3D Ultrasounds During Pregnancy

Provided by Modern Mom

An ultrasound gives you a peek at your new bundle of joy even before delivery day. Ultrasounds are traditionally used as a tool to make sure the baby is growing and developing properly, but businesses offering a more entertaining, keepsake ultrasound experience have started to become popular. More and more parents are choosing to have 3D ultrasounds during pregnancy, but it's important to educate yourself on the pros and cons before electing to have one performed.

2D versus 3D ultrasounds

The traditional, 2D ultrasound creates an image of the baby from one angle, which results in a flat picture of the baby. You might get views of the baby's face, profile and back of the head, but they are in individual snapshots. The 3D ultrasound uses images from several different angles to create a three-dimensional image of the baby. This type of ultrasound is often easier for parents to interpret, because the different parts of the baby look more realistic.

How 3D ultrasounds work

Ultrasounds emit sound waves toward the baby in order to create an image. A 3D ultrasound uses the same energy levels as a 2D ultrasound, but it emits them at several angles. A software program then compiles information from the different angles to create a detailed image of the baby and all his or her features.

Benefits

Because the image is more realistic, parents might feel a stronger connection with the unborn baby. The mom-to-be already feels a connection through the baby's movements, but other family members often feel a stronger bond after seeing 3D images of the baby. The more detailed images also help medical professionals evaluate certain birth defects before the baby is born.

Drawbacks

The technology used for the 3D ultrasound is more advanced than the traditional ultrasounds. This means the ultrasound tech needs more advanced training to interpret the results accurately. The 3D-ultrasound businesses that provide the keepsake experience may not be staffed with qualified personnel, and problems noticed on these ultrasounds can leave parents worried or without support, because the ultrasound tech may not know how to counsel the parents.

Considerations

Some obstetricians' offices have the 3D-ultrasound technology in place, meaning you can enjoy the experience with a qualified and skilled ultrasound tech performing the scan. An initial diagnostic ultrasound performed by your physician ensures a proper analysis is complete before any additional 3D ultrasounds are performed. This prevents finding out about a potential problem without qualified medical personnel available.

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