The ultrasound scan is a great milestone in your pregnancy and it is great to share it with your partner.

12 week dating scan pregnancy-51

The dating scan is usually done at some point between 8 weeks and 14 weeks.

NICE recommends it's done between 10 weeks and 13 weeks. Before the scan you will be asked to drink a lot of water and have a full bladder, as this puts the uterus in a better position to be scanned.

There are two routine scans in pregnancy and the first is called the 12-week or dating scan.

This is because one of the things it tests is the exact gestation, giving a better idea of your baby's estimated due date (EDD).

Some hospitals will sell you a copy of your scan image so you can go and show everyone the very first picture of your sproglet-to-be. You may also be asked whether you want a nuchal translucency test carried out.

This is a measurement of the amount of fluid at the base of the neck and it can indicate a higher risk of Down's syndrome. The pregnancy screening tests and scans you'll be offered vary between different parts of the UK, so ask your midwife or GP what's available at the hospitals in your area.

the baby and its heart beat can be detected relatively easily with trans-abdominal and trans-vaginal examination.

This is presuming that the pregnancy is actually at this stage of development.

The ultrasound's transducer - a hand-held device - is moved over your belly and bounces high-frequency sound waves off your belly to create a picture on the monitor.

Don't worry, it's painless and there's no evidence it harms you or your baby.

For transvaginal ultrasound you can have an empty bladder Dating scans are usually recommended if there is doubt about the validity of the last menstrual period.