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3D Sonography

3D Sonography :

3D and 4D Ultrasound During Pregnancy:
No doubt you’re anxious to see your growing baby in your belly — after all, nine months is a long time to wait to catch a glimpse of those itty bitty fingers and toes! And since 3D and 4D ultrasound exams allow you to see your unborn baby in even more depth and detail than a standard 2D ultrasound, you may be eager to book a photo op. But before you do, it’s important to understand when 3D and 4D ultrasounds should be used during pregnancy to ensure you’re doing everything possible to keep you and your baby safe and healthy.

What’s the difference between 2D, doppler, 3D and 4D ultrasounds?
If you’ve already visited the doctor, you’ve probably already experienced a 2D (two-dimensional) ultrasound. For this exam, a wand (transducer) is placed on your belly or into your vagina that sends sound waves through your body. The waves bounce off internal organs and fluids, and a computer converts these echoes into a two-dimensional image (or a cross-sectional view) of the fetus on a screen. With Doppler fetal ultrasound, your practitioner uses a hand-held ultrasound device to amplify the sound of the fetal heartbeat with the help of a special jelly on your belly. Both are an exciting and magical moments, for sure.

With the newer 3D ultrasound exams, multiple two-dimensional images are taken at various angles and then pieced together to form a three-dimensional rendering. For instance, instead of just seeing a profile view of your cutie’s face, you can see the whole surface (it looks more like a regular photo). A 4D ultrasound exam is similar, but the image shows movement — which means like a video, you see your baby doing things in real time (like opening and closing his eyes and sucking his thumb).

Why they’re performed :
Medical practitioners use 2D and Doppler ultrasounds regularly throughout your pregnancy to examine the fetus, assess amniotic fluid and look for birth defects, among other things. The more-detailed 3D and 4D ultrasounds are performed during pregnancy to closely examine suspected fetal anomalies, such as cleft lip and spinal cord issues, or to monitor something specific. These scans are not part of routine prenatal exams, but many practitioners offer a 3D picture for the parents-to-be to take home at no extra charge if the fetusis in a photogenic position.

The safety of 3d ultrasound and 4d ultrasounds during pregnancy :
As exciting as it may be to hear your baby's heartbeat and see your baby in action, Doppler, 3D and4D ultrasounds are only officially recommended when your practitioner deems them necessary for medical reasons. That’s because studies evaluating the safety of ultrasound technology (Doppler, 2D, 3D and 4D) show mixed results — and the potential risks are unclear. At this point, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) says that there is no reliable scientific evidence showing that ultrasound is harmful to a developing fetus, but that it is possible some damaging effects could be discovered in the future. And according to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), when ultrasound enters the body it heats the tissues slightly, which in some cases can create small pockets of gas in body fluids or tissues — and the long-term effects of this are unknown. So given what we currently know about ultrasounds, it’s OK to have an exam that’s recommended by a qualified medical professional in order to assess your baby’s health.

ACOG and the FDA, however, discourage using any kind of ultrasounds for the purpose of creating a memento. In addition to potentially putting your baby’s health at risk, the technicians who perform commercial ultrasounds may not beable to address your questions and likely won’t have the expertise to be able to spot any problems with your baby’s development. That also includes at-home Doppler ultrasound machines, which aren't nearly sensitive enough to pick up on fetal heartbeats until the fifth month of pregnancy and the FDA actually requires a prescription to use. So if you’re considering getting any of these outside of a medical setting, check with your practitioner for his or her take.

Remember: There will be plenty of opportunities to take photos and make memories when your baby is born. In the meantime, keep ultrasounds to a minimum and look forward to the day you can see your baby in person (no technology necessary!).