Paying for Private?


Around the time of my first scan.

So far during my pregnancy I’ve had a scan at 13 weeks (which I talked about here) and by the time you read this I’ll also have had my 20 week scan. Unless there’s a specific need to, I won’t have another now before baby’s born (that read as though they might give me one after the arrival…you get what I mean!). It doesn’t seem a lot when you think about it but equally, the two scans have their very specific purposes – the first to date your pregnancy and confirm there is indeed a foetus in there or if there’s more than one, the second to look for any issues with the baby’s development. Anything more than that offered on the NHS (unless there’s a problem)¬†would be simply to let mom and dad have another peek at their little one. As lovely as that would be, I can see why it doesn’t happen.

A lot of people seem to be paying for private scans these days. I’m in two minds about this – if you can afford it and you both want to then I can see it’s very reassuring for the mother and can be a great way for dad to start bonding with the baby. In the early days before my first scan I’d convinced myself there wasn’t going to be anything in there so it might have helped a little bit with the worry. But where do you stop? I thought at 12 weeks, which is generally considered the ‘post danger’ time, I would start to feel a little more relaxed about bambino arriving safely and in perfect health. Conversely, I think I’m worrying more in the second trimester.

Perhaps it’s because it’s all getting much more real now? Either way I can feel myself being a little paranoid about things and think if I could book myself in for a scan every week I would do! (It’s the same reason I’ve not bought a Doppler as I think I’d be permanently attached to the thing. Anyway, I’m getting slightly off the point – or maybe I haven’t even got to the point yet. Plenty of people pay for private scans and I’d be the first person pushing for one if we don’t find out what the baby’s gender is at our 20 week. But it can be a huge expense and I wonder how much these private companies are almost cashing in on the fear something might go wrong? Particularly for first time moms who don’t really know what’s normal/not normal to feel.

It would be lovely to see baby on screen all the time but the likelihood is if something was going to go wrong, it would have done by now, or will be picked up at the NHS scan. Of course tragically things do happen after that but would a private scan give a hint if there were to be issues up the road? Or is it simply indulging ourselves in the fact the technology is there now?

I’d be interested to hear people’s thoughts: did you have a private scan? Do you think they’re worth it? What did you get out of them, other than reassurance?

Harriet and bump x