Our frequently asked questions
The many research studies and observations over the years have not reported untoward effects of ultrasound on the baby or mother. 4D scan or 3D scan is no different to conventional 2D scanning except in this case, the images are collected by the ultrasound machine, processed in its computer memory to give a three-dimensional image. There is, therefore, no known risk to safety of mother or baby.
In conventional 2D scanning the ultrasound image is made up of a series of thin slices and only one slice can be seen at any one time. Although the image is very informative the picture you see does not look like a baby. With 3D ultrasound a volume of echoes is taken which can be stored digitally and shaded to produce life like pictures of the fetus. 4D just means that these life like pictures can be seen to move in real time so the activity of the baby inside your womb can be studied.
The examination time should be shorter because the baby’s anatomy can be studied in any plane from the stored computer image. Some parts of the baby’s anatomy can be seen much more clearly than with 2D ultrasound, especially the face, arms, legs, fingers and toes. For example cleft palate has been shown to be more clearly seen with 3D ultrasound.
In addition, activities of the baby inside the womb can be seen which are difficult or impossible to identify on 2D scanning. For example with 4D scanning the fetus can now be seen to yawn, cry, swallow, blink and perform intricate finger movements. These activities can be seen even in mid pregnancy although they become more common as pregnancy advances. Bonding between parents and baby has been shown to be stronger when the 3D image is seen compared to the 2D image because the picture of the baby is more realistic. Improved bonding has been shown to improve the mother’s care of herself and therefore her baby.
This is a baby dependent scan as its success depends entirely on the position of your baby on the day. Further factors which influence the quality and success of the scan are ; Bmi,fetal lie, and amount of fluid around the babies face. The sonographer may ask you to go for a gentle walk which could help in changing baby position, however the baby may not oblige in which case we can only offer ONE complimentary 3D/4D rescan where the sonographer will retry and obtain the best images possible once again based on the baby’s position.
Usually, but not always. Sometimes if the baby is persistently looking face down, i.e. towards your spine it may be difficult to see the baby’s face. If this happens, a repeat scan will usually succeed because the baby has turned to a favourable position.
Despite extensive studies over 30 years ultrasound has not been shown to cause any harm to mother or baby. Indeed routine scanning of all pregnancies is now normal throughout the whole of Europe. In 3D/4D scanning exactly the same type and intensity of ultrasound is used as with conventional scanning. 3D scanning in fact should reduce the exposure time as by storing the data on a computer the baby’s anatomy can be examined off line and not by continual scanning. 4D ultrasound by showing movements will be similar to a conventional scan in terms of exposure.
It is very important that you go through the hospital routine so that no antenatal test is missed out. Depending on package choice you will have a professional growth and wellbeing scan. A report will be given to you for your GP/Midwife.
Good pictures of your baby can be obtained throughout your pregnancy. In early pregnancy you will see the whole baby moving its arms and legs but details of the face are indistinct. Later in pregnancy you will see clear images of your baby’s features
The recording times have been selected in accordance with safety( ARLA) and best practice guidelines.
Between wk 22 and wk 36 is considered feasible however historical data suggests the ideal time to be between wk 26 and wk 29 for a 4D scan.
There is ample parking space and we are able to accommodate 4 other people within the scanning room as the procedure is taking place.
A copy of the report will be available immediately for you to take to your midwife/GP.