What to expect in your dating scan

It's your first pregnancy ultrasound where you see your baby for the first time, but what's it all about? Will the dating scan happen at exactly 12 weeks? The scan will be carried out by a sonographer, who is trained in performing scans and knowing what to look out for.

Your sonographer will be able to answer any questions you have on the day and will talk you through the process. What will the dating scan involve? This can be a bit uncomfortable if you have to wait with a full bladder but it does put your uterus in a better position for scanning. The process will involve lying back on a bed, with gel applied to your belly.

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The sonographer will then use a transducer device which uses ultrasound to produce an image of your baby inside the womb to a small display screen next to you. The scan will usually last for around 20 minutes.

Have a glass of water or two before you go, but don't worry about a full bladder, the last thing you want is to be uncomfortable when you're seeing your baby for the first time. If you are only weeks, they will probably have to do an internal scan and you'll have to empty your bladder anyway. I didn't even think about asking and the tech didn't offer. You can definitely ask to hear it, but I don't think all machines can play sound.

Be prepared that if you are earlier than you think, since you have irregular cycles, a heartbeat may not be able to be found. I'm pretty sure you will always get a picture, the place I went printed one straight away, but be sure to ask.

What is the purpose of the dating scan?

It is definitely a fair request! I'm pretty sure it's too early to detect any problems. As I said above, there may not be a heartbeat, which can be very scary, but they will suggest you come back for another scan later. Most problems are found at either 12 or 20 week scans - I think! If you have to have an internal again, so early, it's likely , you'll just take off everything from the waist down and cover with a sheet.

Very, but you may be given a few dates! I've been given two so far - only three days apart, though. I had my first scan at 6w 5d. This was with my obstetrician. She said for earlier than 8w, she always did an internal scan. I saw the heartbeat and got given pics. I was fairly sure of my dates and she put me at 1 day further along, so pretty close.

I'm now 9 weeks but had my dating scan at 7w4d. No need for an internal.. Was easily found externally. I don't believe you can hear the heart beat until weeks. I saw it at my scan but no audio. I got a disk with pictures.

How is a dating scan performed?

I think it's almost a given. I wore a shirt and pants with a stretchy waist band.

I was told 90 mins prior, empty bladder. Then drink 1 litre and hold it.

What to expect during your first scan

It was so painful holding it. I had my dating scan this morning!

I drank water before going, even though no one had formally asked me to, just in case. They couldn't see bub externally, so had to go internal I did have to go and empty my bladder.

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However, the lady was lovely and the internal wasn't nearly as uncomfortable as I thought it would be. Was super exciting to see our teeny, tiny baby! She said we are 6 weeks and 1 day today which is only a day off my personal estimate. We got to see the heart beat.