Most scans are carried out by specially trained staff called sonographers.
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Ultrasound scans use sound waves to build a picture of the baby in the womb.
The scans are completely painless, have no known side effects on mothers or babies, and can be carried out at any stage of pregnancy.
Talk to your midwife, GP or obstetrician about any concerns you have.
For many women, ultrasound scans are the highlight of pregnancy.
The sonographer passes a handheld device called a probe over your skin.
It is this probe that sends out ultrasound waves and picks them up when they bounce back.
A black and white picture of the baby will appear on the ultrasound screen.
It's very exciting to "see" your baby in the womb, often moving his or her hands and legs.
Having a scan in pregnancy is usually a happy event, but be aware that ultrasound scans may detect some serious abnormalities, so you should be prepared for that information.