A 3D image is a still image and 4D shows moving images/video. With this type of ultrasound, we can create wonderful lifelike images of how your child looks, how it moves and makes facial expressions.
We have one of the very best ultrasound devices on the market to produce good 3D/4D images. The device has an HD live function with an extraordinary reproduction method.
When the child is in the correct position, this examination is an experience for both mother, father and midwife.
3D/4D ultrasound is recommended to be done in weeks 26 - 31 as the conditions are most favorable during these weeks. (In the case of twins, we recommend doing this examination in weeks 24-28). The examination can nevertheless, be a technically difficult examination. This is because several conditions must be present to create successful images. Good 3D images cannot therefore be guaranteed.
The starting point is a good 2D image. The child must have enough amniotic fluid around the face, and must be facing up towards the mother's stomach. Arms and legs must not cover the front of the face.
We look at the head, brain, spine, neck, heart, stomach, kidneys, bladder, arms and legs and assess the amount of amniotic fluid. We measure the head, waist and femur and calculate the child's weight.
3/4D ultrasound and expectations
We have many couples who come to us to do 3D/4D ultrasound. They look forward to seeing lifelike pictures of their child.
We who work with ultrasound are almost as excited as the parents when the examination starts. However, good conditions produce good pictures, bad conditions, unfortunately, produces bad pictures. Neither us, nor the parents know how the fetus lies in the mother's stomach.
Conditions? What do we really mean by that?
Here, the room conditions are of great importance. If there are good room conditions, i.e. a lot of amniotic fluid in front of the face, it will be much easier to take pictures than if there is little space between the fetus and the placenta/womb wall. The space becomes much "narrower" and therefore more difficult.
In the picture you can see optimal conditions VS non-optimal conditions.
The position of the fetus is also important. Is the nose turned up towards the mother's stomach or is it looking down at the "floor?" The latter will be a worse condition than the former.
Does the fetus have something in front of its face? A hand a foot or umbilical cord? Then this will obscure the view and we may see some fingers in front of one eye and half a face. If it lies slightly to the side, we only see a small ear. So it is "the little one" who is the boss 🙂
If everything looks good, we are quick to move from 2D to 3D images and 4D video.
This is incredibly fun! We know in advance that the photos will be beautiful and we enjoy great photos as much as the parents. We don't get blasé, we let ourselves be carried away. We like to show off a long-awaited child to excited, expectant parents.
Sometimes it is impossible to create nice pictures and videos of the child, no matter how hard we try. Actually, it only takes a few seconds to create pictures if the conditions are optimal It is about finding a small "window in" so that the pictures can be taken.
What do we do if the conditions are not optimal?
In those cases where the fetus is not optimally positioned, i.e. where the nose is turned towards the mother's back, towards the uterine wall or the placenta, arms and legs cover the face, it will naturally be challenging to create images that make sense. Then we like to start the examination in 2D where we measure the head, stomach and thighs to calculate growth, measure the amount of amniotic fluid and the blood flow in the umbilical cord. We go through the fetal organs in detail and explain the 2D images to the parents. This is called a "well-being check". At every ultrasound examination, we will perform a well-being check in 2D, regardless of whether you get good 3D images or not.
If the conditions are not present and we have done the well-being check, we will ask the mother to move a little to see if the baby changes position. Juice or cold water can cause the baby to turn over. In a few minutes a lot can happen and suddenly the conditions are completely different.
We work hard and persistently to create nice 3D/4D images, but we cannot guarantee the result. Some parents have to leave the clinic without pictures but -after all,
knowing that everything is fine with the little one😊