To expectant parents, traditional sonograms are good for determining a baby’s gender and health, but the grainy, black and white images reveal little else about the child.
A traditional sonogram won’t tell you if your child has a button nose, a cute little smile, or whether it resembles mommy or daddy more. That’s where 4D sonogram technology comes in. Where 3D sonograms piece together multiple two-dimensional to form a three-dimensional rendering, 4D captures and compiles multiple 3D images. This means that 4D sonograms have the unique ability to capture movement.
With 4D sonograms, parents can see a video of their child, with many more visible details, like facial contours and features. The video captured during this imaging process can even be transferred to a DVD, so that parents can share the experience with grandparents, aunts, uncles and other family members or friends who may live far away. This also makes a great keepsake for parents to cherish as the child grows up!
In addition, a 4D sonogram can serve as a great resource for expectant parents who have other children. Bringing a new baby into the family can be hard for children to process, but 4D imaging provides clarity by allowing older children to see their soon-to-be siblings in a way that enables them to understand what they are seeing.
4D Sonogram Process
Drinking a sugary beverage like orange juice prior to the exam can make it easier to see the baby move. A little fluid in the bladder is beneficial, but it does not need to be nearly as full as it would for a pelvic sonogram.
“To get really good 4D images, the baby has to be positioned optimally for the transducer to be able to obtain clear images. Sometimes the baby’s hands and or feet are in front of the face and make it difficult to see the face clearly,” said Cheryl Shackelford, a sonographer at Anatomi Imaging. Shackelford added that, in order to obtain the best results, the optimal time for obtaining a 4D ultrasound is between 28 and 32 weeks so the baby has enough room to move around and be visualized clearly.
Patients will be required to present a script from their OB/GYN stating that he or she has cleared the patient for the exam.