If you’re expecting a little bundle of joy, you’ve probably started looking into everything you will need: shoes, cribs, clothes, and baby-safe products. But have you decided the type of ultrasound you want to undergo? If not, we’re here to explain the 6 main reasons why 4D ultrasound is the best option for you and your baby. The first? You can see your baby smiling, real-time!
What Is An Ultrasound?
An ultrasound scan is basically the medical imaging of a part of the body. It is done through sound or other vibrations that have an ultrasonic frequency, which provides dynamic imaging of the human body. One of its most known uses is during pregnancy in order to examine the fetus, although it is also used to analyze many other internal health issues in both men and women. There are different types of ultrasounds, but they can be mainly divided into 2D, 3D, and 4D ultrasounds.
What’s The Difference Between 2D, 3D & 4D Ultrasounds?
As their name states, their biggest difference is mainly based upon the “dimension” they are portraying:
- 2D ultrasounds are flat, two-dimensional images or “slices”. They are easily identifiable as the regular “black and white” ultrasounds we’ve seen for decades. These can be confusing for any user who isn’t an experienced sonographer.
- 3D ultrasounds can show depth, which means that dimensions like the fetus’s face can now be appreciated. 3D ultrasound is made up of multiple 2D “slices” combined together to produce a life-like picture.
- 4D ultrasound refers to a fourth dimension: time (or motion). This type of sonography “enables study of the fetal activity in the surface-rendering mode, improves visualization of the fetal face, and opens the possibility of assessment of the fetal facial movements.” Think of it as a 3D image in movement, much like a video. This means that with 4D ultrasound you can see your baby smiling, crying, scowling, stretching, and moving around… real-time!!
The main difference for 4D imaging is that “simultaneous imaging of complex facial movements was not possible using real-time 2D ultrasound.” With 4D imaging, you get the spatial dimension from 3D imaging as well as real-time movements. This is more important than just seeing your baby smile or looking at their pretty face because 4D ultrasound can also help find fetal behavioral patterns, determine possible neurological diseases, or even let doctors know if your baby has any type of facial or skeletal abnormality. Let us explain a bit more about the role that 4D ultrasound plays in determining fetal health.
4D’s Role In Behavioral Patterns & Fetal Health
A study on the role of 4D ultrasound found that “the assessment of fetal behavior by 4D ultrasound could allow distinction between normal and abnormal fetal behavior patterns which might make possible the early recognition of fetal brain impairment.” It concluded that the dynamic evaluation that 4d imaging can provide on fetal behavior is a direct reflection of the development and maturation process of the central nervous system. This means that it “may be used for early diagnosis of neurological disorders that become manifest in perinatal and postnatal periods.” Meaning, it’s easier to determine if the fetus has any neurological disorders or not. This is because “behavior is closely related to fetal development”. So looking at your baby in 4D ultrasound can help determine its health and development, as well as help find or rule out any neurological disorders.
Also, a study published by the Journal of Perinatal Medicine found that 4D ultrasound “additional information for diagnosis and assessment of facial anomalies, neural tube defects, and skeletal malformations.” This is particularly helpful because doctors can find abnormalities (like cleft lips for facial abnormalities or club feet for skeletal malformations) from very early stages in the pregnancy. If possible, treatment can be found for certain conditions, while in others the parents can be aware of the fetus’s health state in advance. In medicine, it’s always best to be prepared and have all the information you can possibly get. This is even more important when it concerns your unborn baby.
5 Reasons Why 4D Ultrasound Is The Best Option For You
4D imaging has plenty of advantages when compared to 2D and 3D. Here’s our list of the main reasons why 4D ultrasound is your best bet when it comes to fetal imaging:
- It can visualize the whole fetus continuously during early pregnancy.
- It can monitor the quality and quantity of fetal movements.
- Its “live 3D” technology may be useful in assessing the fetal heart and fetal behavior.
- This type of ultrasound is helpful for finding or ruling out fetal neurological disorders.
- It can help find facial anomalies, neural tube defects, or skeletal malformations.
- You can view your baby’s pretty face in real-time (and see them smiling, laughing, crying, yawning, or more!)
In short, both 2D and 3D imaging don’t even come close to 4D technology. Aside from the gratification and special bonding experience you can have as a parent when seeing your baby smiling, laughing, or moving around inside of the belly, it is very useful for many other purposes. It can allow you to assess the baby’s heart health in real-time. It can also allow you to monitor the baby’s behavior, assessing the quality and quantity of the movements. In turn, this assessment can help doctors find or rule out any neurological disorders. When it comes to your baby’s health, 4D is clearly the best option all around. Plus, who doesn’t want to see their little bundle of joy smiling?
At Life Medical Imaging, we focus on providing a comprehensive range of diagnostic imaging and interventional procedures. One of our sub-specialties is focused on Women’s Imaging, which includes both 3D and 4D imaging. Our team of skilled and qualified clinical and support staff, combined with the latest technology, will ensure you receive the highest standard of care and imaging in a modern, professional, and comfortable environment. The best part is that we’re recognised as experts but we’re also affordable so that you can get the best services at a reasonable price.