The 12-Week Baby Scan: What’s in Store?

Hello, Second Trimester!
The 12 week baby scan may be your first in-depth look at Baby and is the start of the second trimester. It’s an important time because your Baby’s already fully formed, from their head down to their toes.

Why is This Early Pregnancy Scan Important?
Aside from the excitement of seeing Baby, the 12-week pregnancy scan gives you and your doctor important details on how Baby is developing.

What the 12-week scan allows you and your doctor to see:
    See how many babies you are having (one, twins or more!)

    Measure Baby’s body, arms, head, legs and some of the internal organs such as kidneys too.

    Measure Baby’s heartbeat which is usually around 160bpm at 12 weeks.

    Check the nuchal translucency, which is fluid and skin along the back of Baby’s neck. This measurement is taken to help find potential chromosomal abnormalities, such as Down’s Syndrome.

How is the Scan Performed?
You’ll have your twelve-week scan at your maternity hospital or at a private centre such as ours, Ultrasound Dimensions.

To prepare, drinking some water before the appointment can help your uterus move into the best position for viewing, but just a little bottle of water is all you need. You don’t want your first look at Baby hoping you could get to a restroom.

After putting some warm gel on your bump, a midwife or medical sonographer will slide a transducer across your lower abdomen. The transducer is a wand that uses ultrasonic waves to provide an picture of what’s happening in the womb.

Hello, Baby.
You’ll be able to watch the transducer transmit black, white, and gray images to a monitor. It may be difficult for you to figure out what all the images are showing but the sonographer will explain what is happening. If Baby positioned well, we may be able to get 3D/4D images of Baby too.

At 12 weeks, Baby measures three inches in length, and you’ll be able to see them moving, stretching, bouncing around.  Baby’s nose and chin are easy to see, and the male genitals can sometimes be seen at this stage, but they only appear as a small nub between the legs, so you’ll need to wait until the 20-week anomaly scan to determine if you’re having a boy or girl.

In summary, the 12-week scan only takes 15 minutes. It’s a fun time to lie down in a peaceful, dim room and enjoy the first look of your little Baby developing inside of you.

Schedule your 12 Week Baby Scan?
To book your 12-week baby scan or ask more questions about the service, please contact us at or ring us 7 days a week at 01 210 0232, we are always happy to help.


All of the content and articles on our blog and website are intended for informational purposes only. Please do not consider any of the information provided here as a substitute for medical advice. At all times seek medical advice directly with your own doctor and medical team.