Your First Look at Your Baby
Most expectant parents anticipate their first appointment for an ultrasound. They realise that it is at the appointment that they will finally be able to “see” what their developing baby looks like for the very first time. Technology changes at a rapid pace. Whether this is your first baby or you have had children in the past, modern ultrasound technology has advanced beyond traditional 2D ultrasound scans. Today's expectant parents have the option of choosing either a 3D or 4D ultrasound scan of their baby.
Traditional 2D Ultrasound Scans
Traditional ultrasound scans produce a 2-dimensional image of your baby. The results are usually black and white, blurry, and it focuses on your baby's internal structures. It can be a bit disappointing if you are hoping to see what your baby really looks like. 2D scans show parents-to-be an outline of the baby in utero.
Introducing Advanced 3D and 4D Ultrasound Technology
3D and 4D ultrasound imaging technology go beyond traditional ultrasound scans and utilise special programming to give you a clearer, more realistic and life like look at your baby.
Although 3D and 4D ultrasound is proving to be invaluable in encourage bonding between family and the new baby, it adds little medical value and therefore is not covered by Medicare or any health funds. So, just to note, 3D and 4D ultrasound scans are not used for diagnostic purposes. Prenatal diagnostics still relies heavily on a 2D ultrasound scan.
3D and 4D ultrasound scans of the baby’s face are usually performed around the 30th week of pregnancy, when the baby is developed and chubby enough but still has room to move around. 3D and 4D ultrasounds can be done as early as 14 weeks to determine the baby’s gender. Most women will have at least two scans with us, one in the very early weeks to find out gender or just to see the baby for peace of mind, and another around 30 weeks to see beautiful facial features.
What to Expect From 3D and 4D Ultrasound Scans
More often these days, parents are choosing to have a 3D and 4D ultrasound scan of their unborn baby in addition to the traditional 2D scan. They are eager to capture the clearest, most detailed image of their baby.
- Both 3D and 4D ultrasounds are as safe as 2D ultrasound scans and use the same sound wave technology.
- As with traditional 2D ultrasounds, both 3D and 4D ultrasound scans are painless, comfortable and done over the tummy
- 3D and 4D ultrasound scans produce colour photos of your unborn child.
3D ultrasound scans produce a 3 dimensional, still photograph of your baby. The image is in colour and it shows details such as your baby's mouth, nose, ears, and other facial features. A 3D ultrasound can show the sex of the baby, providing that the baby is positioned in such a way that make sex-determination possible.
4D ultrasound scans add an additional dimension to ultrasound image scanning: movement. 4D ultrasounds enable the creation of live video streaming from the womb. Parents are able to see their child move in real time. Our 4D ultrasounds are performed and recorded on DVD, which is fantastic for parents that seek a prenatal keepsake video of their child before birth.
Advantages of 3D/4D Ultrasound Scans:
- Adds to the parent-child bonding experience before birth.
- Provides an opportunity for enhanced partner support once the baby is "seen."
- A beautiful keepsake of the pregnancy that can be shared among families and friends.
- Encourages older siblings to be more prepared and accepting of their impending younger brother or sister.
- Reassurance to parents that their baby is growing and developing well.
Possible Limitations of 3D/4D Ultrasound Scans
- 3D and 4D ultrasound scans are considered to be elective, and are not for medical purposes.
- Some limiting factors will affect the 3D 4D image quality, such as maternal body, placenta location, fluid level and baby’s position.
- The sonographers are very skilled at obtaining optimal photos but cannot overcome the above mentioned variables completely.
- Good 3D and 4D photos of the baby may not be possible on the day of your appointment and multiple visits may be needed to achieve desired results.
- 3D and 4D ultrasound scans are highly operator dependent, only qualified sonographers using the best machine can provide you with the best outcome.