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What is a Doula?

Graphic of celebrating World Doula Day. An illustration of a Doula holding a baby with pregnant women around her.

What is a Doula?

Celebrating the World Doula Week by shedding light on what they do.

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Celebrate World Doula Week with us and discover what is a Doula and the invaluable support they offer to expectant mothers. From emotional support to physical and informational assistance during childbirth, doulas play a crucial role in enhancing the pregnancy experience. Learn how a doula can be part of your journey to motherhood, providing reassurance and strength every step of the way.

As we welcome World Doula Week, let’s spotlight the pivotal role of doulas in the childbirth journey. A doula, known for offering profound support, stands by individuals through childbirth, miscarriage, induced abortion, and stillbirth. Their role transcends mere presence, embracing emotional, physical, and informational support. Doulas guide expectant parents, turning the childbirth process into a more informed, empowering experience.

They shine as beacons of knowledge and comfort, ensuring parents feel heard, valued, and respected. By offering a hand to hold, an ear to listen, and a wealth of knowledge, doulas make the path to parenthood less daunting. Their support is not just about the birth process but about fostering a positive, empowering environment for all involved. Doulas help navigate the complex emotions and decisions that come with childbirth and beyond.

What is a Doula?

The term “doula” has its origins deeply rooted in the ancient Greek word δούλα, meaning “a woman who serves”. Over centuries, this concept has significantly evolved, especially during the grassroots natural birth movement in the United States in the 1960s. This era marked a pivotal shift, as women started advocating for unmedicated, low-intervention births, bringing to light the desire for supportive companionship during childbirth that went beyond medical assistance.

Originally, the concept of a doula focused on emotional and physical support during labour and delivery. However, their role has expanded, embodying a comprehensive support system for various stages of pregnancy, including preconception, miscarriage, and postpartum periods. Doulas are now pivotal figures in the childbirth journey, offering guidance, comfort, and advocacy.

Doulas stand out for their personalised care approach. They tailor their support to meet each family’s unique needs, ensuring a more positive and informed pregnancy and birthing experience. From helping devise birth plans to offering strategies for pain management, doulas empower parents-to-be with knowledge and confidence.

Today’s doulas embody this rich heritage, offering non-medical, emotional, and practical support to families during one of the most transformative periods of their lives (this is what sets them apart from midwives). They draw on formal and practical knowledge to empower expectant mothers to have the birth experience they desire, whether it be at home, in a birthing centre, or in a hospital setting. The evolution of the doula’s role from a grassroots movement to a recognised profession underscores a growing appreciation for personalised care and the profound impact of dedicated support during pregnancy, childbirth, and the postpartum period.

The Role of a Doula

Doulas offer a holistic support system that addresses the emotional, physical, and informational needs of expectant families. Their comprehensive care ensures that mothers feel cherished, bodies are respected, and decisions are well-informed, paving the way for a positive and empowered birth experience.

Emotional Support: Doulas provide unparalleled emotional backing, blending compassion with encouragement. Their role goes beyond mere presence; they become confidants to expectant mothers, offering a listening ear during moments of doubt and joy alike. This emotional scaffolding ensures mothers navigate their pregnancy journey feeling thoroughly supported and deeply understood. The reassurance doulas offer becomes a pillar of strength, fostering a sense of calm and confidence as birth approaches.

Physical Support: In the realm of physical comfort, doulas excel with their hands-on approach. Employing techniques such as massage and recommending various birthing positions, they significantly ease the physical strains of labour. Their expertise in comfort measures transforms the birth experience, making pain more manageable and labour more bearable. By intuitively responding to a mother’s needs, doulas facilitate a smoother birthing process, where discomfort is alleviated, and mothers feel more in control of their bodies.

Informational Support: Armed with evidence-based insights, doulas are invaluable guides through the maze of childbirth and postpartum care. They demystify medical procedures and explain care options, empowering families to make choices that resonate with their values and desires. This informed support ensures that decisions around birth and aftercare are made with clarity and confidence. Doulas’ dedication to providing accurate, up-to-date information helps families approach childbirth with informed optimism, prepared for the journey that lies ahead.

Types of Doulas

Birth Doula: Birth doulas can play a crucial role in supporting expectant mothers through pregnancy, labour, and childbirth. They offer continuous emotional support, guidance, and reassurance. These professionals work closely with families, preparing them for the birthing process, assisting in creating birth plans, and providing techniques for pain management. Their presence ensures a comforting and empowering experience, helping mothers navigate the challenges of childbirth with confidence and calm.

Postpartum Doula: In the early days following a baby’s arrival, postpartum doulas become an invaluable source of support for new families. They assist with newborn care, offer breastfeeding support, and help manage household tasks, allowing parents to focus on bonding with their baby. Their knowledge and experience in postpartum care provide a smooth transition for families during this new chapter, ensuring both the baby’s and the mother’s needs are met with compassion and expertise.

Fertility Doula: Fertility doulas offer support to families facing challenges in conceiving. They provide emotional backing, resources, and guidance through fertility treatments and decisions. By offering a listening ear and informed advice, fertility doulas help couples navigate the often complex and emotional journey towards conception. Their role is to empower and support families, ensuring they feel understood and supported every step of the way.

Each type of doula specialises in catering to the unique needs of families during different stages of the pregnancy journey. Their dedicated support ensures that expectant and new parents feel empowered, informed, and cared for, making the journey to parenthood a more positive and fulfilling experience.

Benefits of Having a Doula

Having a doula during childbirth brings numerous advantages. Notably, mothers with doulas often experience reduced intervention rates, such as fewer cesarean sections and less need for pain relief medication. This support can lead to shorter labour durations, allowing mothers to recover more swiftly post-birth. The presence of a doula often results in more positive birth experiences, with mothers feeling empowered and satisfied with their childbirth journey. Crucially, the enhanced emotional support provided by doulas strengthens the overall well-being of mothers and families, creating a nurturing environment for welcoming new life.

How to Choose a Doula

Selecting the right doula is pivotal for a supportive childbirth experience. Begin by considering their training and experience; a well-trained doula can significantly impact your birth experience. Explore their philosophy on labour and childbirth to ensure it aligns with your personal preferences and values. Compatibility is key—your doula should feel like a natural extension of your support system. Seek recommendations from others who have had positive experiences with doulas. This can offer invaluable insights into potential matches. Finally, trust your instincts; the right doula should make you feel comfortable, heard, and respected.

Choosing a doula is a deeply personal decision, influenced by your unique needs and childbirth aspirations. By carefully considering these aspects, you can select a doula who will enhance your birthing experience, offering the support, knowledge, and care you deserve during this transformative time.

How are Doulas involved

Incorporating a fertility doula into the journey of fertility screening adds a deeply valuable layer of emotional guidance and support. They stand by individuals through the whirlwind of emotions that fertility testing can provoke, offering a comforting presence alongside medical treatments. This support extends to providing a safe, nonjudgmental space where individuals can freely express their concerns and uncertainties.

Fertility doulas excel in demystifying the processes involved in fertility screening. They educate on various fertility options and tackle mental blocks or anxieties that may surface. Their holistic approach aims not just to inform but to empower individuals, ensuring they approach each step with confidence and a well-understood perspective.

During ultrasounds, the role of a fertility doula becomes even more pronounced. Their emotional reassurance and ability to answer questions make a significant difference. They strive to create a serene, supportive environment, simplifying the ultrasound process and bolstering the individual’s spirits throughout the appointment. The calming influence of a doula can effectively mitigate any anxiety or apprehensions, significantly enhancing the overall ultrasound experience.

Fertility doulas provide more than just support; they bring clarity, confidence, and a sense of calm to the often complex and emotional journey of fertility screening. Their involvement ensures that individuals feel not only supported but also empowered and informed every step of the way.

Final Thoughts

You’ve discovered the crucial role of doulas in childbirth, providing emotional, physical, and informational support. Their support enhances the well-being of mothers, newborns, and families during pregnancy, labour, childbirth, and beyond, leading to empowering birth experiences.

Initiated by Ruti Karni Horowitz in Israel in 2011, World Doula Week starts on March 22, celebrating World Doula Day, and continues until March 28 every year. CAPPA’s enthusiastic backing helped turn Horowitz’s idea into a global celebration that welcomes all doulas and doula organisations.

This celebration highlights the positive impact of doulas: fewer C-sections, greater confidence in newborn care, shorter labours, fewer epidural requests, higher breastfeeding success, and increased satisfaction with the birth process. Doulas also play a role in reducing postpartum mood disorders. Chosen for its cultural significance of renewed fertility, March 22 aligns with the spring equinox, reflecting the doula’s role in welcoming and nurturing new beginnings worldwide.

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International Women’s Day 2024

International Women's Day celebration with diverse female healthcare practitioners and a pregnant woman, highlighting early ultrasound technology at London Pregnancy Clinic.

International Women’s Day 2024

Celebrating the Vanguard of Women’s Healthcare

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This International Women’s Day, we delve into the extraordinary advancements in women’s healthcare, with a special emphasis on prenatal and maternal well-being. It’s a tribute to the indomitable spirit of female healthcare pioneers who have not only contributed to but fundamentally transformed, the landscape of pregnancy and childbirth experiences. At the London Pregnancy Clinic (LPC), we are privileged to uphold this legacy, offering expectant mothers the pinnacle of care and support, inspired by these remarkable achievements.

International Women’s Day serves as a beacon, highlighting the incredible strides towards gender parity and the monumental role women have played across sectors, particularly in healthcare. The sphere of prenatal and maternal health owes much to the tireless efforts and innovations of countless women. Their legacy is a testament to the improved care and support that expectant mothers receive at LPC, as we celebrate these achievements and reflect on how they continue to shape our services.

Milestones in Women’s Healthcare

The evolution of women’s healthcare is marked by key milestones and breakthroughs, many of which were pioneered by women. From the early establishment of women-only hospitals to pivotal research in gynaecology and obstetrics, women have always been at the forefront. Icons such as Dr. Virginia Apgar, creator of the Apgar Score, and Dr. Rebecca Lee Crumpler, the first African American woman to earn a medical degree in the U.S., have significantly advanced maternal and child health.

Contemporary Advances in Prenatal Care

The legacy of these pioneering women is evident in today’s advanced prenatal care technologies. Innovations such as non-invasive prenatal testing (NIPT) and enhanced ultrasound imaging have revolutionised prenatal care, facilitating early detection and intervention when necessary. At LPC, we integrate these advancements to ensure our care protocols reflect the latest in healthcare innovation, thus providing expectant mothers with unparalleled support.

LPC’s Dedication to Women’s Health

At LPC, our mission is to continue this tradition of innovation and compassionate care in women’s health. We offer comprehensive prenatal services designed to support women throughout their pregnancy journey, incorporating early pregnancy assessments, detailed anomaly scans, and beyond. Our team is devoted to creating a nurturing environment that informs, supports, and cares for every expectant mother.

A crucial aspect of today’s prenatal care is the early pregnancy scan, offered from as early as 6 weeks. These scans, pivotal for early reassurance, help detect potential issues and ensure the well-being of both mother and baby from the outset. At LPC, we emphasise the importance of early scans, as they are a cornerstone of comprehensive prenatal care, embodying the advancements in women’s healthcare.

Heartfelt Thank You to Our Female Team

On this significant day, we extend our deepest gratitude to the incredible women on our team at LPC. Their dedication, expertise, and empathy are the bedrock of our clinic. Each day, they embody the spirit of the pioneering women we honour, continuing to make strides in healthcare and ensuring our expectant mothers receive the best possible care. To our female doctors, nurses, midwives, and support staff: thank you for your unwavering commitment to excellence and compassion in healthcare.

Future Inspired by Our Foremothers

As we celebrate International Women’s Day, let us remember the extraordinary women who have paved the way for today’s advancements in women’s healthcare. Their indelible mark on history inspires us to forge ahead, striving for a future where healthcare equality is a reality for all women. At LPC, we are proud to contribute to this legacy, ensuring that every expectant mother benefits from the highest standard of care and support.

The pursuit of gender equality in healthcare is more than a moral imperative; it’s a necessity for societal advancement. Closing the women’s health gap would not only enable more women to lead healthier, higher-quality lives but also provide an unprecedented boost to the global economy. It’s a goal that LPC actively supports, through our dedicated services and by championing women’s health and empowerment.

Final Thoughts

This International Women’s Day, let us celebrate the achievements in women’s healthcare and the pioneering women behind these advancements. Their contributions have not only shaped the field of prenatal and maternal health but also continue to inspire the next generation of healthcare professionals. At LPC, we are honoured to uphold this legacy, committed to empowering expectant mothers with the best care possible.

Join us in honouring these healthcare heroes and learn more about the bespoke services LPC offers to expectant mothers. Whether you’re exploring prenatal care options or seeking educational resources, we invite you to get in touch. Together, we can celebrate the achievements of the past while empowering the women of today and tomorrow.

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Hertility x LPC partnership

Minimalist flat design illustration of fertility and pregnancy ultrasound partnership between specialists London Pregnancy Clinic and Hertility.

Hertility x LPC partnership:

Bringing Fertility and pregnancy ultrasound support for women

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Discover the transformative partnership between Hertility and London Pregnancy Clinic, revolutionising the way you access fertility and pregnancy ultrasound services. From early pregnancy to specialised scans, our collaboration ensures you receive world-class care without the wait, at a price you can afford.

In an exciting development for expectant mothers and those on their fertility journey, Hertility has partnered with us, London Pregnancy Clinic (LPC), transforming access to reproductive healthcare. Understanding the emotional toll of waiting for your first pregnancy scan, we’ve come together to offer you world-class scanning facilities, ensuring early reassurance through ultrasound without the long wait. It promises to bridge the gap between fertility understanding and pregnancy care, offering an integrated approach to women’s health that is both convenient and comprehensive. Both fertility and pregnancy ultrasound are very important and we are going to unpack what we can offer.

Who is Hertility?

In 2020, Hertility was conceived with a distinct vision by Dr. Helen O’Neill, Dr. Natalie Getreu, and Deirdre O’Neill. It sprang from a realisation that women’s health complexities were often overlooked, with conditions remaining enigmatic within the healthcare system. Hertility emerged as a beacon, championing the cause of bringing reproductive science into the hands of women globally.

Tired of the gaps in women’s healthcare, Hertility was born out of necessity. It became clear that the data underpinning women’s health was not only insufficient but also largely based on male physiology, leading to a paradigm shift in approach. Dr. O’Neill, through her fifteen years in academia, recognised the urgency for tailored datasets that reflect the true nature of female health concerns. Hertility is not just a company; it’s a movement towards empowering women with the knowledge to make informed decisions about their health and life choices.

Why was Hertility Created?

The inception of Hertility was motivated by the profound desire to address the elephant in the womb – the inherent complexities of female reproductive health. With a staggering 60% of women grappling with hormone and gynae issues and the diagnosis of fertility disorders stretching up to eight years, Hertility’s founders saw the dire need for change. By empowering women with accessible, research-led health assessments, Hertility is breaking barriers and shining a light on the path to understanding and managing women’s health effectively.

Hertility’s resolve to be research-led has set a new standard in women’s healthcare. It stands firmly on the foundation of clinical trials and extensive data collection, ensuring every insight provided is robust and actionable. Hertility’s comprehensive at-home hormone and fertility tests are more than just diagnostics; they are a clarion call to acknowledge and act on women’s reproductive health needs. The company’s commitment to sharing their findings reflects their ethos of transparency and education, making Hertility a true vanguard in the realm of women’s health.

Why Hertility and LPC?

Hertility is at the forefront of women’s health, offering at-home hormone and fertility test kits designed to empower women with knowledge about their reproductive health. Their comprehensive approach evaluates various factors, including hormonal balance, ovarian reserve, and potential reproductive health conditions, to provide actionable insights.

Understanding the importance of seamless care, Hertility’s partnership with LPC is a natural progression. LPC’s reputation for excellence in fertility and pregnancy ultrasound complements Hertility’s mission, providing a continuum of care that supports women from fertility assessment through to pregnancy. From fertility screening to anomaly scan we provide a large variety of services for women from our London clinic.

  • Fertility and pregnancy ultrasound services at  London Pregnancy Clinic - Viability scan

    Viability scan 3D image

  • Image showing what would an ultrasound show at 6 weeks of pregnancy. You can see the fetal pole, gestational sac and yolk sac. It shows an Ultrasound image by London Pregnancy Clinic that shows the gestational sac and how small it is - for educational purpose.

    You can see the fetal pole, gestational sac and yolk sac at week 6.

Fertility and pregnancy ultrasound

  • Early Pregnancy Scans: Available from 6 weeks, these scans offer early reassurance, confirming the presence of a gestational sac and fetal heartbeat. The first scan we offer is called the viability scan (or the 6-week scan).
  • HyCoSy Scans: For those investigating fertility concerns, HyCoSy scans assess tubal patency, crucial for understanding potential fertility issues.
  • General, Anomaly, and Early Fetal Scans: A comprehensive range of scans ensures that every aspect of your pregnancy is monitored, from general health checks to detailed anomaly scans. We specialise in NIPT and 10 Week Scan, which is our signature early pregnancy scan.

All scans at LPC are conducted by consultant-level doctors or specialist sonographers in fetal medicine, gynaecology, and fertility. Overseen by Dr Fred Ushakov, a renowned specialist in fetal medicine and obstetrical ultrasound, our team guarantees the highest standard of care.

Why Wait? Early Scans Available from 6 Weeks

The first few weeks of pregnancy are a profound journey filled with anticipation and, sometimes, anxiety. Traditionally, expecting mothers wait until the 11 to 14-week mark for their first scan, a period filled with unanswered questions and needless worries. Recognising the importance of early reassurance, LPC opens its doors to Hertility customers for pregnancy scans starting as early as 6 weeks. Our goal? To provide you with the peace of mind that comes from knowing your pregnancy is progressing as expected, as soon as possible.

If you’re navigating the journey of fertility and pregnancy, let Hertility and LPC guide you to a path of informed, supported, and comprehensive care. You can check out our fertility and pregnancy ultrasound services!

Final thoughts

Hertility’s partnership with the London Pregnancy Clinic marks a defining moment in women’s health. With Hertility’s research-driven methodology and our fertility and pregnancy ultrasound services, we hope to provide a holistic approach for all women. Our combined effort provides an answer to the calls for early and accessible pregnancy scans, ensuring that expectant mothers receive the support and assurance they need, precisely when they need it. This collaboration goes beyond convenience; it is a powerful statement that women’s health deserves prioritisation and respect.

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Baby Loss Certificate – DHSC

Modern and minimalist artwork by London Pregnancy Clinic, symbolising remembrance and hope with a stylised candle and heart for baby loss certificate pre-24 week.

Introduction of Baby Loss Certificates

Honouring the Journey of Loss

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In a compassionate move by the Department of Health and Social Care, parents who have endured the heartbreak of pregnancy loss before 24 weeks now have the option to apply for a Baby Loss Certificate from today, 22 February 2024. This initiative, acknowledging the profound grief of losing a baby at any stage of pregnancy, represents a significant step towards offering formal recognition and support to bereaved families across England.

The pain of losing a baby is an indescribably devastating experience for parents, often leaving emotional scars that can last a lifetime. Recognising this profound loss, the government has introduced a voluntary scheme for Baby Loss Certificates, aimed at providing formal recognition of the grief parents endure. This initiative is part of the broader Women’s Health Strategy for England, ensuring that the journey of loss is acknowledged and supported.

A Compassionate Initiative

The UK government has implemented initiatives to enhance the care and support available to parents who experience pregnancy losses before 24 weeks. Among these initiatives is the introduction of Baby Loss Certificates, designed to formally acknowledge the grief and loss experienced by parents during early pregnancy. Additionally, the development of specialist recurrent loss clinics aims to offer targeted and holistic support to individuals affected by repeated losses.

Statistics by Tommy’s highlight the prevalence and impact of early pregnancy loss, with an estimated 1 in 5 pregnancies ending in miscarriage (or 1 in 6 considering only those miscarriages that are realised or reported by women). This translates to approximately 250,000 miscarriages annually across the UK. Furthermore, there are around 11,000 emergency admissions each year for ectopic pregnancies, underscoring the significant number of individuals and families affected by early pregnancy complications.

Available from 9 am today, the scheme allows parents to apply for a certificate to acknowledge their loss formally. Health and Social Care Secretary Victoria Atkins highlighted the importance of supporting women and parents affected by such a traumatic event, thanking the tireless efforts of charities and campaigners who have worked to bring this initiative to life.

What is Miscarriage

Miscarriage, defined as the loss of a pregnancy before the 23rd week, often presents through symptoms like vaginal bleeding and abdominal cramping. It’s vital to seek immediate medical advice from a GP or midwife upon experiencing these signs. Although light bleeding can occur in early pregnancy without leading to miscarriage, professional assessment is crucial for health and peace of mind.

The causes of miscarriage are varied, with many instances linked to chromosomal abnormalities in the baby that prevent normal development. It’s important to note that these occurrences are usually beyond anyone’s control and do not result from the actions of the parents. While the prevention of many miscarriages is out of one’s hands, adopting a healthy lifestyle before and during pregnancy can minimise risk factors.

The aftermath of a miscarriage can be emotionally taxing, evoking a range of feelings from guilt and shock to anger. Support is available through various channels including hospital counselling services, the Miscarriage Association, and other charities that offer guidance, support, and resources for grieving parents. Creating a memorial for the lost baby can also provide a sense of closure and a way to honour their memory.

Navigating the Path of Grief

Navigating the aftermath of a miscarriage requires compassionate support and understanding. Organisations like the Miscarriage Association, hospital counselling services, and Cruse Bereavement Care offer invaluable resources for those grieving. Sharing your experience with someone who understands, considering a memorial, and joining support groups can provide comfort and a sense of community. While the emotional journey is deeply personal, with feelings ranging from guilt to anger, it’s important to allow yourself time to grieve and heal. 

Delivering on Promises: Baby Loss Certificate

The introduction of a Baby Loss Certificate fulfils a key recommendation from the independent Pregnancy Loss Review, aimed at enhancing the care and support provided to grieving parents. Minister for the Women’s Health Strategy, Maria Caulfield, emphasised the government’s commitment to listening to parents’ experiences and introducing measures that recognise their loss as part of a comprehensive plan for women’s health.

In alignment with improving maternity care and support for birth trauma, the government is also investing £25 million in women’s health hubs. These hubs are designed to provide integrated services, facilitating easier access to crucial health services for women, further embodying the government’s commitment to supporting women’s health and wellbeing comprehensively.

“Being able to register that child’s name and their date of birth means a lot to parents.”

– Maria Caulfield on Sky News

Stakeholder Perspectives

The scheme has been met with positive reactions from key stakeholders and bereavement care experts. Zoe Clark-Coates MBE of the Mariposa Trust, a co-chair of the Pregnancy Loss Review, expressed her thrill at the formal acknowledgement of lost babies, hoping it aids the grieving process. Similarly, Samantha Collinge, Bereavement Lead Midwife, and Ruth Bender Atik of the Miscarriage Association have highlighted the importance of recognising every loss, emphasising that the emotional impact of early pregnancy loss is significant and deserves acknowledgement.


The launch of the Baby Loss Certificate scheme marks a monumental step in acknowledging and supporting the grief of parents who have experienced the loss of a pregnancy. It’s a reminder that their loss is significant, their grief is valid, and they are not alone. For those who have gone through this heartbreak, applying for a certificate can be a step towards healing, offering a tangible acknowledgement of their baby’s existence.

We encourage our readers to spread awareness of this supportive initiative and to reach out for support if they are navigating the journey of loss. Remember, the London Pregnancy Clinic team is here to support you through every step of your pregnancy journey, including the moments of loss and grief.

For parents in England wishing to obtain a certificate recognising their loss, please follow this link. If you are in Scotland and seeking a certificate, click here.

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What is Intrauterine Pregnancy?

London Pregnancy Clinic - minimalist, and contemporary design that visually represents the theme of intrauterine pregnancy in early pregnancy.

What is Intrauterine Pregnancy?

Understanding intrauterine pregnancy stages ensures a healthy start.

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Today we will explore intrauterine pregnancy. It explores key stages, highlights early signs, and explains how to differentiate from ectopic pregnancies. It also tackles complex cases like IPUV and emphasises the importance of early prenatal care. With expert care and diagnostics, the London Pregnancy Clinic supports mothers throughout this life-changing journey. 

Intrauterine pregnancy marks the beginning of an incredible journey, not just for the embryo that grows and develops within the uterus but also for expectant mothers who embark on a nine-month journey filled with anticipation, joy, and care. For many, understanding the nuances of intrauterine pregnancy offers reassurance and clarity about the changes their bodies undergo and the milestones their future child achieves even before birth.

What is intrauterine pregnancy?

An intrauterine pregnancy (IUP) occurs when a fertilised egg successfully travels down the fallopian tube, implants in the uterine lining, and develops into an embryo, fetus, and eventually a baby. This natural process is the foundation of a normal 3 trimester pregnancy journey. 

First Trimester: It is crucial, as it sets the foundation for the baby’s development. It’s when the heart begins to beat, and the basic structures of the body start forming. Understanding the significance of early prenatal care during this stage is vital for expectant mothers to support their baby’s health.

Second Trimester: As the pregnancy progresses into the second trimester, mothers can feel their baby’s first movements—a magical moment for many. This period focuses on the baby’s growth, with vital organs continuing to develop and facial features becoming more distinct.

Third Trimester: The final stretch of the intrauterine journey involves the baby gaining weight and the body preparing for delivery. It’s a time for mothers to focus on nutrition and self-care, ensuring they’re ready for the birthing process.

Signs and Symptoms of IUP

Recognising the early signs and symptoms of intrauterine pregnancy is crucial for expectant mothers. These include missed periods, tender breasts, fatigue, and mood changes. While these indicators do not guarantee the pregnancy’s location, they are the first clues that you might be embarking on the journey of motherhood. However, symptoms like abnormal bleeding, pelvic pain, and cramping on one side may indicate an ectopic pregnancy, necessitating prompt medical evaluation.

While early pregnancy symptoms are similar regardless of the pregnancy’s location, certain developments confirmed via ultrasound are specific to intrauterine pregnancies:

  • Visualisation of the Gestational Sac: A fluid-filled sac surrounding the embryo, visible via transvaginal ultrasound as early as 4 weeks of pregnancy.
  • Embryonic or Fetal Heartbeat: Detected by ultrasound, a heartbeat within the uterus confirms an intrauterine pregnancy, usually visible around 6 weeks of pregnancy.
  • Fetal Movement: Felt by the mother as the pregnancy progresses, typically starting between 18 to 22 weeks for first-time mothers. However, some mothers may not recognise these initial flutters or any other pregnancy symptoms during this period, leading to a phenomenon known as cryptic pregnancy. In cryptic pregnancies, the signs of being pregnant remain unnoticed until the later stages, often until the baby’s movements become unmistakably strong or other more overt pregnancy symptoms emerge. This can result in a delayed awareness of pregnancy, making early prenatal care and emotional preparation more challenging.

Please note that this response does not constitute medical advice. If you have concerns or questions about pregnancy, consult a qualified healthcare professional.

Intrauterine pregnancy of uncertain viability (IPUV)

Understanding the early stages of pregnancy is vital for expectant mothers. When diagnosed with an early intrauterine pregnancy, it means that a pregnancy sac is present in the womb. However, it might be too soon to visualise the baby or detect a heartbeat. This stage can also be described as a “pregnancy of uncertain viability” (IPUV), highlighting the period of anticipation and monitoring that follows.

Early Stage of Pregnancy: The pregnancy is simply at its beginning phases, necessitating more time for growth to see the embryo and heartbeat. This scenario is more probable if there’s uncertainty about your menstrual dates, you experience irregular periods or have recently ceased using contraceptive measures. In these instances, the alignment between expected and actual pregnancy stages may not be precise, requiring patience and subsequent evaluations.

Potential Non-Progression: There’s a chance the pregnancy isn’t advancing as anticipated. This likelihood increases if you’re confident about your pregnancy dates, yet they don’t align with the observed size of the pregnancy sac. Additional indicators suggesting potential non-progression include experiencing vaginal bleeding or having a low progesterone level. In such cases, close monitoring and further diagnostic testing are essential to determine the pregnancy’s viability and appropriate next steps.

For expectant mothers facing an IPUV diagnosis, the uncertainty can be challenging. However, with compassionate care and comprehensive monitoring, many uncertainties can be resolved as the pregnancy progresses. Follow-up ultrasounds and blood tests play a pivotal role in clarifying the viability of the pregnancy, guiding both medical professionals and mothers-to-be in their journey towards a healthy pregnancy outcome.

Confirming pregnancy early is crucial

The detection of IPUV or ectopic pregnancy underscores the importance of early prenatal care. Early prenatal care is instrumental in monitoring the health of both the mother and the baby. Regular check-ups can detect any potential issues early on, providing a pathway for interventions if necessary. This proactive approach is key to managing a healthy pregnancy. Thus, identifying the pregnancy location early is crucial, especially to differentiate it from ectopic pregnancies and avoid misdiagnosis. You can do so in a few ways:

  • Urine Tests: Detect hCG typically one day after a missed period, with accuracy increasing over time.
  • Blood Tests: Measure levels of the pregnancy hormone hCG, detecting pregnancy as early as 6–8 days post-ovulation. Increasing levels of hCG can indicate that the pregnancy is progressing normally, while stagnant or decreasing levels may suggest complications.
  • Follow-up Ultrasound: An ultrasound can visualise a gestational sac around the embryo in the uterus, definitively confirming an intrauterine pregnancy. If an IPUV is diagnosed, expectant mothers will typically be scheduled for follow-up ultrasounds. These are crucial to assess the pregnancy’s progress. The timing of these follow-ups can vary but usually occurs within 1-2 weeks to allow sufficient time for any changes to be evident.
  • Patient Guidance: Healthcare providers will offer advice on what symptoms to watch for and when to seek immediate medical attention. This might include severe abdominal pain, increased vaginal bleeding, or any signs of infection.

Intrauterine Pregnancy FAQs

  • Is intrauterine pregnancy is good or bad?

    Intrauterine pregnancy is not only normal but also the optimal outcome for a successful pregnancy, where the fertilised egg implants and grows within the uterus. This condition is crucial for the fetus’s healthy development, representing a positive and expected part of a woman’s reproductive experience. While certain complications can affect fetal growth within the womb, these issues are distinct from the nature of intrauterine pregnancy itself.

  • Difference between intrauterine pregnancy and ectopic?

    The primary distinction between an intrauterine and an ectopic pregnancy centers on the location of implantation. In a healthy intrauterine pregnancy, the fertilized egg secures itself within the uterus, the optimal site for a fetus to grow and mature. Conversely, in an ectopic pregnancy, the egg implants outside the uterus, often in a fallopian tube, though it can also occur in the ovary, cervix, or abdominal cavity. This misplaced implantation can lead to severe health risks, including the potential for rupture and internal bleeding, as the fetus cannot properly develop in these locations, endangering the mother’s well-being.

  • Can intrauterine pregnancy survive?

    An intrauterine pregnancy, where the fertilised egg implants and grows within the uterus, represents the standard and healthiest form of pregnancy, crucial for the fetus’s healthy development. Unlike ectopic pregnancies, which occur outside the uterus and pose significant health risks, intrauterine pregnancies are both sustainable and desired. These pregnancies have the potential to proceed to full term, leading to the birth of a baby. Therefore, an intrauterine pregnancy is not only capable of surviving but is also the optimal scenario for both fetal development and maternal health.

  • What are the Early Stage Considerations for IPUV

    In cases where there’s uncertainty about menstrual dates or if a patient has irregular periods, the exact timing of early pregnancy events may not align with standard expectations. It’s also common for women who have recently stopped using contraceptive methods to experience variability in their cycle lengths, affecting the dating of the pregnancy.

    If the pregnancy is indeed at a very early stage, subsequent ultrasounds can provide reassurance as the embryo becomes visible and a heartbeat can be detected.


Understanding and early detection of intrauterine pregnancy are critical for ensuring the safety and health of both the mother and the developing baby. If you’re pregnant or planning to conceive, it’s essential to seek early prenatal care. Here at London Pregnancy Clinic, we offer comprehensive support and advanced diagnostic services to guide you through your pregnancy journey.

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What Is Cryptic Pregnancy?

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What Is Cryptic Pregnancy?

Understanding the Phenomenon of Silent Pregnancy

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Cryptic pregnancy is a fascinating phenomenon that has puzzled both medical professionals and expecting mothers alike. In this blog post, we will delve into hidden pregnancy, exploring its definition, signs and symptoms, causes, emotional impact, and more. Whether you’re an expecting mother or simply curious about pregnancy-related topics, join us on this enlightening journey.

It’s estimated that approximately 1 in 475 women will experience a cryptic pregnancy until 20 weeks of gestation. Hidden pregnancy is a condition where a woman remains unaware of her pregnancy until very late in the gestation period or even until delivery. While it sounds like something out of a movie, cryptic pregnancy is a real and relatively rare phenomenon. Despite its rarity, the impact on those who go through it can be significant.

What is Cryptic Pregnancy?

Cryptic pregnancy, also known as stealth pregnancy or denial of pregnancy, refers to a pregnancy that goes undetected by the woman herself and often by healthcare professionals as well. The reasons behind this lack of awareness vary, but it’s important to understand that it’s not a conscious decision to deny or ignore the pregnancy. It is characterised by irregular or absent menstrual periods, minimal or no pregnancy symptoms, and negative pregnancy tests.

Signs and Symptoms of Cryptic Pregnancy

One of the most intriguing aspects of cryptic pregnancy is the absence of typical pregnancy symptoms. While some women may experience certain symptoms such as weight gain, abdominal distension, or intermittent bleeding, many others will have no noticeable signs of pregnancy. The lack of these symptoms, combined with irregular menstrual cycles, can contribute to the confusion and disbelief surrounding this type of pregnancy.

Indicators to look out for

  • Missed period: While most individuals recognise pregnancy due to a missed period, this is not always the case. If your periods are irregular, you may not notice a missed period as a sign of pregnancy. However, people may experience spotting or light bleeding, which can be mistaken for a period.
  • Fetal movement: Most individuals do not feel the fetus move until about halfway through pregnancy, so around the middle of the second trimester. If you have an anterior placenta (located at the front of your belly), it may be more challenging to perceive kicks. In the case of cryptic pregnancy, this could be why you are unaware of being pregnant.
  • False negative pregnancy test result: This occurs when someone is actually pregnant, but the test indicates otherwise. If you do not use an at-home pregnancy test correctly, you may receive an inaccurate result. To be certain, it is always best to consult a healthcare provider to confirm pregnancy. Another way you can check whether you’re pregnant or not is by doing one of the pregnancy blood tests.
  • Weight gain or swollen belly: Some individuals may not realise they have gained weight due to pregnancy, or they may attribute an unusually bloated belly to a particular food.

Please note that this response does not constitute medical advice. If you have concerns or questions about pregnancy, consult a qualified healthcare professional.

Factors Contributing to Cryptic Pregnancy

Various factors, both physiological and psychological, can influence cryptic pregnancy. Hormonal imbalances or irregularities can disrupt the usual hormonal markers of pregnancy and lead to false-negative pregnancy tests. Certain medical conditions, such as polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) or uterine abnormalities, can also affect the accuracy of pregnancy tests. Additionally, psychological factors, such as subconscious denial or a lack of awareness about pregnancy symptoms, can contribute to a woman’s unknowingness. 

Potential complications of a cryptic pregnancy?

Complications arising from a cryptic pregnancy stem from the lack of awareness about one’s condition. These complications may include:

  • Absence of prenatal care: Unaware of the pregnancy, individuals do not receive the necessary prenatal care, such as vital bloodwork, nutritional guidance, ultrasounds, and other essential support required for a healthy pregnancy. Furthermore, not knowing about the pregnancy could result in unassisted labour without the aid of skilled healthcare professionals.
  • Necessity for lifestyle adjustments: Smoking and consuming alcohol have detrimental effects on pregnancy. In the case of a cryptic pregnancy, individuals may unknowingly engage in these harmful practices or use medications and supplements that are generally unsafe for expectant mothers.
  • Elevated risk of medical conditions: Without proper care or diagnostic tests, conditions like gestational diabetes or preeclampsia may go undetected.
  • Heightened risk of congenital conditions: The fetus is at a higher risk of developing congenital conditions due to the lack of genetic tests, like NIPT, or other evaluations that aid in diagnosing the health of the baby.

It is crucial to highlight the potential risks associated with a hidden pregnancy to promote awareness and encourage individuals to seek appropriate medical support. This fact has been highlighted in studies saying that infants born from cryptic pregnancies are more likely to be born prematurely, placing them at risk of poor growth and respiratory issues.

Emotional Journey of Cryptic Pregnancy

The emotional journey of hidden pregnancy is complex and can vary greatly from woman to woman. Discovering that you are pregnant after an extended period of unknowingness can evoke a range of emotions, including shock, confusion, and even joy. It’s crucial for women experiencing cryptic pregnancy to seek emotional support from their partners, family, and healthcare professionals. Counselling and therapy can also be beneficial in navigating the emotional challenges that may arise.

Cryptic Pregnancy FAQs

  • Can stealth pregnancy be prevented?

    Cryptic pregnancy, also known as hidden pregnancy, cannot be prevented as it is often caused by physiological or psychological factors that are beyond an individual’s control.

  • Can cryptic pregnancy occur in women who have regular periods?

    Yes, cryptic pregnancy can occur in women with irregular or regular menstrual cycles. Irregular periods do not necessarily indicate cryptic pregnancy, and regular periods do not guarantee the absence of pregnancy.

    It’s important to consult with a healthcare professional, such as a gynaecologist, for accurate information and personalised insights into cryptic pregnancy.

Expert Opinion: For professional insights into the medical aspects of cryptic pregnancy, including causes, symptoms, and diagnosis, you can talk to our in-house gynaecologist Dr. Prashant Purohit. Alongside LPC, he is a Consultant in Obstetrics, Gynaecology, and Reproductive Medicine based at Kings College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust and Kings Fertility, London. He specialises in the management of infertile couples, fertility preservation, fibroids, endometriosis, miscarriage, polycystic ovaries, menopause, menstrual bleeding disorders, and pelvic pain. His special interests include minimally invasive surgery like (key-hole) laparoscopic/ hysteroscopic surgery, Gynecological and early pregnancy ultrasound, and reproductive medicine.


Cryptic pregnancy is a unique and captivating phenomenon that challenges our understanding of pregnancy and the human body. While it may be rare, it’s important to acknowledge and support individuals who experience cryptic pregnancy, as their journey can be filled with confusion, uncertainty, and emotional complexity. By raising awareness and fostering understanding, we can create a more inclusive and supportive environment for all women navigating the intricacies of pregnancy.

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Ultrasound Scans During Pregnancy

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Ultrasound scans during pregnancy

Discovering the importance of ultrasound scanning to demystify it.

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Unravel the mysteries of ultrasound scans during pregnancy. Understand their significance, what to expect, and their role in ensuring a healthy pregnancy. Experience the joy and reassurance that comes with seeing your baby’s first images.

Embarking on the journey of pregnancy is a thrilling yet complex adventure, filled with excitement, anticipation, and a myriad of questions. Among the most common queries we encounter at our clinic is the significance of ultrasound scans during this special time. Understanding the importance of these scans, often shrouded in mystery, can profoundly change perceptions, transforming them from just a clinical procedure into an invaluable and cherished part of the pregnancy experience. These scans can be done from week 6, as this is when we reach the first major developmental milestone.

The Role of Ultrasound in Pregnancy

Ultrasound scans, a window to your womb, offer a non-invasive peek at your developing baby. Ultrasound technology has revolutionised prenatal care since its inception. Initially utilised in the 1950s for gynaecological purposes, its application in monitoring fetal development during pregnancy was a groundbreaking discovery that has shaped modern obstetrics. The development of the first contact B-mode scanner opened a new window into the womb, allowing for the visualisation of the fetus and transforming prenatal care.

This innovation marked the beginning of using ultrasound to monitor the baby’s development, detect potential abnormalities, and even predict birth weight discordance in twin pregnancies. Today, ultrasound scans are a routine and indispensable part of prenatal care. Most women are offered at least two standard scans during their pregnancy. The first scan, usually conducted between 10 and 13 weeks, is crucial for confirming the due date and checking the baby’s heartbeat. The second scan, typically between 18 and 21 weeks, focuses on assessing the baby’s growth and anatomy in more detail.

What to Expect During an Ultrasound

Understanding what happens during an ultrasound can ease any apprehensions and make the experience more enjoyable. At London Pregnancy Clinic, we encourage patients to ask questions and see this as an opportunity to educate them about the wonders of ultrasound and pregnancy.

Procedure: You’ll recline on a comfortable bed in our serene scanning room. While ‘internal’ and ‘external’ aren’t official medical terms, they are commonly used to describe ultrasound methods. An internal scan, often a transvaginal ultrasound, involves a probe inserted into the vagina for detailed pelvic images. Whereas, the external scan is an abdominal ultrasound, where a transducer glides over the abdomen to visualise the baby and internal organs. Our specialists excel in both types of ultrasounds, providing thorough care and support throughout your pregnancy.

Scanning: While our specialists move the transducer, you may feel slight pressure, but it’s generally a painless process. Traditional 2D ultrasounds provide clear images of your baby’s structure, while advanced 3D and 4D technologies can offer more detailed views, such as facial features or specific organs.

Duration: A standard ultrasound typically lasts about 20 minutes. However, at London Pregnancy Clinic our scans, are more comprehensive and may take up to 30/45/60 minutes. Occasionally, obtaining clear ultrasound images can be challenging. Factors like the baby’s position, movement, body composition, or higher body weight might affect image clarity. However, this is usually no cause for concern. To enhance image quality, we might ask you to take a short walk. This can encourage the baby to shift position. 

Results: At LPC we use Tricefy to share the images and reports with you. It’s important to note that ultrasounds are safe, with no known risks to either the baby or the mother. However, they are an important diagnostic tool, providing valuable information for any potential medical decisions.

What is an Ultrasound Probe

An ultrasound probe, or transducer, directly contacts your body during an ultrasound. It plays a crucial role in both sending and receiving sound waves to create clear images of your baby. Here are the key details you should know:

Piezoelectric Crystals Inside: These crystals change electrical energy into sound waves and back, enabling the probe to send and receive signals.

Varied Shapes and Sizes: Probes differ based on their use. They range in frequency and field of view. Lower frequencies (2.5-7.5 MHz) penetrate deeper, making them ideal for viewing internal structures. Higher frequencies (above 7.5 MHz) offer better resolution for closer, superficial areas.

Different Types for Different Uses: There are external, internal, and endoscopic probes. External ones glide over the skin, internal ones go inside body cavities, and endoscopic ones, attached to a tube, are inserted into the body for closer examination.

Handling with Care: Dropping or improper cleaning can damage probes. They require careful handling to maintain their precision and effectiveness.

In summary, ultrasound probes are essential for generating and receiving sound waves that provide us with valuable images of the internal body structures of your or your baby. Check out our YouTube video on ‘What are Ultrasound Probes‘.

NHS Ultrasound Scans

In England, the NHS provides crucial ultrasound scans during pregnancy at key stages. Hospitals in England offer at least two ultrasound scans, conducted by fetal medicine practitioners, which include the following:

  • 12-Week Scan (Dating Scan): Offered between 11 and 14 weeks, this scan estimates your due date. It may include a nuchal translucency (NT) scan (this is an NHS scan not to be confused with our private Nuchal Scan), part of the combined screening test for Down’s syndrome (Trisomy 21). This screening includes a blood test and an ultrasound scan. The scan measures the fluid at the back of the baby’s neck, also known as nuchal translucency. However, unlike Non-Invasive Prenatal Testing (NIPT), it is not considered the most advanced and modern way to screen for Down’s and other chromosomal syndromes.
  • 20-Week Screening Scan (NHS Anomaly Scan): Conducted between 18 and 21 weeks, this scan, also known as the anomaly or mid-pregnancy scan, checks for 11 physical conditions in the baby. These include Spina Bifida, Anencephaly, Cleft Lip, Diaphragmatic Hernia, Exomphalos, Serious Cardiac Abnormalities, Bilateral Renal Agenesis, Lethal Skeletal Dysplasia, Edwards’ Syndrome (Trisomy 18), Patau’s Syndrome (Trisomy 13), and Acrania. 

LPC Ultrasound Scans

Following the essential scans offered by the NHS, the London Pregnancy Clinic presents a spectrum of specialised ultrasound scans for expectant mothers. While we endorse the significance of NHS scans, our clinic provides additional, detailed insights into your baby’s development. We are renowned for our proficiency in early anomaly detection but we offer an extensive scan list designed by Dr Fred Ushakov:

Our clinic’s dedication to fetal medicine is evident in our use of the latest imaging technologies, including 2D, 3D, and 4D scans. These technologies allow us to screen various aspects of your baby’s growth and development, providing reassurance and a deeper connection with your baby throughout your pregnancy journey.

Ultrasound scans during pregnancy FAQs

  • Difference between internal and external ultrasound scans

    Internal Scan (transvaginal scan) – involves inserting a specially designed probe into the vagina. Provides high-resolution images of the pelvic organs, including the uterus, ovaries, and in early pregnancy, the developing fetus. Commonly used in early pregnancy stages for clearer and more detailed images. In an abdominal ultrasound, a sonographer applies a water-soluble gel to your belly and uses a transducer to glide over the skin, sending sound waves that create images of the baby.

    External Scan (abdominal scan) – this method involves moving a transducer over the abdomen’s surface. It captures images of internal organs, including the developing baby, placenta, and uterus during pregnancy. Used throughout pregnancy, especially in the second and third trimesters, to monitor the baby’s growth and development. In a transvaginal ultrasound, a longer and thinner transducer is gently inserted into the vagina to get closer to the uterus, offering detailed images, especially in early pregnancy.

  • How many ultrasound scans can I have during pregnancy?

    During pregnancy, the number of ultrasound scans you can have varies:

    • NHS Scans: Standard NHS care includes two scans. These check the baby’s size, detect abnormalities, determine the due date, and monitor growth.

    • London Pregnancy Clinic Options: We offer additional scans for more comprehensive screening and reassurance:

      • Early Fetal Reassurance: Includes 2 early scans for early health screening.
      • NHS Complementing Scan: Features 3 scans alongside the standard NHS 12-week and 20-week scans.
      • Comprehensive Scan Package: Provides 6 scans, ideal for high-risk, IVF pregnancies, or those after a miscarriage.

    While you can theoretically have as many scans as you wish, it’s about balancing the benefits with your time and energy. Our packages at London Pregnancy Clinic are designed to complement NHS care, providing peace of mind throughout your pregnancy journey.

  • Can an ultrasound scan harm me or my unborn baby?

    Patients are often concerned about whether or not ultrasound scans harm the fetus during its development. Currently, there are no known side effects and it is widely accepted that ultrasound scans are a procedure safe for pregnancy. There are no known risks to the baby or the mother from having an ultrasound scan, but you must consider carefully whether to have the scan or not.

  • Why scan in early pregnancy?

    We are specialists in early pregnancy scans. Undergoing an ultrasound scan early in pregnancy not only provides essential health information but also plays a vital role in future decision-making. If the scan reveals any anomalies or concerns, it can be a challenging time for you and your partner. Having this knowledge at an early stage allows you both more time to understand the situation, consider your options, and make informed decisions. It’s a process that requires care, support, and thoughtful consideration, and our team at the clinic is committed to providing compassionate guidance every step of the way. An ultrasound scan in early pregnancy is crucial for several reasons:

    • Confirmation of Pregnancy: It confirms the existence of an intrauterine pregnancy, ensuring the pregnancy is developing in the right place.
    • Establishing Gestational Age: It helps determine the gestational age of the fetus, which is key for calculating the estimated due date.
    • Detection of Multiple Pregnancies: Ultrasound can reveal if you’re expecting twins, triplets, or more, which is important for managing a healthy pregnancy.
    • Assessing Pregnancy Health: It checks the health of the pregnancy, including the heartbeat of the fetus, and can identify potential issues early on.
    • Screening for Chromosomal Abnormalities: Early scans can be part of screening for chromosomal abnormalities like Down syndrome.
    • Reassurance: An early scan provides reassurance, especially for those with a history of miscarriage, IVF, or fertility issues.
    • Planning for Future Care: The information gathered assists healthcare providers in planning appropriate care throughout the pregnancy.
  • Why should I do a private ultrasound scan on top of my NHS scans?

    Choosing to have a private ultrasound scan at the London Pregnancy Clinic, in addition to your NHS scans, offers several benefits that complement your comprehensive pregnancy care:

    1. Early Reassurance: Our private scans can start as early as 10 weeks, providing early reassurance about the health and development of your baby. This early insight reduces the waiting time typically associated with NHS scans.

    2. Comprehensive Anomaly Screening: We offer detailed and comprehensive screening for fetal anomalies. These in-depth scans supplement the standard NHS checks, offering a more thorough examination.

    3. Post-20-Week Scans: After the standard 20-week NHS scan, our clinic provides additional scans to monitor your baby’s position, growth, and overall development. These scans can offer reassurance during the later stages of pregnancy.

    4. Availability of NIPT: Non-Invasive Prenatal Testing (NIPT), a valuable screening for chromosomal abnormalities, is more readily available in our clinic. While the NHS offers NIPT under certain conditions, our clinic provides more accessible options for all expectant mothers.

    5. Flexibility and Personalisation: Private scans offer increased flexibility with appointment scheduling, allowing you to choose the most convenient times and dates. This flexibility ensures that your appointments fit seamlessly into your lifestyle.

    6. Comfortable and Personal Experience: We pride ourselves on creating a patient-centred experience, ensuring each visit is as comfortable and reassuring as possible.

    It’s important to continue with your scheduled NHS scans for a complete overview of your pregnancy’s progress. Private scans at the London Pregnancy Clinic are designed to enhance and complement the care you receive through the NHS, offering additional peace of mind and a more tailored approach to your prenatal care journey.

  • How to prepare for a pregnancy scan?

    Some people think it’s a silly question but we don’t think so! For us preparing for a pregnancy scan is as straightforward as:

    Being Comfortable: Wear loose, comfortable clothing like a top with trousers or a skirt. This choice aids in easy access for abdominal scans and comfort during transvaginal scans. Avoid dresses for pelvic ultrasounds. Instead, choose separates that can be easily adjusted or removed as needed.

    Bringing a Partner: You’re welcome to bring your partner for support during the scan.


Understanding the importance of ultrasound scans demystifies this crucial aspect of prenatal care. It’s more than just a medical procedure; it’s a journey of discovery and connection with your baby. For more information or to schedule your ultrasound, visit our scans page. Our team at London Pregnancy Clinic is here to guide and support you every step of the way, ensuring a healthy and joyful pregnancy experience.

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Pre Eclampsia

What is Pre-Eclampsia? 

Pre-eclampsia is a hypertensive disorder. It is characterised by persistent high blood pressure that develops during pregnancy (usually from 20 weeks) or postpartum period (up to 6 weeks postpartum). 

With careful management, most pregnancies with pre-eclampsia will have good outcomes, but complications include problems with the growth of the baby, kidney and liver damage. 

Key Stats 

  • Hypertensive disorders of pregnancy (HPD) affects 5-10% all pregnancies worldwide. This includes pre-eclampsia, eclampsia, HELLP syndrome (haemolysis, elevated liver enzymes, low platelets) and gestational hypertension. 
  • HPDs are the leading cause of maternal and infant death across the globe. 
  • Approximately 76,000 women and 500,000 babies die each year worldwide from pre-eclampsia. 
  • Black women are 3x more likely to develop pre-eclampsia and have severe outcomes. 
  • 60% of maternal deaths due to pre-eclampsia are preventable. 


  • Severe headaches 
  • Welling in hands and face 
  • Visual issues 
  • Nausea and vomiting 
  • Stomach or abdomen pain 
  • Sudden weight gain 
  • Shortness of breath 


Pre-eclampsia can develop from 20 weeks of pregnancy and up to 6 weeks after childbirth. High blood pressure can usually be controlled by antihypertensive medication. The risk of pre-eclampsia in pregnancy can be reduced by maintaining a healthy lifestyle.  

Please note that all these may help decrease rates of pre-eclampsia but should be consulted with a healthcare professional prior to action. 

What We Offer? 

Our Consultant Obstetrician, Mr Daniel Stott, specialises in the management of pregnancies affected by pre-eclampsia. He helps provide mothers with post-natal care and can address any concerns mothers have during or post pregnancy. Learn more about out Private Obstetric Services on the dedicated page

He also runs a pre-eclampsia clinic at his NHS post at University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. Mr Stott has published an MD on haemodynamics in hypertensive pregnancies at King’s College London and has published widely in pre-eclampsia. 


We want to do our part in raising awareness and supportive ongoing research to #MoveResearchForward. Let’s work together to help prevent pre-eclampsia and improve outcomes for mothers and babies worldwide. 

If you require any more information on pre-eclampsia, please check out the Pre-Eclampsia Foundation