St Thomas' Hospital
8th floor, North Wing
Westminster Bridge Road
London SE1 7EH
Tel: 020 7188 8003
Fax: 020 7188 2314
This page explains what to expect at your appointment in the fetal medicine unit. You may be given an appointment in this unit if you have previously had a pregnancy with fetal abnormalities or issues with your current pregnancy.
Before your appointment
Please only come with one family member or friend and avoid bringing young children with you if possible.
1st trimester scan: please come with a full bladder, but not so full that you are uncomfortable.
2nd trimester: you do not need to come with a full bladder.
Please bring your maternity notes (yellow book) with you.
If you need to cancel your appointment
If you need to change or cancel your appointment for any reason, contact us on the number at the top of the page. Please tell us as soon as possible so that we can give your appointment to another patient.
At your appointment
During the scan:
We will ask you to lie on your back in the scan room with your tummy uncovered.
We will dim the lights in the room to give us a clear view of the screen.
Gel will be spread on your tummy so that a hand-held probe can be easily passed backwards and forwards over it. The probe sends sound waves through your tummy. The sound waves bounce back off the baby and are translated into an image on the screen.
Please note: there is a £3 charge for the scan pictures. If you would like a photograph of your baby, please ask your sonographer (specialist who performs the ultrasound) before the scan.
Remember, an ultrasound is an important clinical examination and is treated the same way as any other hospital investigation.
Please note that the scan:
does not pick up all problems
is not thought to be harmful to you or your baby
Examples of scan images
After your scan
The results will be explained to you and a scan report with details of the examination will be put in your maternity notes (yellow book).
We will help you to organise further scans if you need any.