Early Scan

Having a rainbow baby

A rainbow baby is the name for babies born after parents have experienced the loss of another child whether due to a miscarriage, or stillbirth or in the first month after birth.

The name stems from the fact that beautiful rainbows often follow a storm and can be a symbol of hope and comfort, after a dark time.

Losing a baby is devastating, and an emotionally-draining experience, as it goes against all your expectations and you are denied the happy ending that is the norm. Often it happens before you’ve told anyone you are pregnant, so others don’t understand why you’re upset, or you make a choice to keep your grief hidden.

If you have conceived your rainbow baby after such a loss, you will understandably be more anxious and worried, particularly during the first trimester when miscarriage is more common, but perhaps then all through your pregnancy.

How scans may help your anxiety

Ultrasound scans give you images of your baby made up from sound waves with no known side effects. Baby scans can give you a detailed snapshot of your baby’s health and be a source of reassurance and detailed information throughout your pregnancy.

Ultrasound Direct have run a network of private clinics at 80+ locations offering private baby scans near you in the UK for over 20 years. The company offers 14 different types of antenatal scan that can provide the extra scans you may want to think about for your rainbow baby. The clinics are run by expert obstetric sonographers, so you are in safe hands and appointments can be arranged to suit you, at a location near you.

Reassurance in the early days

The first 12 weeks of pregnancy can be worrying, as this is when miscarriage rates are highest. One in four pregnancies end in miscarriage and 85 per cent of these occur in the first trimester, but a baby scan at a key point can be immensely reassuring. Even if the news isn’t good, just knowing what is happening so that you can deal with it, is often preferable to being left to fret and worry.

The NHS offers routine booking scans (sometimes called a dating scan) at between 8 and 14 weeks of your pregnancy and earlier if you experience spotting, bleeding, or cramping. Ultrasound Direct offers early scans to provide you with the information and - in most cases - reassurance you need. These include:

  • Early scan: A scan is offered at 6 to 11 weeks to find out if your pregnancy is viable and measuring correctly for your dates. It can also detect an ectopic pregnancy, where the baby is developing in a fallopian tube instead of the uterus.

  • Dating Scan: Performed at between 12 and 16 weeks, this scan is also referred to as a 12-week scan or booking scan. The main purpose is to date your pregnancy by measuring your baby's size and confirm how many babies you're expecting. From 12 weeks, 4DFREEVIEW™ technology is available to give you a 3D moving picture of your baby, including their heart. 

  • Babybond Nuchal Translucency (NT) Scan: Ultrasound Direct offer a Babybond Nuchal Translucency (NT) Scan (also called a nuchal scan)at between 11 and 13.6 weeks and 6 days gestation. This uses ultrasound to measure fluid at the back of your baby's neck (this area is called the nuchal fold). If a baby has extra fluid at this point, it's a marker for an extra chromosome and they may have Down's syndrome and you'll be counselled to see if you want further diagnostic tests to find out for sure.

  • NIPT scan: This test combines a non-invasive pre-natal blood screening test for Down's syndrome (called Harmony) with a diagnostic scan to check viability and dates. It's performed between 10 and 40 weeks.

Second trimester scans

Many of the detailed baby scans available between 12 and 24 weeks use the latest 4DFREEVIEW™ultrasound technology. These include:
  • Anomaly scan: This 40-minute scan is performed between 19 and 24 weeks and measures your baby's growthand checks internal organs and is probably the most important scan you'll have in pregnancy. Also available on the NHS, anomaly scans include sexing of your baby (but only if requested).
Other important second trimester scans include the Gender Scan at between 16 and 32 weeks and the JustGender™scan at 18 to 30 weeks.

Final trimester scans

The medical purpose of these baby scans is always to check on your baby's growth, wellbeing and presentation (position). If you’ve previously lost a baby at this stage in pregnancy you may appreciate the reassurance of extra monitoring scans to check on your baby’s wellbeing at this time.

Ultrasound Direct offer:

  • Growth scans: Offered between 24 to 36 weeks, these can measure your baby's growth and estimate fetal weight.

  • 4D bonding scans: Available between 24 and 34 weeks, these scans use 4D imaging techniques for 20 minutes, to measure your baby’s growth and estimate fetal weight.

  • Presentation scans: From 37 weeks onwards, these scans can check if your baby and placenta are in the right positions for birth.
    For a complete list of all baby scans offered pre and during pregnancy go to Ultrasound Direct.

What parents say about Ultrasound Direct

Ultrasound Direct actively obtain verified customer reviews via TrustPilot, one of the world’s leading review aggregators. The company cannot influence the reviews collected and welcome feedback from their clients. TrustPilot actively collect daily reviews from Ultrasound Direct clients and have currently in access of 21,000+ on record. Here’s a snapshot of recent feedback from their clients.

Was amazing experience!!
“I loved it!! My scan visit was on Sunday 8 April!! Both ladies were very polite, doctor who took the scan was very nice and gentle.” Adelina Cani

Useful information…
“The lady was lovely and gave us a lot of useful information.” Kelly Maxwell

Excellent from booking-in to the scan
“Excellent from booking in to the scan, great service.” Danny Youles

Put my mind at rest about everything
“Excellent experience and price. Receptionist and sonographer were lovely and welcoming and put my mind at rest about everything. Would definitely recommend/return.” Kelly-marie Robinson 

Huge peace of mind
“Appointment for early scan was well worth the money spent. We were seen slightly early than scheduled appointment so no waiting around, enjoyed being able to see scan on big screen whilst it was being performed and felt more time spent so we can watch, sonographer was kind and caring, lots of photos printed. Huge peace of mind having early scan, would recommend. Kirsty Morgan

Explained the whole thing
“Lovely staff very friendly and took time to get to know us and our situation. Explained the whole thing.” Samantha Fisher