This guest post is brought to you by Danielle at Pregnancy Treasures & Boutique in St.Petersburg, FL
1. Are ultrasounds safe? Is there a limit to how many?
2D ultrasounds have been in use for over 4 decades and 3D ultrasounds since the 80’s. 3D/4D ultrasound use the same frequency as your doctor uses in the traditional 2D ultrasounds, so there is nothing “extra” that goes into doing 3D/4D other than practice and skill. Sometimes a topic of concern among mommies is how many ultrasounds can one person have, or how often? There is not a straight-forward answer but a great example of mommies receiving multiple ultrasounds, is a pregnancy which has been the result of in-vitro fertilization or high-risk. These women have a diagnostic ultrasound almost every week for the first several months of the pregnancy with no harmful results. Reputable and responsible 3D/4D ultrasound centers, like Pregnancy Treasures & Boutique, limit their scanning times to those much less than a typical 2D diagnostic scan. Though your session times may be twenty, thirty, or forty minutes, the actual time scanning in 3D is not the entire time. The baby is found in 2d for the 3d image and because the ultrasound machine saves the live footage which is acquired in 4D, some of the session is spent looking back through the saved footage, frame-by-frame, and taking the still 3D images. Its safety has been proven over the decades.
2. How early can you find out gender?
At our facility, we can determine gender as early as 14-weeks! At 14-weeks the baby’s private parts are developed enough to where you can see the difference between girl and boy. Be careful to do gender before 14 weeks because most all babies look like girls before the 14-week mark. Most OBGYN’s wait until 20 weeks to do gender mainly because that’s when you go in for your anatomy scan. Doctors do not get paid to do gender determination and if they reveal the gender at your anatomy scan (20+ weeks) your lucky! Most people don’t realize that insurance does not cover gender determination because it is not medically necessary. We exist for this very purpose. We are specially trained in gender determination and 3D/4D viewing and we will not reveal the gender of your baby until we have seen it in 3 different views. That is why our accuracy rate at our facility is so high!
The national gender accuracy for 12 weeks determination is only 50% and at 13 weeks is between 86% and 93%. That is why we will not determine gender before 14 weeks. It may sound crazy that 1-2 weeks makes that big of a difference, but your baby is growing at a rapid pace during this time, so the extra days truly matter.
3. What is the purpose of 3D/4D ultrasounds?
The Bonding experience is incredible! We have a beautifully spacious, relaxing family room environment with a 50-inch HDTV for your viewing and bonding experience. The importance and benefit of seeing your baby should not be understated. An elective, non-medical, 3D/4D ultrasound has been shown to improve bonding between mother and baby and also between the rest of the family and baby. Why is this? Well, because you get to see what the baby actually looks like. You’ll get to see if your baby has hair, if their eyes are open, if they suck their thumb (or toes), how they are positioned, and hearing the heartbeat. The emotions in the room are irreplaceable and we truly recommend experiencing this with your family! You would be amazed at how the photos of the baby in 3D/4D resemble the baby at birth.
Along with the incredible bonding experience, women who have received a 3D ultrasound may be motivated to have healthy behavior during pregnancy, such as taking prenatal vitamins, and are more likely to breastfeed after the birth of their child.
4. What is the best time to come in for 3D/4D Ultrasounds?
The best “view time” for 3D/4D Ultrasounds is between 28-32 weeks. SPACE is the key. How much space is remaining is a significant factor. Therefore, whatever is in front of the baby, (i.e. the placenta or umbilical cord), acts as a barrier to seeing the baby’s face. So the more room left, the better the chance of seeing a clear view of the baby. This all can change depending on your personal pregnancy. For example, if you have twins, it is best to come in at 25-26 weeks.
Another important factor is HYDRATION. I can’t emphasize this enough. This really should start when you find out your pregnant and continue your entire pregnancy. It has been found that the more hydrated you are throughout your pregnancy, the better your amniotic fluid will be during scans. We also recommend drinking something cold and sugary, as long as you are not diabetic, before your scan as this will help wake the baby up and allow for us to get better photos. Basically, an awake baby is better than a sleepy baby – but only for now!
After 35 weeks, the baby is pretty big and doesn’t have a lot of space anymore. This makes the scans a bit harder, but can most definitely still be done. Between 24-26 weeks you will see more of the baby’s face AND body. Some people prefer the body/face view, but most people prefer to see more face details. That is why we recommend 28-32 weeks as “best view time”.
5. What is the difference between 3D & 4D viewing?
3D scans show still-frame pictures of your baby in three dimensions. 4D scans show moving 3D images of your baby in real time, like a video clip. Truly though, 3D & 4D ultrasounds go hand-in-hand. We get this question on a daily basis but it’s actually a lot simpler than it sounds!
6. What is HD Ultrasounds and what is their purpose?
“HD”ultrasounds were recently added into ultrasound machines as technology has progressed over the years. In simple terms, HD viewing is a more enhanced, detailed picture taken from a 3D snap-shot. So, what does that mean? It means we take one of the 3D photos taken in your session and enhance the details on the baby’s nose, lips, finger, toes, etc. We also can “cut out” any background (placenta, cord, etc.) so that the picture is all baby! This technology is truly incredible and allows parents to share an unforgettable bonding experience with families and friends!
If you have any other questions or want further information, please give us a call at 727-576-3343 or visit our website at PregnancyTreasures.com