Ultrasound (3D & 4D)
An ultrasound procedure uses sound waves to create an image of your baby and their organs. It does this by using a tool called a transducer to emit sound waves through your body. These sound waves bounce off the baby’s tissue, bone and body fluid like echoes and are used by the Ultrasound machine to determine the shape and form of the baby.
Although in the past ultrasounds were usually only used to create 2 dimensional (2D) images, advances in technology now allow Ultrasound machines to produce 3 dimensional (3D) or even 4 dimensional (4D) images.
What Is The Difference Between 3D and 4D Ultrasounds?
3D ultrasounds are designed to give you a better view of your baby. During this procedure, sound waves are emitted at different angles to get a more precise picture. This helps the machine create a 3D image of your baby which reveals more detail. Unlike 2D ultrasounds which produce a blurry image of your baby’s insides and outline, 3D ultrasounds create a 3D rendering of your child and can show you your baby’s face and body.
4D ultrasounds are similar to 3D ultrasounds except instead of still images, they produce 3D videos, allowing you to watch your baby move or suck her thumb.
2D (Left) & 4D (Right)
What Can Ultrasounds Show?
Ultrasounds can be used to determine a lot about your growing child. 2D ultrasounds are adequate for determining the baby’s gender or if there are more than one, as well as listening to the baby’s heartbeat. 3D and 4D ultrasounds, however, are better at showing the baby’s facial features and showing birth defects, such as a cleft palate. In addition, 4D ultrasounds can show your baby’s movements.
When In The Pregnancy Should I Get a 3D or 4D Ultrasound?
Although some mothers choose to receive an ultrasound at 14 weeks, 3D or 4D ultrasounds generally work best in the 26th to 30th week of pregnancy. During this stage of your pregnancy, your baby’s facial features should be developed enough to get a good sense of what it will look like when it is born.
Are There Any Risks?
Currently there are no known links between ultrasounds and birth defects or other complications, and most experts agree that it is a relatively safe procedure. However, these experts warn that there is a possibility that some side effects may be discovered in the future, and so recommend that parents only receive an ultrasound when there is a medical need from a trained obstetrician.
Where Can I Find Out More?
Contact us or visit our office located in El Paso to schedule a consultation. We would be happy to answer any other questions you may have about 3D or 4D ultrasounds, and can help you decide if these procedures are right for you!