What are 3D and 4D ultrasound scans?
3D scans show three-dimensional images of your baby. While 4D scan shows moving 3D images of your baby with time being the fourth dimension.
A new parent can be extremely overwhelmed by the outlook of their future baby. But some parents find the standard 2D scan very disappointing, they end up with a grey and unclear sketch instead of an image of a lifelike baby. This is because a 2D scan only displays the internal organ as the scan sees right through your baby.
However, 3D and 4D scan offer you the image of your baby skin which is relatively prettier than just seeing her organs. With 3D and 4D scan, you can see the shape of your baby’s mouth and nose, and you’ll enjoy the pleasure of watching your baby yawn or stick her tongue out.
3D and 4D scans are as safe as 2D scans because they feature sections 2D images converted into a picture. Doctors and midwives hardly recommend 3D and 4D scan because the level of exposure to ultrasound is beyond the safety limit. Ultrasound that exceeds 45 minutes or an hour is considered above recommended safety limits.
3D and 4D scans provide information about a known abnormality. This scan provides more details from different perspectives, they can help in the diagnosis of cleft lip. For doctors and midwives, this is the key to planning a successful repair after birth.
3D scanning is also used in diagnosing heart defect and other internal problems. For this reason, most of the fetal medicine unit make use of 3D scan, but only when they’re medically necessary.
To this moment, there is no strong evidence to prove that these scans aren’t safe, and most pregnant women derive comfort from them. Nevertheless, it is best to carry any type of ultrasound scan by a trained professional, for the shortest time possible while minimizing the intensity of ultrasound.
For a new parent that is interested in a 3D or 4D scan, you’ll have to pay and arrange for it privately. The charges vary depending on the ultrasound clinic you are using. Some clinics also give a recording of the scan on DVD.
The equipment required for 3D and 4D scan is exorbitant. They have limited chemical benefits, and doctors and midwives emphasize that this should only be done when it is medically necessary. Therefore, replacing normal 2D scans which are used for routine maternity care is highly unlikely.
However, the optimum time for a 3D or 4D scan is between 26 and 36 weeks of pregnancy.
Your baby has little fat under her skin before 26 weeks of pregnancy. So, this is the time when the bones in her face show through while after 30 weeks is a stage when your baby’s head goes deep down in your pelvis. So you will hardly see the bones of her face at this stage.
However, the perfect time to get the best images of your baby is 28 weeks of pregnancy when the placenta is at the front of your uterus. (Anterior placenta)
Seeing your feature baby is amazing, particularly for the fact that it is genuinely human and natural. But, sometimes this amazing scenario becomes impossible, depending on how the baby is lying.
For a baby lying, and facing upwards, and surrounded with a good pool of amniotic fluid around her, you will be able to see her face. But you will hardly see much from a baby facing your back, her head’s far down in your pelvis, or there’s not much fluid around her, you won’t see much. The same applies to pregnant women with a lot of tummies fat.
Most of the time, a good sonographer asks pregnant women to go for a walk or to visit back in a week to have the baby moved to a better position. Even if the face view isn’t clear enough you will be able to see her fingers and toes instead.
Few private operators offer a free repeat scan if for some reason you can’t see your baby’s face while others might choose not to because they want to limit your maximum exposure to radiation. Before you give your money away is better to check the company’s policy first.