Danger of private pregnancy scans exposed by BBC

In Baby scans, Early pregnancy scans, NHS pregnancy scans by Maria Birch

Last week, BBC News lifted the lid on a shocking investigation into private ultrasound scans, revealing… The lady whose contradictory scan report read both “foetus absent” and “normal live pregnancy” and who later came close to losing her life after suffering from an undiagnosed ectopic pregnancy The parent’s whose baby had anencephaly but, rather than being referred to hospital immediately, …

Best time for a 4D scan?

In 4D scans by Maria Birch

I’m often asked about the best timing for a 4D scan. The answer? 24-34 weeks. The optimal time is right in the middle—28 weeks. But that’s just a guide. It’s not the “be all and end all.” There are many factors that determine the quality of a 4D scan. One is timing. But even at 28 weeks, it still may …

How Meghan Markle beats stress

In Mental health by Maria Birch

On an episode of the Teenager Therapy podcast, Meghan Markle spoke about being the most trolled person of 2019 (when she was pregnant.) “I don’t care if you’re 15 or 25,” she said, “if people are saying things about you that aren’t true what that does to your mental and emotional health is so damaging.” Meghan has been criticised endlessly …

The naked truth about having a baby in a pandemic

In Covid-19 in pregnancy by Maria Birch

I have a dilemma. To date, I’ve shared very little of my pregnancy and birth story. Although there were lots of positive moments, there were also some dark days. I really want to share the naked truth with you. But… I’m cautious about lifting the veil. There are two reasons why: I don’t want to scare you. Everyone’s experience of …

The Sneak-A-Peek Ultrasound story

In Early pregnancy scans, Sneak-A-Peek Ultrasound by Maria Birch

At 6 weeks pregnant, I was being sick every hour. I felt exhausted. Everyone kept telling me it was normal to feel that way when you’re pregnant. But it was hard to believe. I wondered whether everything was ok. I also worried about there being more than one baby. Was that why I was feeling so rough? I kept hearing …

Coronavirus: are pregnant women at increased risk?

In Covid-19 in pregnancy, Standard by Maria Birch

I’m not a doctor or even slightly qualified to advise you about coronavirus. But at 34 weeks pregnant, I share your concerns, and hope I can do a little to reassure you based on the advice being passed to NHS staff and my own (albeit very subjective) research. For the most part, my attitude towards coronavirus has been to just …

“How many ultrasound scans do I get on the NHS during pregnancy?”

In NHS pregnancy scans by Maria Birch

In a normal, low-risk pregnancy—which is the case for most people—you will be offered two NHS scans. The first scan will be between 11 and 14 weeks gestation. The second will be around 20 weeks gestation. All being well, there will be no need for any other NHS scans after that. There are many reasons, however, why a pregnant woman …

“When should I expect my first ultrasound scan?”

In NHS pregnancy scans, Standard by birchcp

Your first NHS scan should be scheduled for between 11 and 14 weeks gestation. This is the optimum time for the Sonographer to “date” your pregnancy or, in other words, find out how far along you are and estimate your due date. If you decide to opt for the combined screening test for Down’s, Edward’s and Patau’s syndromes, this needs …

“I’ve just found out I’m pregnant, what’s the next step?”

In Pregnancy by Maria Birch

First of all, congratulations! The first step is to contact your GP practice, tell them you’re pregnant and ask them to put you in touch with a local midwife. The first appointment (also called ‘the booking appointment’) is usually scheduled for before you are 10 weeks pregnant. This is because you will be offered tests that must be carried out …