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obstetric ultrasound

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People accompanying you

We understand that this is a very exciting time for you, and we want to make your visit as special as we can. We do need to make it clear that your baby’s scan is in fact a medical examination and the practitioner undertaking the ultrasound must be able to concentrate so they can scan your baby as accurately as possible. For this reason we can only allow two people into the room with you.


    We understand you may want to bring your children along to experience the scan, or that you may have childcare issues. If a child accompanies you, they do need to be quiet and under control whilst in the room.
    If at any point the sonographer does not feel this is the case, i.e. they are prevented from concentrating on performing the scan, they will ask that the child leaves the room with another adult.

      Photos and videos

      You will be able to buy copies of your baby’s scans from the sonographer - one photo for £5, three photos for £10 or eight photos for £20.

      Please be aware that due to the baby’s position, these photos may all be very similar.

      Unfortunately you are not permitted to take any photos or videos in the scanning room. This is the Trust’s policy and must be adhered to.


        Sometimes babies can be in a certain position within the uterus which makes it difficult for the sonographer to be able to view or assess the anatomy fully. If this is the case, you may be asked to go for a walk or to do some pelvic shakes in the ultrasound room.

          How long will the scan take?

          Most scans take approximately 30 minutes but this can vary depending on the position of your baby.

            Image Quality

            We have all seen pictures of perfect baby scans. The quality of the image is dependent on many factors including the position of the baby, so unfortunately your photos may not be as clear as you might have hoped. The sonographer will always make every effort to ensure they get the best images possible.

            Ultrasound equipment and example of scan

              Arriving on time

              We do need you to arrive on time for your appointment. Unfortunately if you are more than 15 minutes late, the sonographer may have to re-book your appointment.

              Occasionally, some scans can take a little longer than expected as we try to do our very best for our patients and their babies. We apologise if this occurs and as a result you have to wait past your appointment time for your scan.

                Determining the sex of your baby

                The Anomaly scan is very important and our main priority is to perform various checks regarding the health of your baby. If you would like to know the sex of your baby, please let the sonographer know at the beginning of the scan. The sonographer will endeavour to determine the sex of your baby at the end of the scan after all the other anatomy checks have been made. There are times when baby is in a difficult position for the sonographer to determine the sex of it. Unfortunately the sonographer cannot spend too much time on this so there is a chance you may not be able to be given this information.

                NB. Please be aware that determining the sex of a baby is only approximately 80% accurate.

                  Contact details

                  If you would like to discuss your ultrasound scan or if you have vision, mobility or access issues please contact the Imaging Department on 01273 523040
                  Opening hours 08.00-18.00 Monday to Friday.

                  This information is intended for patients receiving care in Brighton & Hove or Haywards Heath.

                  The information here is for guidance purposes only and is in no way intended to replace professional clinical advice by a qualified practitioner.

                    Review Date: October 2022

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