First of all, apologies for how long it has taken to finally get this post written! So much has been going on. We’ve been to The Baby Show in Birmingham, I’ve not been too well with my legs again, it’s been the school holidays and we have been making the most of the lovely weather and cracking on sorting out more of the garden and our massive veg growing mission. Here is our story and experiences of using a private scan clinic. A Babybond scan review for those expectant parents who are considering choosing a private scan for themselves.
We had our 20 week scan a few weeks ago at our local hospital. This scan is called an Anomaly Scan and checks baby for any obvious defects that our newest bundle may have developed and could be born with. As it’s our 4th baby we are all too aware of these important scans and what happens during them. We know exactly what to expect and what shall be checked. Unfortunately for us, this time the scan was nowhere near as special and it certainly didn’t feel as professional either. Not good.
Our NHS staff are incredible. They all have tough roles and deal with daily stresses. I have no idea if our sonographer that day was particularly stressed, was having home troubles or whatever, but she acted very unprofessionally. We were in and out within 10 minutes, her ‘bedside manner’ was blunt and we left feeling very uninformed and rather down. This is our last baby and we wanted our last ever scan to be a positive memory. We did find out the gender but that too was rushed and impersonal. Overall an experience we had never had before. Our previous scans with all of our girls had been professional and lovely to remember.
We felt let down. Because the whole experience seemed rushed, I honestly was not convinced that the appropriate checks had been done to a high standard (I’m sure they were and I do not doubt the sonographer’s medical professionalism, but I’m pregnant and anxious.) We decided to get a second opinion, through a private clinic. We booked in with Babybond Bedford for just 3 days later, and in all honesty I expected and was searching for a much better experience. Our expectations were not wrong.
Who Are Babybond?
Trusted by parents since 1998, Babybond are a private scanning company offering dating scans, early gender scans, bonding scans and anomaly scans, to name a few. Depending on your gestation you also get the chance to view your baby in stunning 4D. You will receive printed images, a USB with digital images and extra keepsakes depending on the package purchased.
With more then 80 clinics around the country, chances are you will find a sonographer close to home to provide you with your extra special scan experience. Babybond are registered with The Care Quality Commission (CQC) so you can rest assured that you will receive excellent quality and trusted care throughout your visit to one of their clinics. All of Babybond’s sonographers are fully qualified and follow the latest safety guidelines.
Our Scan Experience
Our scan was booked for 10:00am and we arrived a little after 9:30am. Luckily I’m a person who is rarely late… and when I was this excited how could I possibly run late?! Babybond Bedford is situated inside Bedford Mothercare. I was warmly welcomed and offered a beverage. I chose a lovely hot cup of coffee (I wanted baby wiggling too) and a chance to take a seat while my paperwork was printed off and signed. The waiting area was lovely and clean, with toys for small kids and refreshments and magazines for all visitors to freely use.
Our anomaly scan included:
- A 40 minute diagnostic appointment (we were actually in the room for a little longer)
- Full report and supporting images (lllooooaaadddsss of images!)
- Complimentary sexing of baby if requested
- 4D Freeview with 3D ultrasound images
There are many different scan packages to choose from and there is certainly going to be one that suits you and your needs.
Once we were ready to enter the scanning room I was so surprised at how different a private room was compared to what I was used to at an NHS hospital. The room was very large, with sofas for guests- up to 5 guests in total (We decided to take my mother-in-law, brother-in-law and my youngest daughter.) There was a very large screen mounted on the wall opposite the bed for us all to easily see.
As we were there for an anomaly scan and not a bonding scan there was lots for the sonographer to look at and concentrate on, but the she spoke to us the whole time and explained exactly what she was seeing and how everything looked (all was normal, luckily!). We were slowly talked through the chambers of the heart, the brain, internal organs and very clearly shown the sex of the baby… Something we are STILL keeping a secret! You didn’t think that I would actually reveal all in this post, did you?
After all of the important bits were checked, we got to watch baby in some lovely 4D viewing. Even though I was only 21 weeks at the time, I couldn’t believe how clear the image before us on the screen was. I thought that because baby wasn’t very big at this stage that the image would be fuzzy and hard to see, but I was totally wrong! We watched baby wiggle and wave, stick their thumb up, bounce with hiccups and even swallow amniotic fluid. We could easily see when they had their eyes closed and open and we witnessed baby stick their tongue out. A truly magical experience.
Our youngest daughter Ivy, sat and watched too. She is only 2 years old, yet she definitely understood what she was seeing, and was so excited to say hello to her newest sibling. The sonographer was chatty with her, as well as us adults. It made the whole scan a beautiful family experience, that we could all enjoy together.
We were in the scanning room for around 50 minutes in total, we were given 20 scan photos, a USB with some digital images and a lovely little paper bag to keep all of the photos in (you can choose between a pink bag, white bag and a blue bag too- Are we team white?!). Measurements are charted and printed off for our notes, so everything medical was logged and safe.
Overall, a superb experience that I would fully recommend for any expectant parents. Even though this is our 4th baby, we have never had a private scan before… and certainly not a 4D scan at that! The moment was special, memorable and very enjoyable. We chose the anomaly scan due to wanting some reassurance but there is a package suitable for everyone. The most popular package is the 4D Bonding Scan (available from 24-34 weeks gestation). This 20 minute appointment gives parents-to-be the opportunity to see baby again and receive some gorgeous images and videos (on USB) to take home.
Check out your local Babybond clinics, price lists, package information and what other items are available here.