FAQs

Frequently asked questions

Does the 3D/4D scan present any risk to mother or baby?

The scanning equipment used by Before the Stork is state-of-the-art scanning equipment in the GE Voluson 730 Pro. Ultrasound technology has been researched extensively in hundreds of clinical studies over the past 30 years and has not been shown to cause any harm to either mother or baby with routine scanning now a normal procedure in all pregnancies. In 3D/4D scanning, exactly the same type and intensity of ultrasound is used as with conventional 2D scanning. 3D and 4D ultrasound both utilise sound waves to look inside the body. A probe placed on the body emits sound waves into the body, listens for the return echo and generates an image. 4D ultrasound will be similar therefore to a conventional scan in terms of exposure. 

Who will perform my scan?

Your scan will be performed by a fully trained ultrasonographer.

What if an unexpected abnormality is found?

The 4D baby bonding scan is not performed as a check for foetal abnormalities. If however any incidental abnormality is discovered the ultrasonographer will explain the findings as fully as possible to you. At your request we will liaise with your GP or maternity unit to pass on this information.

Do I need to book an appointment?

Yes, appointments are necessary to have a scan performed.

At what stage of my pregnancy is it best to have a 3D/4D scan?

For best results we advise having your scan done between 20 and 32 weeks (around 26/27 weeks is optimum for a 3D/4D scan). In order to make sure you can get an appointment at the optimum time you should therefore aim to book around 4 weeks in advance if possible.

When is the best time to have a scan if I am having twins?

Double trouble!- because twins tend to have less space around them we usually advise having a 3D/4D scan slightly earlier than usually at around 24 weeks.  

Can I bring my family and friends along with me to watch my scan?

Yes of course! This is, after all your experience and we encourage you to invite your loved ones along to enjoy the wonderful experience with you (especially since numbers are usually restricted during routine hospital scans). We can comfortably sit 4 but if family members don’t mind standing additional guests are welcome and we do have a large wall mounted screen so everyone should be able to see but please be a little reasonable with numbers.

Will I always get great pictures and images of my baby?

In most cases yes. Unfortunately however it may not be possible and babies don’t always behave the way we would like them to! Sometimes baby may be laying face down towards the spine or placenta which can make it difficult to see baby’s face. If this happens we may ask you to take a gentle walk outside or have a drink and hope that baby moves, we will then scan you again. If baby is still in an awkward position and we can’t get any images we will book you a further appointment at your convenience and at no extra cost. This is only available with our half hour scans. 

Is there anything else I can do to improve my chance of getting great images?

Baby’s position and the amount of water around baby are the two most important factors in getting good images. However, in many cases, extensive abdominal fat can have some impact on the quality of images. In answer then, there is not much you can do to improve your chance, after all baby is in charge of the show!! 

How do I pay for my scan?

We accept the following methods of payment which you can use on the day to pay for your scan: Visa, Mastercard, Switch, Maestro, Delt. Alternatively, if the scan is for a gift you can pay over the telephone prior to you appointment.  

What type of ultrasound scanning equipment do you use?

At Before the Stork we are the only private ultrasound company in the northwest using the voluson E8 ultrasound machine, which gives you the best quality images. 

What if I don't want to find out the sex of my baby?

If you do not wish to know the sex of your baby please let us know and we will do our very best to respect your wishes. 

What do I need to bring with me?

You only need to bring your hospital/antenatal notes along with you. This enables our sonographer to accurately date your pregnancy and containes contact details of your health professionals if they become necessary.  

Do I need a full bladder?

It is not always necessary to have a full bladder when you attend for your scan appointment but sometimes it can help particularily when having an early scan. Please  therefore ask at time of booking. 

How do I make an appointment?

You can ring our booking number on 0151 280 0543 our opening times

  • Monday 10am – 9pm
  • Tuesday 10am – 5pm
  • Wednesday 10am – 9pm
  • Thursday 10am – 5pm
  • Friday 10am – 5pm
  • Saturday 10am -5pm
  • Sunday 10am -5pm

If however we are busy scanning and are unable to take your call you can leave a message and we will ring you back at your convenience.

Does this replace my hospital scan/do I still need to attend hospital?

Yes definitely. Your before the stork scan is completely optional and is in addition to your routine NHS antenatal care. You must still attend all of your normal hospital appointments. 

How long will my scan appointment last?

We would advise that you allow 1 hour for your appointment. Your scan time can vary depending on the option you choose but depending on how co-operative baby is feeling on the day it may take us a little longer to get you the best images.

Will you be able to tell me the sex of my baby?

We do not routinely check the sex of baby but if you do wish to know we will do our best to find out for you. This is usually possible in most cases with a 95% accuracy although sometimes depending on babies position this may not be possible. 

Where can I find more information about the risks of ultrasound scanning?

To find out more about the risks of Ultrasound Scanning and to make an informed decision about having any ultrasound follow this link below

HPA guidance.