About

Our maternity ultrasound departments at Queen Charlotte's & Chelsea and St Mary's hospitals perform all ultrasound scans for women that book their maternity care with the Trust. All women are offered a dating scan at around 12 weeks, with the option of Down's syndrome screening, and an anomaly scan between 18 weeks and 20 weeks and six days. Additional scans are performed at the request of your midwife or doctor for reasons that are specific to your individual pregnancy.

Our hospitals are making changes to help respond to coronavirus and protect our patients, staff and visitors. Key changes for maternity ultrasound services are as follows:

Appointments

  • From Tuesday 29 December, women need to attend all appointments unaccompanied. Please contact 020 3312 6135 to discuss your individual circumstances and we will review every request on a case by case basis.
  • We will contact you to discuss any changes to your upcoming appointment, otherwise please attend as planned
  • You may be offered a phone or video consultation to replace your upcoming appointment, but we will discuss this with you first
  • If you have a glucose tolerance test booked, please come to the hospital for your appointment

Scans

  • You will have a routine ultrasound scan when you are 12 weeks and 20 weeks pregnant, and extra scans if you need them - we will discuss these with you
  • From Tuesday 29 December, one birth partner only may accompany a woman to the dating scan (11-14 weeks). Please do not bring any other family members with you or children. Women need to come to all other scans unaccompanied.
  •  If you need to be accompanied to assist with your communication and/or to meet your health or social care needs, please contact us in advance of your appointment. These requests will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.
  • We will continue to offer additional scans where clinically necessary
  • We may need to reschedule or postpone some scans depending on our clinical capacity. We will contact you to discuss any changes we may need to make to your scan appointments
  • All visitors must wear a surgical face mask (which will be available at the front entrance) at all times while inside our hospitals, follow social-distancing rules and if your partner is coming with you for the dating scan (11-14 weeks), they should remain with you throughout your time in hospital. 

Conditions and treatments

Ultrasound scans use high-frequency sound waves to produce pictures of your baby inside the womb. This is done by building up pictures from the return of sound waves as they bounce back from resistance they meet within your body.

Ultrasound waves are sent to and from the body using a handheld sensor (transducer), which is moved over the surface of your abdomen. The scans are painless and do not involve x-rays. The sonographer will explain the findings of your scan to you and there is a secondary monitor so that you and your partner can view your scan. You can also purchase an image of your baby to take home.

In addition to our regular maternity ultrasound scans, we offer 3D/4D scans of your baby, which offer moving images of your baby. Please note that there is a charge associated with this additional service.


Further online resources