditional black and white 2D, we will switch the scanner to display a full colour, 4D image.
Suddenly your baby will no longer be a barely discernible shape on the screen, but a fully fleshed out little person. You will be able to watch in fascination as your baby sucks their thumb or rubs their eyes. You can see all their tiny fingers and toes in incredible detail, and find out whose ears or nose they have.
Even on our most basic of packages we give you twice as much time as as most other clinics for your appointment. This extra time is precious as it allows you to get a real sense of the person your baby will become. And with our 4D Video package you are able to take every minute of this footage home with you, so that your friends and family can share the experience. You’ll love seeing the look of joy on their faces, just like we love seeing it on yours.
Whether or not you choose to take the photos or DVD home with you, the experience itself will stay with you forever.
Before your scan
When you contact us to book your appointment we will confirm some details, like how far along your pregnancy you are.
We recommend that you eat 1-2 hrs before the scan. We also have complementary soft drinks and sweet snacks in reception. The small sugar boost encourages your baby to be more active for the scan.
Ensure you remain well hydrated throughout your pregnancy, but especially for 5 days before your scan for the very best results. For scans at under 20 weeks a full bladder is helpful.
Please ensure you have your antenatal record book to hand, if you have been given it, as you will need to bring this to your scan.
Aim to arrive a few minutes prior to your scheduled appointment so that we can get your paperwork out of the way, and maximise the time you can spend with your baby.
On the day
When you are first welcomed into the Hey Baby clinic, we will first ask for your antenatal records and ask you to complete a short consent form explaining that the scan is purely for bonding and not medical purposes. We will offer you a complementary drink and sweet snack while you wait.
PLEASE NOTE YOU WILL NEED TO HAVE YOUR ANTENATAL RECORDS WITH YOU (IF YOU HAVE BEEN GIVEN THEM)
- Getting comfortable
When you are shown into the scanning room, our experienced, NHS qualified sonographer will put you at ease, explain the scanning process to you, and make you and any guests, feel comfortable before commencing the scan. There is plenty of space for guests in the clinic (up to 4), so feel free to invite friends and family to share the experience.
- Wellbeing scan
All of our packages start with a basic wellbeing scan, where we will check your baby’s development (the ‘weights & dates’), position and heartbeat. This scan does not replace your 12 week dating scan, or your 20 week anomaly scan, so it is important that you keep all of your appointments with your midwife. However, it is only sensible to make these checks while we have the opportunity.
- Gender confirmation and 2D photos
Once these checks have been made, we will check the gender, if you wish, and the 2D photos will be taken. If you don’t want to know, then we will do our best to make sure it remains a surprise.
- Making sure the baby is ready
If your baby is feeling camera shy, we will not simply ‘make do’. We may send you for a little walk around the clinic, or even around the City Centre, or offer another complementary drink or snack, before we try again. If this still doesn’t work, you have the option to make another appointment, at no further cost, and we will try again on another day
- The Hey Baby 4D Experience
Once your baby is in the perfect pose, we commence with the Hey Baby 4D experience, where we will switch the monitor to stunning 4D, and you, like many parents before you, will not be able to help yourself from shouting, “Hey Baby!” as you meet your child for the first time. If you have chosen a package that includes 3D photos and 4D video, then we will start recording straight away, and capture as much as possible.Depending on the package you have chosen, you may then have up to 20 minutes to study your baby’s face, and get to know their quirks and individual mannerisms.
Our sonographers are very experienced, and will do their best to find the very best images possible. However, certain factors, like the position of the placenta, or a camera shy baby, can make it unavoidably difficult to take the perfect picture.
In these cases, we will not simply settle for a bad picture. We are flexible and have several options. We might send you for a walk around the office, or offer you a complementary sweet snack or drink to wake the baby up.
If this doesn’t work, we can invite you back for another appointment at no extra cost. However, this offer is limited to just one extra appointment per customer, and is at the discretion of the sonographer. We will save the images from your first appointment, and the images from your second, to ensure you leave with the best possible 3D images of your baby.
The only scan that specifically looks for anomalies is the conventional scan performed by the NHS at around 20 weeks into your pregnancy. Your 4D scan is a self-elective, non-diagnostic scan.
However, we believe it would be remiss of us to not take the opportunity to check on your baby’s development, so we include a wellbeing scan with every appointment. This scan is not as comprehensive as the 20-week scan, and should not be considered a replacement, but we will check certain vital signs, such as the baby’s position, movement and heartbeat.
If we do discover anything that concerns us during this scan, our sonographers are very experienced, and are able to deal with any issues with sensitivity and professionalism. Anything we might find will have to be confirmed by the NHS, and our sonographers will be able to refer you to your midwife or the Pregnancy Assessment Unit straight away.
They will not let you leave without a report, any relevant images, and a plan of where to go next.
What is 4D Scanning? (4)
4D scanning is the best opportunity to really see, and bond with your baby, before it is born. We use advanced imaging technology to turn a conventional ultrasound into a real 3D image of your baby, which you can see, in real time (4D), moving around your womb, giving you a glimpse of your baby’s personality, as well as their face.
As part of your NHS treatment you will receive ultrasound scans during your pregnancy, at 12 weeks and 20 weeks. From the NHS point of view, these are purely diagnostic scans, to ensure your baby is developing correctly, but from the parents’ point of view, they hold far more emotional significance, they are the moment you are able to see your baby for the first time. The NHS recognise this, and even let you pay for a photo during these scans.
However, the scanning equipment used by the NHS is designed only for diagnostic purposes, it does not have this important emotional connection with your baby in mind. You can only see a 2D cross section of your baby, including their bone structure, and maybe a faint outline of their features.
Our equipment is able to perform all the same diagnostic functions, which allows us to perform a full peace-of-mind, wellbeing scan with every visit, as well as a gender confirmation scan if you wish. But our scanning technology has been further developed to enhance the emotional, bonding experience of really meeting your baby for the first time. Advanced 3D imaging software, called iLive, intelligently creates light and shadow, and realistic skin tones, to enable you to see a fully fleshed out 3D picture of your baby.
And because it all happens in real time, where you are able to watch your baby move, yawn, suck their thumb and sometimes even smile, it is known as a 4D scan – the 4th dimension refers to the real time movement.
We are able to capture these images and movement for you on a range of photos and video options, which you can share with your friends and family, and even show to the baby one day.
Yes, 4D scanning is considered to be perfectly safe.
3D and 4D scanning uses the same ultrasound technology that hospitals use during normal diagnostic scans, the technology simply includes more advanced imaging software, which creates the 3D image.
This technology has been used for many years, and there is no current evidence of any biological risk to mother and foetus associated with obstetric ultrasound scans. (Obstetric ultrasound, biological effects and safety (no 160, June 2005) SOGC clinical practice guidelines from JOGC)
Despite this, we take the safety of you and your baby very seriously, and see no need to take any unnecessary risks. We have adopted the ALARA (As Low As Reasonably Possible) principle. This means that we have our equipment set to the lowest possible settings, whilst imposing a maximum amount of time we will expose your baby to the ultrasound. Therefore even our longest scans will not last for more than 20 minutes.
We also follow BMSU (British Medical Ultrasound Society) guidelines for non-diagnostic, bonding scans, which means we do not scan before 16 weeks, and we regularly update our procedures based on BMSU guidance.
For added peace-of-mind, we only use the most advanced, modern equipment available, which is regularly serviced.
If you have any doubts, please feel free to ask advice from your own doctor or midwife before visiting us.
Hey Baby 4D is proud to be registered with the CQC (Care Quality Commission). The CQC make sure health and social care services provide people with safe, effective, compassionate, high-quality care.
This means that we have been rigorously tested and screened to ensure that all of our sonographers and staff are fully qualified, that our working practices are safe and that we provide a service of exceptional quality.
Our CQC provider ID is: 1-3490270418
Meet the Mindray DC-70 with iLive. This is the ultrasound scanner that powers all of our scans. It is the absolute top of it’s class for 4D baby scanning and diagnostic ultrasound. It encompasses a range of cutting edge technologies, like an Echo-enriched Beamformer and 3T traducer Technology to capture flawless 2D, 3D and 4D images in stunning high definition.
You will be amazed at the difference in quality of even the 2D images, compared with what you might get at your 20 week NHS scan. And the iLive ensures the best quality images on your 3D and 4D scans.
We are confident that using this cutting edge technology is the only way to get the very best images of your baby before it is born.
What is iLive?
Integrating traditional ray casting algorithms with new virtual lighting modality, iLive generates amazingly detailed pictures of your bundle of joy with realistic skin tones and shadows, bringing the 3D image to life.