3D and 4D Ultrasounds
X-rays are a type of radiation called electromagnetic waves. X-ray imaging creates pictures of the inside of your body. The images show the parts of your body in different shades of black and white. This is because different tissues absorb different amounts of radiation.
Who Gets the Test?
3D and 4D ultrasounds are optional. They’re not standard prenatal tests. Doctors often give them as a courtesy to women who want them. Not all doctors have access to 3D or 4D ultrasounds. Also, your insurance may not cover the cost.
What the Test Does
Like regular ultrasounds, 3D and 4D ultrasounds use sound waves to create an image of your baby in your womb. What’s different is that 3D ultrasounds create a three-dimensional image of your baby, while 4D ultrasounds create a live video effect, like a movie — you can watch your baby smile or yawn. Parents often want 3D and 4D ultrasounds. They let you see your baby’s face for the first time. Some doctors like 3D and 4D ultrasounds because they can show certain birth defects, such as cleft palate, that might not show up on a standard ultrasound. Studies suggest that 3D and 4D ultrasounds are safe. Plus, the images can help doctors spot a problem with your baby and make it easier for them to explain it to you.
The concern comes with companies that offer keepsake ultrasounds. Groups like the American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine and the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists caution that too much exposure to any ultrasound may not be good for your baby. Getting an ultrasound just to see your baby’s face may not be a good idea — especially at an ultrasound center in a local mall or office building that may or may not employ highly skilled technicians.
Also we will talk about the pros and cons.