If there’s one thing that will convince expectant parents that everything is going to plan, it’s an image of their unborn child giving the thumbs-up from the womb.

And that’s exactly what stunned couple Paul Schofield and Cheryl Stevenson got when they went for their 20-week ultrasound scan recently.

They were amazed when staff at Manchester St Mary’s Hospital handed them the snap, which showed their tiny, unborn child had mastered adult gestures.

The couple discovered they were having a boy and that all was well, reports the Manchester Evening News .

But what they didn’t expect was a personal greeting from the little one himself.

Paul, 31, a manager at a conservatory company, said midwives hadn’t seen a clearer thumbs-up image before. Cheryl Stevenson

Family: Cheryl Stevenson with husband Paul Schofield and son Cameron

He said: “It was a unique experience that we wanted to share – and it was a great way of him telling us that we are doing a good job by him so far!”

It’s not the first time unborn babies have been captured on camera having fun in their mum’s tums.

Little Leo David Hargreaves, who was born last year, was snapped smiling in the womb in a 4D image revealed by his proud parents Leighton Hargreaves and Amy Cregg, from Accrington.

And John and Charlotte Steel, from Hazel Grove, Stockport, revealed a scan which appeared to show their unborn son laughing heartily and rocking back and forth.

Paul and Cheryl, who have been together for five years, have an 18-month-old son Cameron and thanked nurses and staff at Saint Mary’s for their care – and for managing to capture the shot at exactly the right time.

Paul said: “It was all so clear. The midwife spent 15 minutes with Cheryl and the scan was very comprehensive. They check for an awful lot of things and you get 360 degree images. Cheryl Stevenson

Cheese: The happy family

He was moving back and forward a lot and when it came to the end of the scan, they asked us if we wanted to know the sex, which we did. Then they asked us if we wanted some pictures.

“He immediately curled up into a ball and put his face down and at first we couldn’t get a clear picture. We were gutted. But as soon as the midwife said she would have to wrap things up, his little hand came out and he gave us the thumbs-up.

“We all burst into laughter. The midwife said she has seen a few hand gestures in her time but nothing as clear and forthright as this. It brought a great deal of happiness to our day.”

Cheryl, 32, said the baby was moving around constantly, adding : “It was really surprising. People have asked me if it is real.

“It’s a prized memento and he must be having fun in there to be giving us the thumbs up.”

The couple haven’t yet discussed names.