Why should I consider an Elective Scan?
3D/4D ultrasound images and videos can provide a positive bonding experience for mother, father, family and friends of the unborn baby. Being able to see a realistic picture of your baby’s face as well as witnessing baby’s movements such as sucking their thumb, smacking their lips, wiggling fingers and toes provides a greater connection to baby and will give you lifelong keepsakes.
How is this different from the ultrasound at my doctor’s office? Can I do a 3D scan instead of my Anatomy Ultrasound?
Definitely NOT! This is called an elective scan for a reason and cannot replace any other ultrasounds. Think of the 3D/4D scan as more of a photography session and less like a medical exam. Apart from heartbeat, your baby will not be assessed during the appointment, instead we will focus on what’s cute – chubby cheeks, kicking feet, tiny ears and those adorable button noses. To book with OceanMed a routine 18-20 week ultrasound needs to have already been preformed to check your baby for growth as well as genetic, chromosomal or physical abnormalities.
Is Elective 3D/4D ultrasound Safe?
Ultrasound images and videos are made by using high frequency sound waves with no radiation. Extensive studies over 40 years have found that ultrasound has not been shown to cause any harmful effects to mother or baby. OceanMed 3D/4D ultrasounds are always performed by a qualified sonographer.
What is the difference between 2D, 3D, 4D and 5D ultrasound?
- First off – D stands for dimension.
- 2D ultrasound is what we are all used to seeing at a regular doctor’s appointment. You can see the black and white profile of baby, check the gender and gather most of the medical information with this type of ultrasound.
- 3D is the advanced method which captures a true three dimensional still image of your baby. These images allow us to see specific facial features as well as superficial structure. Baby will appear in more of a beige color.
- 4D incorporates time – we can take videos of baby moving the head, yawning, smiling and having hiccups. This ultrasound will show baby similar to the 3D image but captures baby in action.
- 5D is a special technology that our state-of-the-art OceanMed ultrasound machines possess allowing the technologist to adjust lighting, filter and color to show your baby as realistically as possible.
When is the best time to do a 3D/4D ultrasound?
The best time for a 3D/4D ultrasound is 25 to 32 weeks gestation. 25 to 27 weeks will show baby on the smaller and thinner side but will show more of baby’s body and have a better chance to show movements of hands and feet. At 28 to 32 weeks it may be more difficult to see baby’s whole body but baby’s developed facial features will show more clearly. After 32 weeks the chance that baby will be in an ideal position with fluid around the face is a lot lower.
How Do I Get the Very Best 3D/4D ultrasound Pictures:
- Drink plenty of water for 1-2 weeks before your appointment. This means eight 10 ounce glasses a day. Being well hydrated helps clear up the amniotic fluid and ensures that there is enough fluid around baby. (We use fluid as a window, so no fluid means no 3D).
- Be comfortable. Wear loose clothes to your scan. You do not need a full bladder for this ultrasound. This is your time, and you want to be relaxed so you can enjoy watching your baby.
- See your baby move more in 4D by scheduling your appointment at a time that you think your baby is most likely to be awake. After 19 weeks your baby is already developing a sleep pattern and you may be able to predict the time that your baby is most likely to be awake.
- If your baby is asleep at the time of your ultrasound and you want to make your baby move, try drinking a glass of orange juice or eating a piece of chocolate on the way to your appointment. The sugar will help the baby wiggle out of its comfy spot.
Will I Always Get a Beautiful Picture Like I See on the Website?
Usually, but not always. With every ultrasound we preform we do our absolute best to capture the very best picture of baby. Things like low or cloudy amniotic fluid, baby’s position, placenta location and maternal body habitus can impact image quality. If the baby is persistently looking down towards mom’s spine it can be difficult to see the face. If this happens or if we are unable for any reason to get satisfactory images, we will reschedule you for one free re-scan to try again.
What does an OceanMed 3D/4D/5D Ultrasound include?
A qualified sonographer will scan you for at least 45 minutes taking as many cute pictures and videos as baby will give us in that time. You will hear your baby’s heartbeat and, if you would like, we can also determine gender during your ultrasound.
At the end of your appointment you will receive an envelope containing ten black and white images, five color 3D images and a CD of every image and video we acquire. In the near future, we should also be able to email our patients their images and videos as well.