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This measures a collection of fluid under the skin at the back of a baby's neck.
The dating scan will take between five minutes and 10 minutes.
If your uterus (womb) is very deep in your pelvis, or if you're overweight, you may be offered a vaginal scan, which can get nearer to your baby.
It shouldn't be uncomfortable, and you don't need a full bladder.
The dating scan will also show if you're expecting twins, triplets or more.
It's helpful to know about twins early on, as it's easier to see whether or not they share a placenta.
For most mums-to-be, the first scan will be a dating scan at between 10 weeks and 13 weeks plus six days of pregnancy.
However, the timing of your first scan will also depend on how your pregnancy is going, and where you live.
Ask your GP if you want the reassurance of an early scan. The scan's main purpose is to work out accurately how many weeks pregnant you are and estimate your due date.
Having a scan in the first few months of pregnancy can be a thrilling experience.
It's amazing to see the little blob with a heartbeat that will soon become your baby.
Your midwife may recommend an early scan at between six weeks and 10 weeks if you have experienced bleeding.
You may also be offered an early scan if you've had a previous miscarriage.
If you have an irregular cycle, or if you've recently been taking the contraceptive pill, working out the date from your LMP isn't a very accurate method. The scan can check that your baby has a heartbeat and is developing normally.