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Barwon Health / Maternity Services

(03) 4215 2060

Having an ultrasound

There are temporary changes to having an ultrasound at BMI due to COVID-19 (Coronavirus). Read about these changes here.

An ultrasound scanner uses high frequency sound waves that bounce off solid objects and create a picture on a screen. Scans are done to provide information about the growth and development of your baby and it also gives you the opportunity to see your baby on a small screen. Ultrasound scans show you your baby’s size, which is important for dating the pregnancy and finding out when the baby is due, the way your baby is lying in the uterus, which may be important at the end of your pregnancy, whether there is more than one baby present (twins), the development of your baby’s organs and bones, including the spine or where the placenta is placed in your uterus. 

An ultrasound scan can also identify some abnormalities or problems. In the few cases where ultrasound reveals an unexpected problem, you may be referred for further diagnostic tests.

What to expect

How many scans will I have?

The first scan you may have is known as the ‘dating scan’ because it measures your growing pregnancy to show how many weeks you are, and also checks development. Your GP may also offer a special ultrasound to measure the thickness of a fold at the back of the baby’s neck called a ‘nuchal translucency test’ which in combination with a blood test is used to screen for Down’s syndrome. It is offered when you are around 11 to 13 weeks pregnant.

The second scan is offered when you are around 19-21 weeks pregnant. This is a detailed scan that helps to pick up any major problems. In cases where an ultrasound reveals an unexpected problem, you will most likely be referred for further diagnostic tests such as amniocentesis or chorionic villus sampling (CVS). Please remember that there are things that the ultrasound scan cannot pick up, if nothing unusual is seen on the scan it does not always mean that your baby will have no problems or anomalies.

Booking your 19 week ultrasound

A 19 week pregnancy ultrasound scan can only be done within a very specific timeframe. It is essential that bookings for this pregnancy ultrasound scan be made as early as possible in your pregnancy.

If you plan to have your baby at University Hospital Geelong and choose to have your ultrasound scan at Barwon Health but have not yet booked your 19 week pregnancy scan, we ask that you contact Barwon Medical Imaging (BMI) on 4215 0300 to arrange a time.

This will assist us in being able to provide an ultrasound scan within the required time frame. It is preferable that a dating scan has already been done before you book your 19 week scan.

Please follow the steps below:

1. My due date has been confirmed by my GP with an early scan

Contact Barwon Medical Imaging (BMI) as soon as possible after you receive this letter to book your 19 week scan on (03)4215 0300

a) If your GP has given you a 19 week BMI ultrasound request form:
BMI will require your GP to fax through or you to drop in a copy of this request form.
b) If you do not have a 19 week ultrasound request form:
Advise BMI that you are a Pregnancy Care Clinic (PCC) patient and the date of your first clinic appointment. When you attend your PCC appointment, an ultrasound request form will be completed for you.

2. My due date has not been confirmed by an early scan

  • Contact your GP to organise this early scan.
  • Once your due date has been confirmed by an early scan, follow step 1 b as above to book your 19 week scan.

3. I am more than 15 weeks pregnant

If you are more than 15 weeks pregnant when we receive your pregnancy referral, and you have a confirmed due date, contact BMI  as soon as possible on 4215 0300. Advise BMI staff that you are a patient of the Pregnancy Care Clinic. You may not be able to obtain a 19 week scan at BMI.

If you are unable to book a scan in the timeframe needed:

  • Contact your GP to arrange a 19 week ultrasound scan request form.
  • You will need to contact a different ultrasound imaging provider. Please check with these providers regarding the out-of-pocket costs associated with your ultrasound.


Last Modified: Tuesday, 07 April 2020

Contact Barwon Medical Imaging (BMI)


Ph. (03) 4215 0300

[email protected]