What's the difference between a 3D and 4D ultrasound?
The technology associated with 4D ultrasounds makes them more expensive and they are not generally offered as part of routine obstetric services. If parents choose to have a 4D ultrasound done, they will need to pay for this procedure themselves.
3D ultrasounds are also known as elective prenatal ultrasounds. They are not designed to replace the standard 2D procedure which is commonplace obstetric procedure. Instead, they offer a more enhanced bonding experience with the unborn baby and are initiated by parents choosing to have them done, rather than a medical need.
Some parents are eager to see for themselves how their baby is growing and developing, and for this reason another name for the 4D ultrasound is a lifestyle scan.
Important information about 3D and 4D ultrasounds
Mothers also need to be engaged with a pregnancy care provider first before having a 3D or 4D ultrasound.
How much will a 4D ultrasound cost?
But if you go to a clinic which does not provide medical screening, e.g. those which do not claim to be diagnostic and are instead entertainment, then you will need to pay all costs. Ask questions about the training and expertise of the staff who are doing the scan.
Since technology has expanded and 3D and 4D scans have become readily available, there is a lot of competition in the market. Different clinics claim to provide superior and more enhanced images and their advertisements can be very enticing.
When should I have my 4D ultrasound?
From 19 to 24 weeks of gestation, gender determination scans can be done. At this early stage though, the baby does not have enough fat to fill out its facial features, so the quality of the scan and images you’ll see won’t be as clear as they will be later. Waiting for just a little longer and being patient will reap a lot of benefits!
The information of this article has been reviewed by nursing experts of the Association of Women’s Health, Obstetric, & Neonatal Nurses (AWHONN). The content should not substitute medical advice from your personal healthcare provider. Please consult your healthcare provider for recommendations/diagnosis or treatment. For more advice from AWHONN nurses, visit Healthy Mom&Baby at health4mom.org.