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Scans and screening tests for you and your baby

During your pregnancy, you'll be offered scans and screening tests to monitor your baby's development and try to find any health problems that could affect you or the baby.

Scan appointments during COVID-19

From 1 March 2021, we will be offering saliva tests for COVID-19 to pregnant women and their partners who have an upcoming scan appointment. A negative result will mean that a partner can accompany the pregnant woman to their 12 week or 20 week scan.

Saliva tests will be sent to women and their partners in the post, with instructions on how to complete the test, when and where you need to return the testing kits, and self-isolating between taking the test and attending your appointment. It is important that these instructions are followed carefully and that samples are returned to the hospital in the time frame that is stipulated.

Once the sample has been received and processed by the laboratory, women and their partners will be informed of their results by telephone. In the event of a positive COVID result, for either or both parties, they will be advised further by the team as to what the next steps will be.  

What to get ready in advance

In order to request these tests using the hospital laboratory systems, we are asking women and their partners to submit their names, dates of birth and NHS numbers to a secure email account. Support for accessing this information can be found on the NHS app. We need to collect this information for women and their partners.

Once you have this information, please email the following secure email account, stating the date of your forthcoming scan appointment:

New referrals

Going forward, any new referrals to UHS maternity services (that is newly pregnant couples) will need to have the following details available before they speak to the triage team. That is name, date of birth and NHS number for both the pregnant woman and their partner.

Women and their partners will need to have this information available in order to receive their saliva testing kits in the post, which will need to be completed prior to their pregnancy scan appointments.

Ultrasound scans

Ultrasound scans use sound waves to build a picture of the baby in the womb. They're used to:

  • check the size of your baby (this gives us a better idea of how many weeks pregnant you are and when your due date will be)
  • check if you're having more than one baby
  • detect some abnormalities
  • look at the position of your baby and the placenta
  • check that your baby is growing normally.

Find out more

Screening tests

During your pregnancy, you'll be offered screening tests that are designed to try to find any health problems that could affect you or the baby.

They're used to find people with a higher chance of a health problem. This means they can get earlier, potentially more effective treatment, and make informed decisions about their health. 

Find out more