Ultrasounds, also known as sonograms are something which most expecting parents anxiously await. There is always a sense of anxiety when you are about to view your future child as a fetus. You’re praying that he/she is perfect and healthy, without any complications. That’s the first thing that you are worried about. Secondly, you can’t wait to see how he/she looks. Parents love to decipher the fetus’ features and limbs as the weeks advance. Well, as parents who have already had a baby would know, the initial images of the baby aren’t very clear. In fact, they are not clear at all. To understand why this is, we first need to know how an ultrasound works.
Basically, a sonogram is a procedure which uses frequency sounds waves to produce images of the organs of the body. However, it is most commonly used to monitor the progress of a fetus during pregnancy. But the procedure generally does not provide very clear images. It provides a two dimensional image of the fetus. Now, of course most parents would be overjoyed with any images of their baby, but if they were given a choice to obtain a better quality image, then there is no doubt that they would opt for that over a simple ultrasound image. This is where a 4D ultrasound comes in.
A 4D ultrasound is a slightly more complex procedure that uses a more advanced sonogram machine to provide images of the fetus from different angles. This will obviously give a more detailed image of the fetus, including facial features! That is something that parents would definitely love to see! Plus, this 4D ultrasound procedure can also capture any movements made by the fetus during the procedure. So if you are lucky, you might be able to see your child’s first movement even before he/she is born. Pure bliss!
Apart from aesthetic purposes, a 4D ultrasound is also extremely useful in detecting any kind of abnormalities which cannot be properly identified through a normal sonogram. Since, most parents to be are very keen on seeing better images of their babies, 4D ultrasounds do not require a doctors order and are carried out by private ultrasound businesses. However, in order to see the features of the fetus clearly, experts recommend that the eager moms-to-be wait for at least 25 weeks so that the baby is big enough for the features to be visible.
Lastly, the procedure of a 4D ultrasound takes around 20 minutes to perform wherein a transducer is glided over the woman’s abdomen, while the images from this procedure are simultaneously visible on a screen for the mother to see. However, there is a matter of concern. Since the 4D ultrasound produces better quality images than a regular ultrasound, there is a growing yet unproved anxiety over the machines using too much energy, which at the end of the day, is harmful for the baby as well as the mother. Thus, most doctors say that an ultrasound should be undertaken only when necessary.