What is a 3D / 4D ultrasound scan?
Unlike the traditional 2D ultrasound scan, which creates a blurred, two dimensional image that just lets you make out the shape of your baby, a 3D ultrasound scan produces a much more lifelike three dimensional image in incredible detail. By animating a series of these scans, a four dimensional moving image can be produced showing your baby moving, yawning and smiling in the womb.
The 3D / 4D ultrasound scan uses the same basic techniques as traditional scans, but take a series of readings which are then processed by a computer to create the three dimensional image. This series of readings allows the technician to look at your baby in any plane. This means that a 3D / 4D ultrasound scan gives them far more information than the 2D scan.
This article on 3D / 4D ultrasound scans is by Kathryn Senior, a freelance journalist who writes health, medical, biological, and pharmaceutical articles for national and international journals, newsletters and web sites.
What does a 3D / 4D ultrasound scan cost?
3D / 4D ultrasound scans are not available on the NHS, but you can find them widely available at private clinics. You should expect to pay around £95 for a 3D ultrasound scan with a series of pictures for you to keep, and around £250 for a 4D ultrasound scan with a souvenir DVD.
What do 3D / 4D ultrasound scans tell you about your baby?
A 3D / 4D ultrasound scan can reveal a great deal about your baby’s development, health and physical characteristics. With most 3D / 4D ultrasound scans you should be able to see facial features clearly to see whom the baby takes after.
With a 3D / 4D ultrasound scan at 12 weeks, you will see your baby stretching and kicking, a 3D / 4D ultrasound scan at 18 weeks may show the baby’s eyes open and a 3D / 4D ultrasound scan at 26 weeks will show your baby smiling and crying, scratching and sucking its thumb.
Research shows that mothers who have had a 3D / 4D ultrasound scan will bond better both with their unborn child and their new baby when it arrives. Such a clear and heart warming image creates a real relationship with a living, moving baby, rather than just a bump.