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Dating scan

Dating scans are a type of ultrasound scan done during pregnancy.

All pregnant women in Ireland are offered a dating scan. This should be done before 15 weeks.

Dating scans aim to detect:

  • your baby’s heartbeat
  • your expected birth date
  • the baby’s size
  • if you are expecting more than 1 baby


You will need a full bladder. In early pregnancy, your womb can be quite small and lies quite low in the pelvis. A full bladder helps to push the womb upwards.

Most ultrasound departments will allow you to bring a support person with you for your scan. Check this with your maternity unit. Children are usually not allowed.

You will not be allowed to record the scan using a phone or video camera.

You may be given a printed photo of your baby. Do not leave it in sunlight and do not laminate it because it will fade.

Page last reviewed: 12 June 2023
Next review due: 12 June 2026