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Horrible dating scan experience with rude sonographer

I went for my 12 week scan a couple of weeks ago and came out really disappointed, and frankly pretty upset. I'm going to be a single mum so I took my own mum along for support. They were running late when we got there, which would have been fine, but my bladder was so full it was really uncomfortable.

When we went into the room, the sonograher was fairly distant and made no apologies for the lateness. She ran the ultrasound over my tummy and immediately said that she couldn't get any good pictures and wouldn't be able to do the NT check, without asking if I had wanted it anyway. She then asked if I wanted her to bother carrying on as the photos wouldn't be very good and I may as well save my token for next time. I asked her to see what she could get, and was close to tears by that point.

Anyway, she sent me to the toilet as my bladder was now too full, and when I came back she started again. I was beginning to worry that there was something wrong and so asked why she couldn't get a clear picture. She didn't answer for a few seconds and then said, it was because I had too much body tissue, (I am a size 16 so although plumper than I would like, not exactly huge) and that ultrasounds only work on average size people. She carried on and showed me different parts of my baby, which was very wiggly. At one point the spine could be seen clearly and was very straight, so I commented on this, assuming it to be good. She answered with a very dismissive "yeah". I was too upset and shocked to speak by this point. Anyway, I have 4 photos in which you can see many different parts of my baby and from what I can see everything is ok. One of my friends is training to be a nurse and talked me through them in a much kinder and more helpful way. I have my next scan in the next few weeks and I'm really nervous about going back, in case I get the same treatment, and considering changing hospitals in case all the staff there have this dismissive attitude. I am not a young girl who can be fobbed off, I am a 36 year old teacher, and if I was this dismissive, rude and unprofessional, I would have complaints about me.

It would be good to hear if anyone ese has had any experiences like this and how easy it is or if its even possible to change hospitals.

14 Replies

Oh no you poor thing, that's just unacceptable and I think you should make a complaint. I have had lovely staff never seen the same one but no one has ever been rude to me, I'm at st helier in carshalton surrey.

Have a look at your notes and see if you can find her name, call the hospital and explain what happened and how upset you were and you need to make sure you do not see her again, this is your right to choice:)

I hope u have a better experience for your 20 week scan, please report her xx


Also I forgot to mention I'm a size 16 and have had no problems at all having scan and pictures :)


Hi.i'm really sorry to hear that u've been treated so bad.some people shouldnt do what they do at their jobs if they have no passion for it,communication skills,etc.i also had a bad expierence but not in hospital but from my midwife.i have a pregnancy with complications although baby is ok so far.i had a op.when i was 7weeks pregnant to exclude ectopic pregnancy.whdn i had a scan done week after the radiologist cried with all of us when she saw baby moved to the middle of uterus.she/he was on the corner before.they looked after me really well.i've been to hospital about 10times in 6weeks and every time they were good.but my midwife thats another story.firstly she gave me her wrong number so i couldnt contact her.on my second visit she was rushing with everything.she didnt explain my blood results just passed me my pregnancy book and said see you in april lol!i had no chance to ask any questions.when i got home i've checked my book and saw that i parently had ecoli 4weeks before and she gave me Cephalexin.i've never had anything like that!i know i'm pregnant but i'm not stupid.i rang her many times but no answer.i was bleeding few days before and that was other reason for contacting the end i called community midwives and they suggested contacting gp which i dr checked on the computer when i had that infection but she said all my results were clear and i had no tablets like that prescribed.she was shocked as well.she aldo noticed that my results from

urine sample and swab have been lost.very strange that my midwife sent them

away...anyway i had an appointment on friday with consultant who was really good and gentle when he's done smear test.he called head of midwives who was very helpful and asked if i wanna make a complain.all i want is new midwife so i can talk to

her about my worries etc.and the old one will be in trouble anyway.i've got new midwife now and she already rang me to get to know me!how different i advice to

you is make a complain cos that woman had no right treat you like that.and you dont need all that should be able to enjoy your pregnancy.i felt so anxious that i couldnt breath propely.i know there is still long way to go but at least i feel calm now knowing that i can rely on my midwife.

I hope you get things sorted.i couldnt have NT scan as baby was too active.i'm gonna have a blood test tomorrow instead.anyway i dont agree with scan for DS as the measurements are never 100%acurate and they told me this in hospital.

Anyway you take care and hopefully you get everything sorted xxx


Contact the hospitals PALS department. X


Hi that is unprofessional and rude you can ask your midwife or your gp to change hospitals as you have every right to as that was very unporfessional of the sonographer to do this. I am a size 16 and had no problems with either of my scans of getting a decent view. You should ask your hospital for the address to make a complaint as I would not let the sonographer get away with this the hospital will be able to see who the sonographer was that delt with you via your hospital records or you could ask your midwife to make the compaint on your behalf as after all you are her paitent and she should be making sure your happy and healthy during your pregnancy. I hope you get things sorted


Hi, the sonographer had probs getting a good view on my 12 week scan too, but was much more communicative and friendly. Apparently about 1 in 10 women have a retroverted uterus which means its set back more and makes it hard to see the baby- but causes no longer effects. She sent me to the toilet twice to empty my bladder and finally did an internal scan which showed everything clearly. But she told me what was happening each step of the way. There is no excuse for this person to behave like she did. Sonographers must get fairly regular times when it's hard to see and at no point should make you feel that it's your fault! My 20 week scan much clearer, I'm sure you'se will be too. Don't let her spoil your pregnancy. X


Sounds like someone peed in her cornflakes that morning - geez! How rude, you should definitely complain, in writing preferably. No one should be treated like that.


writhe a letter of complaint, your have every right to, especially if the care standards are not as you would have expected.

and being a single mum is just fine. youll be great xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx just get plenty of support from you friends and family.


Hi I work for the nhs and her behaviour sounds unacceptable. If you go on the hospital website it should have a grievance procedure on it otherwise complain in writing to both the department and the chief executive and keep a copy for yourself. I'm pretty sure you can change hospitals but your midwife should be able to help. Don't let that women ruin your pregnancy experience she isn't worth it. Good luck x


Thank you to everyone for all your support and advice. I will talk to my midwife on Wednesday and if nothing comes of that, I'll make a complaint to the hospital, if nothing else, to ensure I don't get the same one again.thank you all again. xxx


I was told I have a bit of " excess tissue" and I was a size 14! But apart from that my sonographer was very pleasant, but it must have effected me, as I've got six weeks left of my pregnancy. I hate it when all you'd want to hear from someone is you're blooming or glowing and other people call you fat. I've suffered from bloating and swelling almost all over from day one, GP's have been the worst culprits for me,


U r not alone in very rude sonographer experience, I am nearly 23weeks and so far had 4 scans: dating scan@ 8weeks, 12 weeks scan, and anomaly scan twice coz they couldn't get the baby's head measurements the first time round, apart from my 12 week scan sonographer they well all rude, no one explained to me what they were doing or if things was ok.

They really need to think about how they treat people specially if things had gone wrong in previous pregnancies or u r first time mom and generally worried too much.


Just my little 5 pence worth. I'm 7 weeks with first at 38 years old & size 16, first read this thread & panicked a little, but other comments have now calmed me down!

I had to have an ultrasound on my kidneys last October due to what we think was kidney stones. However the sonogropher checked all my bladder etc & asked if I was ovulating as he could tell & showed me how (was fascinating stuff) I then told him I was trying for a baby & he said to get straight on it as it was right time. I didn't get pregnant on that occasion, but I am now.

The best part of that ultrasound was that the guy that did it was professional, extrememly friendly, described everything he was doing & the most lovely thing he said to me was, get home, get to work & I hope to see you in 10 to 12 weeks for your first baby scan, what an absolute gem.

I'm really sorry that you've had to experience treatment like this & it makes me furious, there's absolutely no call for it, like someone else said, someone must've seriously p**sed on her chips!

I'm sure you'll get the correct treatment you deserve on your next scan, stay relaxed & don't let one poor experience put you off & yes, for sure make a complaint, she clearly needs extra patient care training.

Best of luck :)


Why these people work with the public is beyond me especially when it's about babies, you should of said you weren't happy with her attitude and to speak to someone senior, whilst we do not know what goes on in people's private lives that is no way to conduct yourself! Bless you hope your next experience is a lovely one x


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