NHS scans after week 20: Hi ladies, I have a question... - NCT


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NHS scans after week 20

TheSeal profile image

Hi ladies, I have a question regarding the scans offered through the NHS. I seem to understand that after week 20, the NHS won't offer any more scans unless something is wrong. Is that true? so if I want to know if my baby is still alive and growing I need to go private? Basically I will have appointments with my midwife along the way till birth but no scans? Sorry for the silly question but it's the first baby and I had no idea what to expect from the NHS. Thank you

34 Replies


Yes that is correct.

Your midwife will carryout the growth checks at each midwife appointment & if she feels you need a scan, you'll be referred for a scan.

Also feeling & keeping track of your babys movements is a sign that everything is good. I've had two spells of reduced movements & after the second round, I was referred for a scan to see if there was a reason why.

TheSeal profile image
TheSeal in reply to Cookie_92

thank you for your reply. I was honestly expecting one scan between now and birth but that's fine, I will surely keep an eye on baby's movement. I still don't have clear patterns of movements but i am only 20 weeks so I guess it's normal at this stage. Thanks :)

Cookie_92 profile image
Cookie_92 in reply to TheSeal


I know what you mean, I was hoping for more scans too, but if there isn't a need to, they won't be carried out.

We didn't start to feel movements until after 20 weeks, maybe 23/24 weeks? Plus i've an anterior placenta which doesn't help!

All the best x

I'm only at 20 weeks today with my first so others who have been through the whole process might have better knowledge than me. As I understand it you have the 12 and 20 week scan as the standard checks with the NHS. I think they sometimes do other growth scans later on but it depends on your health etc. Like if you have reduced movement they hook you up and check all babies vitals...I think.

I also see my midwife at my local GP surgery fairly regularly. I think she said once every 3 weeks once I'm around 30 weeks and then even more regularly in the later stages. Every time I see her she checks the heartbeat of the baby, though no visual scan it's still really reassuring.

Like I say might be others who can better advise on scans later in pregnancy though! Congrats and good luck with your pregnancy journey <3

TheSeal profile image
TheSeal in reply to katesjj

Hey, thank you. I am 20 weeks too and had already my anomaly scan this week. but I was looking at the notes and noticed that no more scans are offered but only midwife app. I haven't even seen her yet due to the covid restrictions in my area so I also worry now that she won't check me along the pregnancy. But if she will keep track on my bump, checks the heartbeat etc it's still reassuring :)

Congrats to you too :) wish you all the best in your pregnancy

Yes that’s right. You’ll start to feel baby move soon so you’ll be able to track things by that plus you’ll still see your midwife who will also keep track by listening to heartbeat and bump measurements

TheSeal profile image
TheSeal in reply to

thank you, I hope I can see the midwife soon as I haven't seen her yet in 20 weeks...that's reassuring tho that she will check heartbeat and bump.


Congratulations on your pregnancy. Usually it's 2 scans unless you have a high BMI - I've had 2 further growth scans at 32 & 36 weeks due to BMI being over a certain point so all depends on how your hospital works it.

As the other ladies have said once you establish a pattern of movement you'll feel more at ease but of course if you're ever worried get checked out as the hospital would prefer you to go in for checks then leave it x

TheSeal profile image
TheSeal in reply to

thank you!! I am a big girl but neither the midwife nor the nurses at the hospital mentioned extra scan due to my BMI, perhaps is not over that point. As I mentioned, I look forward to establish some patterns that would put my mind at ease. Feeling movements I think would help me :)

MissEd profile image
MissEd in reply to TheSeal

I have a high bmi and didn't have any extra scans, I did go in for reduced movements at one point after 20 weeks but wasn't scanned just put on a monitor for babies heart beat.

My hospital routinely scanned women at 36 weeks but that seems to be quite unusual from other ladies posts. You should start feeling regular movements which will be reassuring. I had an extra private scan, they don’t cost too much if you shop around and well worth it if you’re overly anxious like me! x

TheSeal profile image
TheSeal in reply to Solly-44

thank you. I am anxious due to a previous miscarriage so I think I will go for a private at some point between now and birth. My hospital doesn't seem to scan anyone after 20 weeks unless something is wrong. I just look forward to establish some patterns that would surely put my mind at ease.

Solly-44 profile image
Solly-44 in reply to TheSeal

I completely understand. Sometimes it’s worth it to reassure you. Wishing you a happy & healthy pregnancy x

Annh17 profile image
Annh17 in reply to Solly-44

I had scan at 36 weeks at my hospital, they had just started introducing them and so does Milton Keynes.

I’m so glad someone else’s hospital does 36 weeks scan, as no one on here believes me when I answer people’s questions x

The best advice I can give is to not worry about it and to trust your body both in pregnancy and motherhood the worry is eternal and intense but we have to trust ourselves as mothers in order to be present in and enjoy the moment. We don’t drive a car worrying about having a crash we are excited about going to our destination and all the things we will see on the way. Everyone has answered the health aspects, they will measure your growth etc and you will soon feel and be in tune with your baby. The scan after 20 weeks when they’re want to check the baby is at 32 weeks and by then foetal movements are thoroughly established so it doesn’t make much difference. Equally I would tell you as you will probably be the sort to be freaking out when you haven’t felt baby for an hour and a half further down the line, take time to check in. Take a nice warm bath, get in bed (on your left side) with your hands on your tummy and talk to baby and check in once a day, be in that moment of knowing that you are providing for your baby in love and nutrition. It’s a hard time and being mindful like this is our best defence as mothers. Sorry I know this is really hippy dippy I really need to get out more!

Thank you so much for your words, it's a good advice. I am definitely the person that freaks out if I don't feel anything for even just one day. Like these days, he seems so quiet in there, I can't feel anything but I am trying to take it easy. 20 weeks is probably still early to feel clear movement or feel them every single day. So I am hoping that going further along will give me some piece of mind when I'll be finally able to feel him. I try sometimes already to go on my side or talk to him or gently poke my belly, sometimes it works sometimes it doesn't. The weird is that during the 20 week scan he was so agitated and was moving around a lot that the sonographer struggled to get clear reading. But all this movement..I didn't feel a thing.

Sorry i am writing an essay, thank you for your reply, I really appreciate it. You are 100% right, I need to trust my body. :)

So you will have 12 week that's your dating scan and then you will have midwife appointment 16 weeks that's blood tests and listen to baby heartbeat .

20 weeks NHS scan they check the sex and all the baby organs heart and brain and measure the legs it's super cool .

26 weeks measure ur bump . Your have a glucose test as well . If you check your orange book ur pregnancy notes your find the list of what the order it is all inn and appointment names. X good luck it's my secound baby my little girl is 11 months crazy times .. I really struggle with pregnancy I get so ill and hate 5he feeling of being pregnant x

TheSeal profile image
TheSeal in reply to Passionchar1

Hey there, thank you for your reply. I found the list of what apps I will get after week 20. How far along are you now? I bet it's hard time having a young one and being pregnant. This is my first and I had a very bad first trimester, thankfully I feel better now.

Hii, my hospital offers three scans at 12, 20 and 36 weeks. From what I understood, the scan at 36 weeks is normally offered to all first time mothers. In my case, I will have another one at 32 weeks because my placenta is low, so they need to check if it will get higher.

They only told me I would have this extra scan on my 20-week scan.

As I don’t want to wait until I am 32 weeks to have another one, I booked a private one to have in between! This way, my husband will be able to go too. We will have a 4D scan, I hope it’s worth it! Haha

And it will be a way of checking if the gender they told us is indeed correct!

TheSeal profile image
TheSeal in reply to Gabizinha

hi, thank you for your reply. I am first time mama but I wasn't told about the 36 weeks scan. Perhaps it's too soon. I think I Will go private too in between but just to give me some piece of mind that he is developing fine. I am sure a 4D scan is totally worth it :)

Yes you will have to go private for more scans. When you go to your midwife age will listen to your baby and you will also be able to feel baby move after 20 weeks xxx

thank you. I hope to start feeling baby moves, for now it has been just on and off

It's always a worry but I'm sure your little one will be doing just fine with his mama taking care of him. You could go for a 4d scan around 27 weeks I would say is best. With my first I went at 33 weeks ans because there wasnt much room we could see much but with my second we went at 27 weeks and it was perfect xxx

thank you, yeah it makes sense going at 27 weeks. I know he is doing fine, at the 20 weeks scan they said is doing fine but being able to feel him moving would be a great thing, would put my mind at peace. As i said for now everything i felt it's just tiny bubbling around and not very often either. Thanks for your advice :)

Dont worry too much if it's your first baby you probably wont feel hin properly until a little bit later. Xxx

Hi I'm expecting twins and I'm 22 weeks now and I still got too have scans

Congrats. Twins!! :) did you have your 20 weeks scan yet? I hope so

Yes we went private because my partner wasn't allowed in with me on the NHS one and we found out we were having 2 girls

wow, two girls. Congrats :) my husband was allowed to come in with me, so it really depends on where you are, which is weird and I guess not very fair to some extent. We are having a boy :)

Yeah I think different areas have different rules and congrats on your baby boy

Hi regarding moving patterns I didn’t have any. My son was very active and my daughter very calm I couldn’t fell her for few days but after 34 weeks when she engaged I was hoping for her to came quick. You know they have limited space inside and the kicks became painful. Good luck with your pregnancy and easy delivery and don’t worry about patterns, if baby move once a day is fine. At the end of day you are a mom-to-be and any worry contact your midwife. Rather silly then worried.

TheSeal profile image
TheSeal in reply to crina28tina

thank you, I will. I am a worrying pregnant lady so I think that if I see/feel something is not right I will definitely contact my midwife. As for movements, I will try not to worry too much :)

It depends Where I live you get a 36 week scan and also midwife every couple of weeks to check growth. Baby heartbeat

My hospital in Kent offer a 36 week scan, this was something they just started to introduce when I was pregnant 2018. They are still doing this, also Milton Keynes hospital are doing 36 week scan.

I know a lot of people say no scans after 20 weeks unless growth scans. But like I said, my hospital does and so does Milton Keynes. x

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