What is a 4D baby ultrasound scan?
How is a 4D scan different to a regular pregnancy scan, and why I should have one?
During pregnancy in the UK, you are offered at least two 3D ultrasound scans via the NHS in which the images appear flat, and in black and white. Even if it’s a black and white – sometimes blurry – outline, parents wait in anticipation to see their baby, especially on the lead up to the all-important first scan.
However, more and more excited parents-to-be are now opting to pay for additional 'dimensional' scans, which can only be booked through a private clinic.
How is a 4D ultrasound scan different to a 3D scan, and why would you choose to have one?
A 3D scan shows still pictures of your baby in three dimensions. A 4D scan is like a 3D scan but gives you a real-time three dimensional moving image. You might choose to have one if you want to have a more detailed look at your baby and their features via images and video. A 4D scan allows you to see your baby in a way that you never thought possible. It can be a more relaxing experience, too, as your 4D scan won’t be done for medical purposes.3D and 4D scans are here to stay, and are likely to continue to evolve with advances in technology.
How much can you see of the baby?
Ultrasounds with 3D and 4D imaging have been around for years, but HD Live ultrasound technology uses a unique and moveable light source inside the probe that not only provides both 3D and 4D imaging, but 'lights up' the baby, making it possible for soon-to-be-parents to see the facial expressions of their child, and even, potentially, watch their baby yawn, wink and smile. A HD Live ultrasound provides impeccable views of a baby by providing better depth perception. The position of the light can be changed to see the baby’s lips, nose and eye lids more clearly.
When should you have a 4D scan?
These are the periods at which a 4D scan is recommended:
Gestation weeks (singleton) 22 to 34 weeks
Gestation weeks (multiple) 20 to 26 weeks
By Catherine Hudson
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