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  • Writer's pictureCynthia S.

3D/4D Ultrasound, Are they safe?

Ultrasounds have been used for many years as a diagnostic tool to see what is going on inside a woman's body. With the advent of 3D and 4D ultrasounds, we can now see our babies in great detail while they are still in the womb. But are these ultrasounds safe? Let's take a look.

What are 3D/4D ultrasounds, and what do they entail?

Ultrasounds are done using sound waves to create images of the inside of your body. A probe called a transducer is placed on or near the part of your body being examined and sends out high-frequency sound waves, which reflect off internal tissues and organs back toward the transducer. The reflected sound waves are converted into electrical signals that are processed by a computer to create images on a monitor.

A traditional ultrasound is a two-dimensional image, but with the addition of three-dimensional and four-dimensional technology, we can now see our babies in great detail. Three-dimensional ultrasounds give us a view from the side with some depth to the images, while four adds the time dimension, giving us almost a video of the baby. You can see the baby's facial movements, such as smiling.

photo of a 3D baby ultrasound
photo of a real 3D baby ultrasound at Baby Bloom Ultrasound

What are some of the benefits of having a three-dimensional or four-dimensional ultrasound?

With these advanced ultras, you can see your baby's face in great detail and even look at her profile. If you want to know what she will look like when she is born, a three-dimensional ultrasound can give you an idea of what to expect.

Three-dimensional ultrasounds are also great for families that want to see their baby's face before they have a chance to meet her. It gives them something tangible and special to cherish while the mother carries their little one in her womb. It's one of the best ways to bond with your baby before they are born.

Are three-dimensional and four-dimensional ultrasounds safe for both the mother and the baby, and what are the potential risks involved?

Like any ultrasound procedure, three-dimensional or four-dimensional ultrasounds use sound waves to get images of internal body structures. There is currently no evidence that suggests that these ultrasounds are harmful to either the mother or her baby.

However, there is always a risk potential as with any medical procedure. It would be best to discuss all risks and benefits with your doctor before you have an ultrasound done. For example, sound waves in the Megahertz range can induce mild heat in the body tissues, causing tiny bubbles.

All in all, ultrasound is not ionizing radiation like X-rays and has been widely used for over 50 years without any proven risk.

What is the average cost, and where can you have one done?

Three-dimensional ultrasounds usually cost a bit more than traditional two-dimensional ultrasounds, but the difference is not too significant. You can find three-dimensional ultrasound clinics all over the country.

Your doctor may also be able to do a three-dimensional ultrasound or advice you on where to have one done. For more information, visit us at Baby Bloom Ultrasound at and book an appointment.

What should you consider before having a 3D/4D ultrasound scan?

There are some things you should consider before having a three-dimensional or four-dimensional ultrasound.

First, it is crucial to know who is scanning you and ensure they have the proper training. It is also essential to know the right time to do an ultrasound. For instance, gender can be accurately determined past 16 weeks. For twins, triplets, or multiples, it's best to wait until 24 to 26 weeks when their facial features are well defined. If you want a single elective scan, wait until 27 to 32 weeks when their facial features have developed more.

One important thing to do for a week leading to the ultrasound is to drink plenty of water and avoid caffeine. This will help get a good image of the baby by making the amniotic fluid clearer. You can also influence the baby's activity by doing two things. First, have a light meal about 40 minutes before the scan. Whether a small bowl of pasta or a sandwich, you don't want your baby to be too active or cramped when being scanned. Second, have a glass of apple or orange juice. You might be tempted to substitute with soda, but the caffeine will negatively impact fluid levels. Juices have natural unrefined sugars that take time to break down. This only results in a longer active window.

Loose clothing is best during the scan. It will make it easier for you to lay and position yourself on your side comfortably. A long shirt would be good since you'll typically have your pants slightly below your hips during the procedure of 15- 30 minutes.

Don't forget to bring your partner or anyone else you'd like to have there with you!

Finally, ensure you are emotionally ready for the scan. Seeing your baby for the first time can be a compelling experience, so it's crucial to make sure you're ready to receive that first image of your little one.

Be in an emotionally stable place and have support from friends or family if need be. In addition, if this is not your first pregnancy and you've had a negative experience in the past, it is important to process those emotions before having a scan.

What to expect during your appointment

When you arrive for your scan, you will be asked to sign a consent form and pay the ultrasound fees. You may use the restroom before laying down on an examination table with soft padding underneath you.

The technician or midwife may apply a small amount of gel to your abdomen and then use a transducer to scan the baby. They may also take pictures of your baby and print them out for you to keep.

If you're having a four-dimensional ultrasound, sometimes a sonographer will be present to help with the scan. They will capture video and stills of your baby in all dimensions and provide a recording of the entire session for you to take home.

Final Thoughts

If you're considering a 3D/4D ultrasound, be sure to read the information in this article first. It's essential to make sure you're aware of the benefits and risks involved before making a decision. At Baby Bloom Ultrasound, we provide 3D/4D ultrasound scans to help parents get a closer look at their baby. Our skilled technicians have the proper training and experience to provide a safe and comfortable experience for both the mother and baby. Contact us today at to schedule your appointment!

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