Written by Beata Anderson
Mums-to-be usually get two scans during their pregnancy, but with advances in technology, it’s now possible to see a little bit more of your baby before they’re born. A 4D ultrasound scan is an amazing experience for parents and families to see their baby in ‘real time’. It is a very personal and popular experience we offer at Somerset Early Scans. It may seem a very simple and easily achievable experience with a good ultrasound machine but it is not always the case. Let me introduce you to 4D scanning first.
How does a 4D scan work?
The regular and well-known 2D ultrasound to see through your baby, resulting in a flat black and white image which shows your baby in the womb. A 4D scan uses the same technique of ultrasound but combines sections of 2D images to create a 3D image which you can see moving in real-time. Therefore the 4D ultrasound is a “real-time 3D ultrasound”. It integrates the characteristics of the 3D ultrasound, but adding other element to the equation: the real-time movement of the baby, providing a closer look to what is going on inside, the behaviour of the baby.
We advise that a 4D scan should be performed ideally when you’re between 26 weeks and 32 weeks. Earlier than 26 weeks and your baby won’t have developed enough fat to clearly see features ( they may look as we say ‘skeletal’), and any later than 32 weeks your baby may have shifted position ready for the big day and therefore it’ll be harder to see their face and features.
Advantages of having a 4D scan:
One of the most exciting and loveliest reasons for having a 4D scan is the level of detail we will show you of your baby, in real-time. Depending on the babies position you might be able to see their face including eyes, mouth and nose. You’ll also be able to watch them stretch, yawn, wiggle their fingers, and make sweet facial expressions if they’re feeling cheeky!
Difficulties during your scan:
4D scan quality and the pictures and videos we can provide you mainly depending on 4 major factors:
- Your baby’s position. If your baby is head down in your uterus with arms, hands, legs and feet not obstructing their face we will get a very nice 4D scan. For the best quality we would like baby not to turn their head away from us or tuck into your placenta.
- Your placenta: The position of your placenta can make the scan more difficult. Placentas that are placed at back wall on your uterus or so called ‘posterior placentas’ can be easier to scan.
- Amniotic fluid: Ideally we would like some amniotic fluid around baby’s face to make our images clearer.
- Umbilical cord: Having the cord at the front baby’s face can prevent us from seeing baby’s face clearly.
I would like to reinforce that none of these difficulties are something that a mum-to-be can change or have an influence on and our team are experienced, trained and have lots of tricks of the trade to overcome some of these difficulties to provide you and your family the best experience and images we can.
Please do not hesitate to contact our lovely team if you have any questions regarding to our 4D scans.
Also please if you don’t want to know the sex of your baby, make sure you tell the sonographer before your scan.