Although the technology used and the still images are the same as a 3D scan, a 4D scan allows both the technician and the parents-to-be to see a live streaming video of your baby. Being able to see your baby’s real time movements are what set it apart from any other type of foetal imaging. See you baby smile, hiccup, suck their thumb or stick their tongue out exactly as it happens!
Our 4D scans give you the ultimate bonding experience, to see what your little one gets up to in there!
Advances in scan technology now mean that you can see your baby in a high level of detail before you get to meet him or her in real life. Expecting a new baby is an exciting time, and the standard grey images on a 2D diagnostic scan can leave parents feeling disappointed. 4D scans allow you to see your baby in extraordinary lifelike detail.
These scans are often referred to as “bonding scans” as they allow you see your baby in extraordinary detail. You can really get to know what your baby looks like; see how it moves in the womb and allows you to become immersed in the journey before their entrance into the world.
It is the ability to see your little one in motion that sets 4D scans apart from other options. Motion is described as the fourth dimension. In other words, you can see your baby in three dimensions but with the added bonus of seeing all the action taking place.
When you visit Before Birth for your 4D scan, we will ask you to lie down so our technician can apply a specially formulated gel on your belly, this helps carry sound waves that become converted into an image. Our technician will then hold a probe against your belly and move it around. We will show you your child in a live HD streaming video on the screen, where you will see those real -time movements from a hiccup to a smile. We can also provide you with a DVD/ images for you take home and share with your loved ones. If requested, we can also let you know the sex of your baby, but if you would prefer to keep this information as a surprise, we will be careful to keep it hidden.
Are there any medical benefits to having a 4D scan?
Any medical conditions relating to your pregnancy should be dealt with under the care of your obstetrician, GP or midwife. 4D scans do however provide a useful tool to look at the behaviour of your baby inside the womb, as well as being able to look at all areas of the baby from different angles. Knowing about any potential abnormalities before birth allows your medical professional to plan for additional care where needed.
When is the best time to have a 4D scan?
If you decide to have a 4D scan of your baby, there is a certain timescale during your pregnancy that we recommend. Between 25 weeks and 30 weeks pregnant your baby is at the optimum size and stage of development for you to be able to see him or her in detail. Before 25 weeks, most babies haven’t filled out enough so this can impact the image quality. After 30 weeks pregnant your baby can be too big to allow for much movement or too far down into the pelvis to allow the face to be seen clearly.
What if you can’t get a good picture of my baby?
As with 2D and 3D scans, the success of your scan depends on the co-operation of your baby. If he or she is feeling camera shy or is badly positioned, we will ask you to go for a walk or have a drink to help the baby move so we can get clearer images.
There are other factors that may affect our ability to see your baby. If your placenta is at the front of your womb (anterior placenta) for example, you may need to wait until 28 weeks to ensure a good image of your little one. Images may also be limited if your baby is facing your back, there is not much amniotic fluid around this area. If we are unable to get a good clear picture of your baby, we will arrange another appointment for you to come back so we can try again.
Are 4D scans safe for my baby?
Before Birth 4D scans are safe for both you and your baby. The scan itself does not use more intense sound waves or produce more heat than the regular 2D diagnostic scans offered to every mum to be through the NHS.
This technology has been used for many years, and there is no current evidence of any biological risk to mother and foetus associated with obstetric ultrasound scans (Obstetric ultrasound, biological effects and safety (no 160, June 2005) SOGC clinical practice guidelines from JOGC).
Here at Before Birth we see no need to take any unnecessary risks. We adhere to the ALARA (As Low As Reasonably Possible) principle. This means that we have our equipment set to the lowest possible settings, whilst imposing a maximum amount of time we will expose your baby to the ultrasound. Therefore even our longest scans will not last for more than 20 minutes.
All our technicians are highly qualified and as a company we comply with all regulations in place for private scanning practices in the UK.