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Before the scan you will be asked to drink a lot of water and have a full bladder, as this puts the uterus in a better position to be scanned.This can be something of an uncomfortable challenge if your sonographer has particularly long waiting times.The scan is primarily for dating but the sonographer will also look in on a few more things at the same time.

Are you expecting just one baby, or could it be twins or (gulp) even more?

The clarity of the picture depends on a number of things.

For instance, if you have any abdominal scarring or are overweight the picture may not be as clear.

NICE recommends it's done between 10 weeks and 13 weeks.

You will have had earlier appointments and may have had an early scan if you've had any concerns such as bleeding, but otherwise this is the first time you'll get to see your baby, so it's a real milestone in your pregnancy.

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It's not completely foolproof – but the dating scan is a much more accurate way to work out how far you are into pregnancy than calculating it by the date of your last period, which is the only method the midwives will have used so far to work out your due date.