Questions and Answers

Early pregnancy scans

How early can I have an early pregnancy scan?

Strictly speaking, a pregnancy can be detected on an ultrasound scan from 6 weeks. Therefore, if you are confident in your dates, prepared to have a transvaginal (internal) scan, and simply want to know that your pregnancy is viable, then you could have a scan from 6 weeks.

On the other hand, if you're not that confident in your dates and/or you would prefer to avoid an internal scan and/or you'd like a little more information than viability, then I recommend having an early pregnancy scan from 8 weeks.

Will I need a transvaginal (internal) scan?

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Will I need to keep a full bladder?

When you have an early pregnancy scan with a full bladder it's easier to assess your baby via the abdomen, which reduces the likelihood of an internal (transvaginal) scan being required. Therefore, do try your best to attend your scan with a full bladder. Equally, if you can't - for whatever reason - please don't worry. It's still possible to get everything you want from the experience with some improvisation 🙂

3D/4D scans

What's the best time for a 3D/4D scan?

The best time for a 3d/4d scan is between 24 and 34 weeks. Before 24 weeks, your baby will looks quite "skeletal" so they don't look very life-like. After 34 weeks, as your baby moves around to prepare for an exit, it's more difficult to see their face clearly.

Between 24 and 24 weeks (ideally 28 weeks) your baby will have some padding around their cheeks, so they'll look really cute, and you'll have the best chance of seeing their features more clearly.

I've got an anterior placenta. Is a 3D/4D scan worth it?

An anterior placenta isn't always a problem with 3D and 4D imaging, however it does affect the quality of images we are able to obtain. Firstly, the sound waves are weakened by having to pass through the placenta and back again so the picture will not be as sharp and secondly, the placenta will generally always be in the picture as it is lying in front of the babies face. However, the extent to which it effects the pictures varies, as some people have a placenta that is long and thin, so doesn't impede on the pictures too much, whereas others have a placenta that is shorter and thicker and lies right against the babies face which seriously impedes the pictures, so we are unable to see baby's face clearly.

If you do have an anterior placenta, it can help if you book your scan for earlier in your pregnancy, I advise that if your placenta is anterior you book your scan between 24-27 weeks. This is because the baby is smaller so less likely to get its face right against the placenta. We need a gap around the babies face with a reasonable amount of fluid between baby's face and the placenta so the sound waves can map the face. If the baby has its face against the placenta we will get fuzzy pictures as the sound waves cannot get clear measurements around the face.


Who can I bring with me to the scan?

You can bring 4 guests with you (5 total, including you). That might include your partner, mum, dad, children, friend - it's totally up to you. Bring whoever you want by your side, whoever you want to share the experience with, or your children if childcare is difficult to organise.

Can I bring my partner with me?

Yes, absolutely. You can bring 4 other guests (5 total, including you). And that can be your partner, friend, mum, dad, children - whoever you want there for support or whoever you most want to share the experience with.

Can I bring my children?

Yes, absolutely. If finding childcare is tricky and/or you want to involve your children in the experience, please bring them along.


Where are you located?

The Sneak-A-Peek clinic is in Barnstaple, North Devon. It's a 5-minute drive from the Atlantic Highway (A39) so it's easy to reach by car from Devon, Somerset and Cornwall. If you're travelling by train, we're a 5-minute drive or a 20-minute walk from Barnstaple train station. Alternatively, you could park in Barnstaple town centre (spot of shopping?) and walk to the clinic. It takes about 10 minutes.

When are you open?

Normal opening hours are 8-6, Wednesday-Saturday. I occasionally offer evening appointments if I'm available, but as an exception. To enquire about current availability, please send an enquiry or request an appointment for the scan you're interested in (fastest if you're ready to book).

Do you offer evening appointments?

Our normal opening hours are 8-6, Wednesday-Saturday. Appointments tend to be full a week or more in advance, so I do occasionally offer additional appointments if I'm available, but that's an exception. To enquire about current availability, please request an appointment for the scan you'd like to book.

When is your next available appointment?

My schedule tends to fill up a week or so in advance, sometimes several weeks. But I do block off some time each week for emergency early pregnancy scans. And, occasionally, someone will change their appointment, freeing up a slot at short notice. Therefore, for up-to-date availability, please request an appointment for the scan you are interested in.

How much do scans cost?

Each scan type has its own price, which we occasionally increase. For current prices, visit the services page, and select a scan type.


How can I book a scan?

At most private pregnancy scan clinics, you can book an appointment on the website. We tend to get booked up a week or more in advance, so we ask you request an appointment first. That way, I can advise you on timing based on your situation and current gestation. You can also ask any questions you might have. And finally, if there aren't any appointments available in your preferred time-frame, you can ask to join the waiting list. To request an appointment, visit the services page, and choose the scan type you are interested in.


Do I need to wear a face-covering?

No. I will wear a face mask, but as per government guidelines, it's your decision as to whether you wear a mask or shield.

How do you keep the clinic clean and safe?

I clean surfaces thoroughly after every scan. I wear a face mask and gloves and replace them after every scan. I also aim to keep a safe distance from you and your guests, although that's not possible during scanning.

Coming Soon! Christmas Pregnancy Scans