Tuesday 18 February 2020

Interview with clinic manager and obstetric sonographer at Early Life Ultrasound Centre

Discover what independent Cheltenham clinic, Early Life Ultrasound Centre, can offer expecting parents in this interview with obstetric sonographer and clinic manager, Chrissie Cooper.

An independent clinic in the heart of Cheltenham, Early Life Ultrasound Centre offers an impressive range of 3D and 4D scans which allow expectant parents the chance to see and bond with their baby.

Discussing its expert services, what parents can expect, and the centre’s exciting range of unique gifts, clinic manager and obstetric sonographer Chrissie Cooper talks to SoGlos in this insightful interview.

Can you tell our readers a little bit about the Early Life Ultrasound Centre in Cheltenham?

We are an independent obstetric ultrasound clinic based opposite the town hall in Cheltenham. The ultrasound scans available here can offer expectant parent’s a little bit more information about their pregnancies and are designed to fit around, and in addition to, their usual routine scans.

We offer early pregnancy, early gender, 3D/4D bonding scans, and wellbeing scans that you can book without having to be referred.

What kind of atmosphere do you like to create at the clinic?

We have gone to great effort to give the clinic a soothing and calming atmosphere using soft lighting, aromatherapy and music.

To maintain a calming atmosphere, we space our appointments widely apart which means we normally have only two families in at any one time, so no crowds or queuing for images.

The images are made in the scan room so you get the chance to look through them in private before taking the pictures away. There’s also the chance to ask any questions you may be wondering about too.

We have gone to great effort to give the clinic a soothing and calming atmosphere using soft lighting, aromatherapy and music.

What range of scans do you offer, and how can they complement routine scans?

Everyone has a dating scan at around 12 weeks and an anomaly scan at around 20 weeks, available to them as a part of routine antenatal care, but lots of people choose to have extra to cover the spaces in between.

We cover early pregnancy from seven weeks, early gender scans at 16 weeks, and then in the late second trimester or third trimester we can provide wellbeing scans that include growth checks and presentation amongst other checks, as well as 3D/4D & HD Live bonding scans.

What can parents-to-be expect from a 4D scan?

2D scans will show you internal organs and fluid, and 3D/4D scans will show you your baby at skin level so you can see baby’s features, while 4D scans are moving real-time 3D images.

At Early Life we also have a newer technology called HD Live that not many places have; it’s a more realistic image that incorporates light and shadow into the images and includes a more realistic skin tone.

We also offer complete growth and wellbeing checks as a part of most of our 3D and 4D scan packages.

Can couples bring along their loved ones for the scan?

Yes absolutely, families and children are most welcome; there are toys for children and plenty of seating for families.

It’s a very special time and something that a lot of expectant parents want to share with siblings, grandparents, aunties, uncles and friends. We have a huge projector screen as well as another screen, to ensure that everyone gets a good view.

How early in their pregnancy can women have a scan with you?

We offer early scans from seven weeks into pregnancy; when someone chooses to have an early pregnancy scan they are usually looking for reassurance and information about their pregnancy.

At seven weeks we should be able to confirm whether a pregnancy is going as it should. We don’t scan any earlier, but sometimes dates can be a little out.

If we aim for seven weeks then most of the time people don’t need to wait for what we call a re-scan appointment, although if a re-scan is needed, we don’t charge for the second appointment.

It really is an exciting time for parents and families and we are very lucky to be able to help make it a special as we can.

What range of gifts do you offer, and is there one that’s the most popular?

We have a range of fun gifts to offer. Seasonal gifts include photo baubles and picture frames and we have hand-made picture frames where you can display your scan images.

This year for Christmas we have gorgeous heartbeat polar bears amongst other types of soft bears that are all available all year round.

Other fun accessories include giant confetti-filled gender reveal balloons which are very popular, along with gender reveal scratch cards that can be given to family members. Gender reveal parties are becoming very popular.

What, in your opinion, is the main benefit of booking scans with the Early Life Ultrasound Clinic?

There are quite a few benefits. One would be having access to professional ultrasound services without having to be referred. We also have the luxury of time, which enables us to explain everything we are seeing on the screen and can make people feel at ease.

Gender and 3D/4D scans can help with the bonding process and bring it home that this is really happening, and it isn’t just a bump. We also take measurements to check your baby is growing well and offer other information as a part of most packages.

If expectant mums are considering extra scans and you want a quality service where being open and understanding is as important as the scans themselves, then a visit to Early Life Ultrasound Centre would be very helpful!

And finally, what’s your favourite thing about your job?

The sonographers here are all mum’s and we have a pretty good understanding how it feels facing the prospect of becoming parents. During the 3D/4D scans we love being able to help with introductions to these small beings who are about to turn their parent’s world upside down – in a good way of course!

It really is an exciting time for parents and families and we are very lucky to be able to help make it a special as we can. It can be quite funny describing and showing parent’s what their babies are doing.

During the earlier stages it’s really fulfilling to be able to offer mums who may be anxious some reassurance and information too. All the sonographers have counselling training which is helpful when parents are anxious, and offering help where it is needed can be very rewarding.

For more information call (01242) 300810, email info@earlylife.co.uk, or visit earlylife.co.uk directly.

© SoGlos
Thursday 21 December 2017

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