Traditional two-dimensional ultrasound can provide a lot of information about a baby, but the grainy black-and-white images don’t offer much of a view. Technological advances have allowed for the creation of 3D and 4D ultrasound so impending parents can truly get a detailed first look at their baby. Strictly elective, a 3D and 4D ultrasound does not replace a diagnostic ultrasound to evaluate the gestational age and anatomy of the fetus.

This cutting-edge technology can make for an incredible bonding experience between parents and baby. You will actually be able to watch the baby turn, yawn or suck on a tiny finger. With its real-time capabilities, 3D and 4D ultrasound helps you get a view of every one of your baby’s movements.

Ultrasound in 3D/4D is just as safe as traditional 2D ultrasound; in fact, it employs the exact same sound waves to obtain images. However, the more advanced devices process the data in a more sophisticated way so each image contains more layers and provides a much fuller, more complete view of the baby.

A 3D and 4D ultrasound procedure is typically performed any time after 25 weeks of pregnancy. By that point, the baby’s features are distinct. Ideally, it should be done before the final few weeks of pregnancy so the baby has room to turn, which will provide you with a better variety of images and is especially important if the baby is facing away from the ultrasound device.