A 3D ultrasound, which uses high-frequency sound waves and special imaging software to provide incredibly clear images of your baby, can be done at any point in pregnancy in addition to or instead of a traditional, two-dimensional ultrasound. 3D ultrasounds are still pictures of your baby in three dimensions, like the photos you sometimes see in newspapers and magazines.
Difference between 3D ultrasound and traditional 2D ultrasound
You probably looked forward to your first ultrasound, but may have been disappointed with the grey, blurry outline of a 2D image. This is because the ultrasound scans right through your baby, so the photos show your baby’s internal organs.
With 3D scans, you see your baby’s skin covering the internal organs. You’re able to see the shape of your baby’s mouth and nose, see him yawn or stick his tongue out, and get an idea of whether he looks more like Mom or Dad.
Will I need 3D ultrasound? How it Conduct?
Naturally the demand for 3D and 4D ultrasound has skyrocketed as more couples want to experience this intimate look at their babies. Also, the super-detailed images may be helpful if a potential problem is detected on a regular ultrasound. In these cases, being able to view the width, height, and depth of your baby and her internal organs can be helpful in making a diagnosis.
A 3D ultrasound is performed just like other ultrasounds. To conduct the exam, the technician will rub some gel on your belly and then move a transducer across the area. The transducer directs the sound waves toward your uterus and the baby inside it. Just as with traditional ultrasounds, a 3D ultrasound involves no radiation or x-rays, and is totally safe for both you and baby. And remember, the technicians at these places should not be relied on for any diagnosis or medical advice.
When is the best time to have a 3D ultrasound?
The best time to have a 3D or 4D ultrasound is when you are between 26 and 30 weeks pregnant. Before 26 weeks your baby has very little fat under her skin, so the bones of her face will show through her skin.
You may want to see your baby’s face on the ultrasound, but that might not be possible depending on how she is lying. If she’s lying facing outwards, with a good pool of amniotic fluid around her features, you should be able to see her face very clearly. But if she’s facing into your back, or there’s not much fluid around her, or if you have a large amount of tummy fat, you won’t see so much.
Sometimes the sonographer will ask you to go for a walk, or ask you to come back in a week when your baby may have moved to a better position. If it really isn’t possible to get good views of her face, you may be able to see fingers and toes instead.
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