The Birth Company is a successful practice delivering babies for over 150 mothers every year. In addition they see a further 2,500 clients for scans, consultations and therapies.
About The Birth Company in London's Harley Street
Set up in 2000 by Dr Donald Gibb, The Birth Company operates from Harley Street in central London. Facilities include a modern, spacious clinic, which provides a calm and relaxing environment, as well as state-of-the-art scanning equipment providing the latest in ultrasound technology including 3D and 4D ultrasound scans. Up-to-date design, fresh flowers, tropical fish and modern art contribute to the environment.
The Birth Company also provides general gynaecology care with sensitivity and compassion.
Expert consultant obstetricians, gynaecologists, midwives and sonographers
The Birth Company performs ultrasound scans ranging from single and early pregnancy scans to 3D and 4D scans. The Birth Company offers the following pregnancy scanning services:
Early pregnancy viability scan (7 weeks - 11 weeks)
This scan is available for anyone who feels a bit worried or just wants to make sure that all is well with the early pregnancy. It is particularly important to have this scan if you have had vaginal bleeding or suspect an ectopic pregnancy. It is also advised for women over 35, and strongly recommended for women over 40.
Please click here to read more about early pregnancy viability scans.
Nuchal translucency scan (11 weeks - 14 weeks)
This is the first stage at which the fetus can be seen in great detail. This scan confirms that there is a heartbeat, and the number of fetuses. The baby’s head, trunk, arms, legs, hands and feet can be seen and as well as the placenta, amniotic fluid and umbilical cord.
The doctor or sonographer will then measure the ‘nuchal fold’ or ‘nuchal translucency’ and the baby’s nose bone. The nuchal translucency is the skin at the back of the baby’s neck. In some babies with problems such as Down’s syndrome, and also in some normal babies, this can be enlarged by fluid. The nose bone can be small or absent in Down’s syndrome babies. The doctor will take a blood sample from your arm and perform blood tests for two particular hormones. The result of this test, which will be available from the lab within two hours, will give you more specific information about your level of risk. From this information The Birth Company can calculate the risk of your baby having fetal abnormalities such as Down's syndrome. This will be expressed as a probability of abnormality of one in "something". 1/300 or better is considered a good result. You can either wait for the result in the clinic’s comfortable lounge, or you can provide a convenient phone number so that you can be contacted with the result later in the day. This is called the combined test for Down's Syndrome.
Reassurance scan (14 weeks - 22 weeks)
A scan is not usually necessary at this stage of pregnancy, but you might have one if you have had bleeding or have been unwell. The baby’s head, abdomen, and leg length will be measured, the placenta can be located and the amniotic fluid and umbilical cord assessed. The measurements will be plotted on a graph which you will be given.
Sexing scan (17 weeks onward)
A scan at this stage can determine the sex of your baby. The baby is measured and his or her wellbeing is assessed. The Birth Company’s sexing scans are highly reliable but may be more difficult if the woman is very overweight, or if the baby is in an unfavourable position. You will not be told the sex of your baby if it is not clear, but it is very unusual that this is the case.
Anomaly Scan (21 weeks - 23 weeks)
At the beginning, measurements will be made of the baby's head, brain, abdomen and legs. These will be plotted on a chart. A very thorough scan is then performed to check your baby's heart, brain, spine, bowel and limbs, to detect any abnormalities. This can never completely guarantee that the baby will be normal, but it gives very strong reassurance. The placenta, amniotic fluid and the umbilical cord are also checked, and, if you wish, you can find out the sex of your baby from this scan.
If you are at risk of premature birth, it may be useful to have a scan, using a probe in the vagina, to assess the length of the uterine cervix. This can be done at any stage from 16 weeks but is most useful if done sequentially at 17 and 21 weeks of pregnancy. A cervical scan is usually done after an abdominal scan.
Wellbeing or fetal growth scan including doppler (23-40 weeks)
This is also called a ‘fetal growth scan’ or a ’wellbeing scan’. During this scan, the baby's head, abdomen and limbs are measured, and the baby’s weight is estimated. This gives a guide to how big your baby will be at birth. Other checks are done to see how the baby is moving, the amount of amniotic fluid present, and the orientation of the placenta. The Doppler blood flow in the umbilical cord blood vessels is also assessed. It is possible to tell the sex of your baby from this scan, but this becomes more difficult as you approach the end of your pregnancy.
3D & 4D scans (26-32 weeks)
A 3D ultrasound scan is a special scan that shows the baby in three dimensions. A 4D scan is a 3D scan with the added dimension of time – as in a film or video – so the baby can be seen to be moving.
3D or 4D scans are not usually needed for medical reasons. If the baby has a rare malformation, a 3D or 4D scan could provide extra information for medical purposes, but this is rare. Parents may want the scan if they are curious to see their baby's face.
In a 4D scan the baby can be seen to be moving. Sometimes it is possible to record your baby yawning or stretching.
Please click here to read more on 3D & 4D scans.
The Birth Company
137 Harley Street
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