Some parents opt to get a 3D ultrasound of their developing baby as a keepsake. A 3D ultrasound is different from a traditional 2D ultrasound, because it more vividly shows the shapes and contours of your baby.
Seeing a 3D ultrasound of your developing baby can be an exciting experience. But before you decide to have one done, here are a few things to consider.
Doctors rarely use 3D ultrasound for medical purposes, and insurance won't cover a nonmedical procedure. You'll need to find a commercial facility to perform the ultrasound and pay for it out of pocket.
It is important to note that while there is currently no evidence that ultrasounds harm developing babies, experts caution against having them unnecessarily. Commercial 3D ultrasounds should not be used in lieu of getting standard prenatal care from your doctor.
The best time to get a 3D ultrasound is when you're about 26 weeks pregnant.
If you go in too early, your baby may not be big enough – you'll mostly see his skeleton. If you go in too late, your baby's head might be hidden down in your pelvis.
If your baby's facing the wrong way, or there's not enough fluid around him, you won't see much.
The scan operator might lightly jiggle your belly, have you go for a walk, or ask you to drink something cold or sweet to try to get your baby to change positions.
If you don't get the image you were hoping to see, you may have to come back another day. Ask the facility ahead of time if they charge for a second try.
If the image on the screen looks odd, it doesn't mean your baby has a physical problem.
Even if everything looks perfect, the technician isn't medically qualified to confirm whether your baby is healthy. If you have questions about your baby's health, be sure to ask your doctor.
Video production by MEg TV.