Here at True Harmony, we have the capability of obtaining 3D/4D ultrasound images during our patient's exams. We can often get adorable, great quality images - but not always.
There are many factors, including a baby's position, and the amount of amniotic fluid present, which greatly affect our ability to get the picture-perfect images that expecting parents look forward to.
Gestational age also plays a big part in how 3D/4D images turn out. In our office, our providers typically order diagnostic ultrasounds around 12 weeks, 18-20 weeks, and at 36 weeks. Sometimes 3D/4D images turn out great during those exams, but it is usually difficult due to the factors previously mentioned. If you have your heart set on getting really good 3D/4D images, the ideal time to do that is around 26-31 weeks. Attempting 3D/4D earlier than that often results in pictures of babies with very little body fat, who sometimes appear very skeletal-looking. After 31 weeks, the baby is (obviously) a lot bigger, there can be less amniotic fluid, and the baby is usually pressed up against the uterus or placenta, preventing good views of the face.
Typically there is not a diagnostic ultrasound ordered within the range of 26-31 week. An elective, non-diagnostic ultrasound can be scheduled with the sole attempt of getting cute pictures of baby. If they are cooperative, you can expect to see their chubby cheeks, little nose and lips, and maybe even a smile or yawn!
Here are a couple of tips for preparing for your 3D/4D ultrasound:
-Be sure you are hydrated! A full bladder is not needed, but staying hydrated throughout your pregnancy is not only good for mom and baby, but also helps with the amount of amniotic fluid present. The more fluid there is, the easier it is to get good images.
-A baby who is awake and active is more likely to be in a better position than a baby who is sleeping. Things like drinking some juice an hour before the ultrasound might help. If baby doesn't seem to be moving much during the scan, drinking cold water and coughing may help wake up your little one and move them into an ideal position.
1st Trimester 3D/4D
2nd trimester 3D/4D