“ Category: Health Services „
I'm expecting our third baby in August and as wonderful as the NHS ultrasound scans are, with each pregnancy I've always wanted a 3D scan. However, the small fortune that needs spending on items such as prams, cots, sterilisers and other necessities makes paying out for an extra scan seem frivolous and for us, unaffordable! Luckily for me, this pregnancy has coincided with my birthday and I was fortunate to receive money from nearly all my family as they just didn't know what to buy me, so I decided to treat myself to a 3D scan.
I checked on the internet for centres offering the service in my area and found a couple of places within about an hours drive. I was most impressed with Babybond, mainly because the prices were the same whichever of their centres you choose and the packages were clearly described and competitive. The other website I looked at had different offers depending on your choice of centre, offers such as a free DVD for example, which made me feel a little put out, as my closest centre in Cardiff had no offers on at all and they were the most expensive. The Babybond website is also very user friendly and easy to navigate, the headings are clearly set out, there are loads of photos to look at, showing you the quality and what you can expect.
How to Book
On the home page you can choose from a drop down menu of all their 38 centres or click on your chosen area on the map. When you have chosen your centre it takes you to a new page, giving you the centre address, telephone number, a google map and an enquiry form so you can leave your name, address, phone number and a quick message. There is also a link which takes you to an instant online booking form and you can pay online. Once I had decided on the Cirencester branch, I rang them so I could confirm the booking straight away. They just wanted my personal details, i.e. phone number, address, email, age, estimated due date and I was able to book for a Saturday at 2pm. I paid a deposit of £30 by debit card and received confirmation by email the next day.
Packages & Prices
They offer a wide range of scans, many the same as you get on the NHS such as the Nuchal translucency scan and anomaly scans. I won't go into too much detail about these as my experience is of the 3 & 4D scans. However, the only difference (apart from having to pay) is that for some of these scans you do also get a 4D Freeview option, which means that at a later antenatal appointment (after 12 weeks) they will try to get a 4D image of your baby, although appointment times will not be extended just for this purpose and you get a black & white print all free of charge.
The 4D packages
*I've taken this info straight from the Babybond website.
Babybond 4D Growth Scan
Purpose of the scan: Bonding, Reassurance and Fetal Growth Report, ideally between 24 - 32 weeks gestation (20 - 26 weeks for multiple pregnancy). Includes Babybond well-being checklist, growth report with fetal weight estimation, sexing of baby if requested, thermal b/w 3D scan prints, 1 x 4D scan "short DVD" in sleeve in white, blue or pink Babybond bag, to take home: £139. (Includes £30 deposit)
Babybond 4D Bonding Scan Option II
Purpose of the scan: Bonding, Reassurance and Fetal Growth Report, ideally between 24 - 32 weeks gestation (20 - 26 weeks for multiple pregnancy). Includes Babybond well-being checklist, growth report with fetal weight estimation, sexing of baby if requested, 4D scan "long DVD¹" in sleeve, thermal b/w prints 3D scan prints, 4 x sleeved colour gloss 3D scan prints, in white, blue or pink Babybond bag, to take home: £179. (Includes £30 deposit)
Babybond 4D Bonding Scan Option I
Purpose of the scan: Bonding, Reassurance and Fetal Growth Report, ideally between 24 - 32 weeks gestation (20 - 26 weeks for multiple pregnancy). Includes Babybond well-being checklist, growth report with fetal weight estimation, sexing of baby if requested, 4D scan "long DVD¹" in sleeve, thermal b/w 3D scan prints, 1 x colour gloss 3D scan enlargement in photomount, 6 x sleeved colour gloss 3D scan prints, Scan-ShareTM CD with 3D still images (jpeg format), in white, blue or pink Babybond bag, to take home: £199. (Includes £30 deposit)
I chose the 1st option, the Babybond Growth Scan, as I felt it covered all I wanted - including the sexing!
When we clicked on the google map from the website, it takes you through to a link and you can click on a tab - directions- and enter your postcode. This gave us clear door to door directions which we found really easy to follow. The centre itself is situated on a one way street directly off the town centre. It would have helped if we knew Cirencester for the parking facilities, but we were lucky that there was a space on the opposite side of the road a few yards away, although parking was limited to just a hour. From the outside the centre looks like a double fronted shop, very unassuming and in keeping with the area. On entering, you are straight into the reception area, with a large desk and some wicker furniture. My hubby likened it to a dentists, but it definitely had a much more relaxed feel! We were on time and the only people there, so I didn't have much time to take these surroundings in, although I did notice some 3D baby photos on the walls. The receptionist and the sonographer were both friendly and the atmosphere was nice and warm. The only other room I saw was where the scan took place. There was plenty of seating which was just as well as we took both our Mums and there was ample space for the four of us. The sonographer was seated closest to the window, with the blinds shut, obviously to show the scan at its best but also as the window was directly onto the street.
The scan was just the same as any other, although more comfortable as I didn't need to drink any water before hand. The sonographer started in 'normal' 2D scan to get the position of baby before switching to the 4D mode. We could all see this clearly from a screen mounted on the wall at the end of the bed. She took a bit of time, finding the best position and zooming in and out a bit to get the clearest picture and also asked me to move onto my side as the baby had her arm in the way. It does say on the website that if they can't get a clear picture, they will ask you to take a walk around the town and try and get your baby to move. We didn't need to do this, although I was asked to move around a bit as baby was a little shy and kept moving away. We were probably there about half an hour altogether and not once did we feel at all rushed. She even double checked the sex to make sure she was correct and had a look at my mums request to see if she had any hair! (which they look at in 2D). She took loads of measurements and confirmed my dates and at the end we were given a measurement chart, 3x black & white still thermal images, 3x colour (orangey) still images and a 15 minute DVD. I was really pleased with this as the short DVD included in the price is 5 minutes, so we did really well!
Yes! The photos are lovely and clear, great quality. The DVD switches between 2D & 4D, both images are really clear and lovely to watch. I felt the customer service we received was both completely professional and friendly and I loved the fact that we could take both our Mums. I only take off a star as I feel the prices are still too high although they have dropped considerably in the last few years.