3D or 4D Ultrasounds: Which Is Best for You?

What an exciting day when an expectant mother has her first ultrasound! It’s true, she is really having a baby, and so far it is healthy. Those first ultrasounds are usually 2D types where you can see a black, white, and gray picture of your little one. But what about a 3D or 4D ultrasound: which is best for you?

If you’re interested in exploring different ultrasound options, schedule an appointment with our board-certified OBGYNs. Schedule an appointment at our OBGYN clinic in Birmingham, AL today by calling (205) 933-8334

The Standard of Care

The 2D ultrasound, or sometimes called a sonogram, is usually performed during the second trimester. It is non-invasive, radiation-free, and part of routine prenatal care. Instead of radiation, it uses soundwaves to see the baby’s body and internal organs. It checks how the baby is developing along with being an effective tool in evaluating the fetus and diagnosing any complications.

woman holding an ultrasound.

The standard ultrasounds provides the following information:

  • Sex of the baby
  • How many babies
  • Any signs of Down Syndrome
  • Gestational age
  • Heart rate
  • Any congenital abnormalities
  • Position in the uterus
  • Can help to diagnose any heart defects

3D and 4D Ultrasounds

Technology keeps providing more and more information, and ultrasounds are no different. 3D and 4D ultrasounds give new parents a better picture of their baby before birth.

3D and 4D ultrasounds are not typically part of routine prenatal exams.

A 3D ultrasound will give our OBGYNs an indication for things like a cleft palate and spinal cord problems.

A 4D ultrasound will actually show your baby in motion like a video, so you can see them yawning or smiling.

Are 3D and 4D Ultrasounds Safe?

These ultrasounds are optional, not all OBGYNs have access, and many insurance companies do not cover them so you may need to pay out of pocket.

Research examining the safety of 3D and 4D ultrasound technology presents varied findings. As far as we know there are no known risks, however, no long-term studies have been conducted.

What you should avoid are non-medical facilities like in a mall or office building which advertise the keepsake photo. Although medically safe, no one knows how much can be harmful to your baby. These places most likely have non-medical personnel doing the ultrasounds so not only will they not be able to answer any medical questions you may have, but sometimes the ultrasound takes a longer time. This can lead to added risks.

Contact Birmingham OBGYN at (205) 933-8334 if you have more questions about 3D and 4D ultrasounds or whether they would be medically helpful for you and your baby.





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