You might be offered an ultrasound scan at 11-13 weeks (usually called the 12-week scan). Health professionals also usually recommend you have an ultrasound scan at 18-20 weeks (usually called the 20-week scan).

The 12-week ultrasound scan: shows whether you’re having more than one baby can work out the age and due date of your baby can screen your baby for Down syndrome and other chromosomal conditions.Your doctor might also recommend an ultrasound scan if you are bleeding from your vagina or abdominal pain in early pregnancy. These symptoms might be – but aren’t always – a sign of miscarriage early in pregnancy.

The 20-week ultrasound scan: checks that your baby is growing normally checks the position of your placenta looks at your baby’s body parts and can usually pick up any obvious problems like spina bifida, heart defects and limb defects might indicate that your baby has a genetic abnormality.

If you’re interested in finding out your baby’s gender, you can ask the ultrasonographer doing the 20-week ultrasound to look. But the ultrasonographer won’t always be able to tell the gender for sure. You might have extra scans before or after this if you’re having twins or more, if you have a medical condition, or if you’ve had problems in previous pregnancies.