A typical ultrasound scan during pregnancy is visually recognized by the black background, grey blurriness, and little to no detail of the baby. This standard scan is related to the 2D (two dimensional) ultrasound that will only deliver flatter, black and white images.

3D and 4D scans may provide more information about the health and formation of the baby. Because these scans can show more details from different positions, they can help in the diagnosis of physical or internal abnormalities, such as a cleft lip. Knowing this information about the baby before their delivery can help doctors and parents create a plan of treatment or necessary next steps after the birth. 3D and 4D ultrasound scans are important because they can offer parents a look into the finer details, and sometimes even health concerns, of their baby.

The Purpose of a 3D Ultrasound

A 3D (third dimensional) ultrasound scan can show detailed pictures of your baby. These pictures are visually recognized by the orange/golden color and details of the baby’s face, eyes, nose, mouth, etc. 3D scanning can also be useful to look at the heart and other internal organs. As a result, some clinics use 3D scans, but only when medically necessary.

The Purpose of a 4D Ultrasound

A 4D (fourth dimensional) ultrasound captures video of your baby moving, yawning, and even smiling in the womb. The only difference between the two are pictures versus an actual video.

Can you always see the baby’s face in a 3D or 4D ultrasound scan?

Not always. A good scan that shows the baby’s face can only be achieved with good conditions. If the baby is facing outwards, there’s enough amniotic fluid surrounding their features, and the baby is not deep in the pelvis, a good picture can be achieved.

Are 3D and 4D ultrasound scans necessary?

Most of the time a 3D or 4D scan will only become necessary if medical concerns arise. Otherwise, a 3D or 4D scan is up to the parents as to whether or not they would like one. Most parents do not choose to have either of these scans because their insurance may not cover it and the cost will be out of pocket.

When is a good time to get a 3D or 4D scan?

If you decide to have a 3D or 4D scan, the best time to get one is between 26 weeks and 30 weeks pregnant. If the placenta is at the front of your uterus, you'll get the best images of the baby if you wait for your 4d baby scan at 28 weeks.

Thinking of where to find the best 4d ultrasound near me or looking for 3D or 4D ultrasound probes? Probo Medical has an unmatched inventory of ultrasound transducers, including 3D/4D. For more information, you can call us at 866-513-8322 or email us at sales@probomedical.com.

About the Author

Brian Gill is Probo Medical’s Vice President of Marketing. He has been in the ultrasound industry since 1999. From sales to service to customer support, he has done everything from circuit board repair and on-site service to networking and PACS, to training clinicians on ultrasound equipment. Through the years, Brian has trained more than 500 clinicians on over 100 different ultrasound machines. Currently, Brian is known as the industry expert in evaluating ultrasounds and training users on all makes and models of ultrasound equipment, this includes consulting with manufacturers with equipment evaluations during all stages of product development.