A fetal heart scan or echo is very similar to the other abdominal ultrasound scans you will probably have had during your pregnancy. It is a safe test and will not cause you or your baby any harm.
The difference from the usual scans is that the team undertaking your scan have a great deal of expertise in scanning baby’s hearts and therefore are able to undertake a very detailed scan of your baby’s heart. It may not take long to collect the images we need, however it can take much longer to complete depending on several factors including your baby’s position, multiple pregnancies and your size. If you have a higher BMI it can be more difficult to get clear pictures of your baby. It is not necessary to have a full bladder for this scan but if your baby is in a difficult position then we may ask you to have a drink or go for a walk to try and encourage your baby to move position.
The purpose of the scan is to identify any problems with the structure, function or rhythm of your baby’s heart, we will not be able to give you any other details about your baby. Your scan will be performed by a Sonographer or a Fetal Cardiologist.
If a problem is identified the findings will be discuss with you at the end of your appointment.