You are currently on the most exciting journey of your entire life, and it is about to get even more exciting. 


You have reached the 12-week mark, and now it's time to get your first ultrasound scan, and lay eyes on your baby for the first time. 


When preparing for your first ultrasound, there a number of things you should keep in mind:


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The most important thing is to keep your nerves in check, and remain calm. It is such an exciting experience, but if you're riddled with anxiety you will be jumping off the bed as soon as the cold gel touches your bump.


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Get a clear image

In order to get a nice clear view of your baby, try drinking a pint of water about an hour before the scan, as this pushes the uterus into a better position, so you can see the baby more easily. 


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Where do you go for your scan?

You will get an appointment with a sonographer in a hospital. 


How long will it take? 

12-week scans usually take between 15 and 30 minutes, though it might take longer if your baby is in an awkward position. 


We recommend bringing someone with you for the scan - whether it’s your partner, mum, or a friend - as a form of support and distraction. 


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What actually happens during the scan? 

The sonographer will put some cold clear gel on your bump, and will move a hand-held device over your skin. Don't worry about getting gel on your clothes, as the sonographer will tuck tissue paper around you to protect the garments. 


You will feel some pressure on your stomach, but it shouldn’t be painful at all. 


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A black and white image of your teeny-tiny baby will appear on the screen, which the sonographer will position so you get a good view.


It is important to note that you might be offered a vaginal scan instead, if your womb is sitting very deep in your pelvis, or if you are overweight.


Pregnant Woman Holding Baby Shoes in Her Tummy


What will the sonographer find?

The 12-week scan is the first proper look at your growing baby, and it will assess the early development in the womb. 


You will hear the heartbeat, which will probably make you cry, and you will also see the skull, the brain, the arms and legs, the heart, stomach, bowel, pelvis and bladder.


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When will you have another scan? 

After your 12-week scan, your next ultrasound probably won't be until you're 20 weeks' pregnant. 


This is called your anomaly scan, and will be your chance to find out if you're having a boy or girl, if you want. 


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