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See What if a screening test shows a possible problem?for more information on what may happen if a scan or other screening test suggests an abnormality.Ultrasound scans use sound waves to build a picture of the baby in the womb.The scans are painless, have no known side effects on mothers or babies, and can be carried out at any stage of pregnancy.This is because most babies are healthy and do not have abnormalities. If a problem is found or suspected, the sonographer may ask for a second opinion from another member of staff.You might be offered another test to find out for certain if there is a problem.The sonographer estimates when your baby is due (the estimated date of delivery, or EDD) based on the baby's measurements.
You'll be able to discuss this with your midwife or consultant.The sonographer will put ultrasound gel on your tummy and tuck tissue paper around your clothing to protect it from the gel.The gel makes sure there is good contact between the machine and your skin. It is this probe that sends out ultrasound waves and picks them up when they bounce back.You'll be given the chance to discuss it with your maternity team before making your decision. You may like someone to come with you to the scan appointment.Most hospitals do not allow children to attend scans as childcare is not usually available.