6 to 10 weeks scan

Reassurance Scan

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What is this scan for?

The Reassurance Scan is the first scan you’ll have in pregnancy.

It’s designed to give you peace of mind in early pregnancy, as well as find out more information about baby. This scan also gives you the chance to ask Dr. Penman any questions you may have about your pregnancy and baby.

If you have any questions about this scan not being answered on this page, please call Helen, Dr. Penman’s PA, on 07943 951912.

The Reassurance Scan should:

  • Accurately date the pregnancy
  • Check the pregnancy is located in the uterus
  • Check the number of fetuses
  • Detect the heartbeat
  • Check that the pregnancy is progressing normally

When can I have a Reassurance Scan?

This scan is performed between 6 and 10 weeks.

Dr. Penman can detect baby’s heartbeat as early as 6 weeks. It’s best to come towards the end of the 6th week to ensure the best chances of detecting baby’s heartbeat. See ‘how many weeks pregnant am I?’ for more information on accurately calculating your pregnancy gestation.

Dr Penman detects baby’s heartbeat by seeing it on the scan monitor. You may even be able to hear baby’s heartbeat briefly too. Below is a video showing an early pregnancy scan and baby’s heartbeat.

Who performs this scan?

Dr. Penman, Consultant Fetal Medicine Specialist, performs the scan.

Dr. Penman has over 25 years of experience as a Consultant Gynaecologist and Fetal Medicine Specialist. He has a fully private baby scan and gynaecology clinic based in Kent, England, and specialises in numerous areas, including prenatal screening and diagnosis of fetal abnormalities, recurrent miscarriage, and infertility.

Dr. Penman will conduct the scan and will explain all the findings and results to you during your appointment. You can ask him any questions about your pregnancy and baby.

Why have a scan with Dr. Penman?

Dr. Penman is a Consultant Fetal Medicine Specialist.  So not only is he a Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaegologist, but he has also undertaken extra specialist training in Fetal Medicine.

This higher level of expertise ensures that you receive the best possible care when you have your scan.


How long is the Reassurance Scan?

The appointment takes 20 minutes.

The actual scan will be around 5-10 minutes.

When you arrive at the therapy centre, you will be welcomed by a member of the  staff who will check you in and let Dr. Penman know you have arrived. The time you have booked for your appointment is the time you will be seen – there are no waiting times when you book to see Dr. Penman privately.

Dr. Penman will come to greet you and show you to the scan room where he will take your medical history and conduct the scan. Throughout the scan, Dr. Penman will point out details on the screen to you. He will explain what he sees and answer any questions you may have about your pregnancy and baby.

Dr Penman was very welcoming, he went through everything thoroughly and explained everything clearly! He made me and my partner feel at ease, and no question was too much! We asked Dr Penman to write down the sex of our baby so we could do a gender reveal with our boys, which he did willingly! Now after 3 boys, Dr Penman told us we have a little girl on the way! We’re so happy with our experience and would definitely recommend Dr Penman!

Mrs L

What should I do before this scan?

It’s helpful to have a rough idea of the first date of your last period.

Additionally, your bladder shouldn’t be empty, but it doesn’t need to be uncomfortably full. This can help to get a better view of baby.

What’s included in this scan?

  • A medical report of the scan for your records
  • A CD of 2D baby scan images
  • A safe, inclusive environment
  • Longer appointment times
  • High-quality, professional care from Dr Penman, Consultant Fetal Medicine Specialist

What Happens If Dr. Penman Can’t Detect Baby’s Heartbeat?

Particularly in early pregnancy scans, dates can be wrong and you may think you’re further on in pregnancy than you are (as can often happen). If you come too early for a scan, it won’t be possible to detect the baby’s heartbeat. It’s best to wait until the end of the 6-week mark to have the best chance of detecting the heartbeat.

Sadly, though, it’s also possible that baby has died or not developed and this is why Dr. Penman is unable to detect a heartbeat. It’s estimated that 1 in 4 pregnancies ends in miscarriage. If this is the case, Dr. Penman will support you and, of course, answer all questions you may have and help you plan the next steps if you wish to do so.

You can also find lots of support online for people experiencing a miscarriage including:

Tommy’s miscarriage support

Miscarriage Association

What Affects the Quality of My Baby Scan Images?

Dr. Penman always tries his best to get you the great scan images that you’re after. He knows it’s important to you to see your baby before they’re born and have great images of them to remember for years to come.

There are, however, some things that can affect the quality of the images you get. Here are a few of them:

  • Baby’s position
  • Number of babies
  • Maternal BMI

Sometimes, your little one just isn’t in the right position to get the best scan images possible, or they’re too cramped next to their siblings if you’re expecting multiples. Often, if the mother has a raised BMI, this can decrease scan image quality too.

But, rest assured, Dr. Penman will make sure he tries his utmost to get you the best ultrasound images he can.

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