Southend Hospital offers 3D/4D maternity scans
25 November 2016
Can’t wait to meet your baby? Southend University Hospital has just started to offer expectant parents the chance to have detailed 3D/4D scans of their baby using the very latest ultrasound technology.
This allows them to see their baby in amazing 3D images and 4D
video in one of the few places in Essex to offer this service and
can be booked by all expectant parents, not just those receiving
their care in Southend.
Unlike the 2D images which are taken for routine maternity
scans, both 3D and 4D scans are not available on the NHS.
Southend is the only hospital within Essex to offer this
service, the nearest clinic being on Canvey Island, and the scan is
performed by a fetal medicine consultant.
Whilst a 3D/4D scan uses the same technology as a 2D scan, the
3D scan shows the baby in three dimensions whilst a 4D scan is
moving images of a 3D scan, bringing the scans in the womb vividly
One of the first people to take advantage of this was Melissa
Sanderson, 24, from Rochford, who is expecting a boy next
On seeing her baby move real time in 3D on the screen, she said:
"It's great that you can picture exactly what your baby is going to
look like. It just makes it seem a lot more real getting to 'meet'
them this way and it was lovely to see his face and features."
Leading on the delivery of this exciting optional extra is Mr
Mandeep Singh, Consultant Fetal Maternal Medicine, who is based in
Southend Hospital's Fetal Medicine Unit.
He said: "With 3D and 4D scans, you see your baby's skin rather
than his or her bones, therefore you may get the opportunity to see
the shape of your baby's mouth and nose, or are able to see the
baby yawning or sucking their thumb.
"The scans show new details of unborn babies and allow mums and
dads-to-be to get a better view of what their babies will look
like. Scans are best for pregnancies after 22 weeks and are
designed for personal use rather than diagnostic purposes.
"Having said that, as scans will be done by a highly experienced
specialist consultant this additional scan will provide a further
opportunity to assess the fetal growth, including the estimated
fetal weights and your baby's well-being. We will also check baby's
blood flow to make sure that he or she is receiving the correct
amount of nourishment to grow and the placenta is functioning as it
"With many parents requesting 3D and 4D images of their unborn
child, more hospitals across the country have been offering the
service privately to meet the demand, which is why it is now being
offered at Southend Hospital."
This service is available on week day evenings and weekends and
has been made possible by the purchasing of a state-of-the-art
£84,000 machine. It was paid for by the hospital through its
capital bids programme and monies raised by use of the machine will
self-finance it returning the money to the hospital.
Prices start from £100 and there are various packages available.
To find out more about this service please contact 07933 98956 or