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How are 2D Ultrasounds Different from 3D/4D?

Like most pregnant women, you can't wait until that next ultrasound when you get to see your baby again! Over the past several years, ultrasound technology has advanced in ways beyond belief. Now available for expecting parents is the miracle of 3D/4D ultrasound imaging.

But how is it different from the flat, black and white 2D images you usually get? Unlike traditional 2D imaging which only takes a look at the baby from one angle (thus creating the "flat" image), 3D imaging takes a view of the baby from three different angles. Software then takes these three images and merges them together to produce a mind blowing three dimensional image of your precious baby. Because the fourth dimension is time and movement, with 4D you are able to watch the live movements of your baby in 3D. You may catch him sucking his thumb or her playing with her feet.

Can Diagnostic Technicians Perform 3D 4D Ultrasounds?

Arguably as important to the success of your 3D session is the quality of the technician. Scanning in 2D is much different from scanning in 3D. Therefore do not assume because an individual is a very competent 2D diagnostic ultrasound technician that they will also be skilled in 3D. Check out the company website. Most reputable facilities have sample pictures. You can also visit the center. Most times they display pictures from previous sessions or even have a "brag book". But keep in mind, display pictures are obviously some of the best pictures they have taken. You cannot necessarily expect to get the same quality of pictures. Every woman is different, every pregnancy is different. Therefore if you have had a 3D/4D with a previous pregnancy and got great pictures, this doesn't mean you can expect the same results with subsequent pregnancies.

It is always a good idea to talk to someone who has had a session at the facility. Many pregnant women come away from their diagnostic ultrasounds disappointed and even upset because the technician was cold, unfriendly, and uninformative. So you want to speak with someone who has already visited the facility to see what they thought of their experience.

Reputable facilities will also require that you provide proof of prenatal care. Because 3D/4D sessions are not for diagnostic purposes, 3D centers which operate in a responsible manner will expect to see something demonstrating your prenatal care and that you have already received a diagnostic 2D scan.

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