In ultrasonography, or ultrasound, high-frequency sound waves, inaudible to the human ear, are transmitted through body tissues. The echoes are recorded and transformed into video or photographic images.
3D and 4D ultrasounds are optional. They're not standard prenatal tests. Doctors often give them as a courtesy to women who want them.
Not all doctors have access to 3D or 4D ultrasounds. Also, your insurance may not cover the cost.
Like regular ultrasounds, 3D and 4D ultrasounds use sound waves to create an image of your baby in your womb. What's different is that 3D ultrasounds create a three-dimensional image of your baby, while 4D ultrasounds create a live video effect, like a movie -- you can watch your baby smile or yawn.
Parents often want 3D and 4D ultrasounds. They let you see your baby's face for the first time. Some doctors like 3D and 4D ultrasounds because they can show certain birth defects, such as cleft palate, that might not show up on a standard ultrasound.
Please do not bring valuables such as jewellery and credit cards.
For an abdominal ultrasound, you'll lie down and a technician will put a certain gel on your belly. This helps carry the sound waves. Then the technician will hold a probe against your belly and move it around to get an image
Afterward, you may get photos or a copy of a 4D movie to take home. Your doctor will tell you if anything seems unusual. Keep in mind that 3D and 4D ultrasounds are not typically used to diagnose problems with your baby. Also, getting an ultrasound at a commercial center is not a substitute for medical care. The people working there may not be qualified to diagnose or rule out problems.