The nine months of pregnancy is a crucial time for your baby. The baby is rapidly growing and evolving during this tenure. To monitor the growth and development of your precious one, doctors worldwide conduct a medical procedure that helps to scan a baby through sound waves. This process is also commonly known as ultrasound. Ultrasounds or Scans are conducted without any abscission or surgery. A medical equipment is placed on the abdomen of the expecting mother, or inside the vagina. This equipment releases sound waves that penetrate the abdomen but deflect off the baby and create an image or impression of the baby on the computer screen.
3D Ultrasound Pregnancy

What Are The Different Types Of Ultrasound Scans Done In Pregnancy?

There are different types of scans. 2D scan gives a two dimensional image of your unborn baby. 2D scans look pretty much like a picture’s negative. 2D Scans can be conducted any time of the pregnancy and it gives you a decent image of the baby depending on the position of the baby. Most hospitals advise 2D scans in the due course of pregnancy.
3D Scans are three dimensional colored pictures of the baby. For this process multiple 2D pictures, of various angles are combined to together to form a three dimensional picture.
4D scans are moving videos or clips that generate the image of the baby in four dimensions, with time being the fourth dimension. Hence you can see the baby in action with 4D scans. Through 4D scans you will be able to observe tiny movements of your child.

Why Are Ultrasound Scans Conducted In Pregnancy?

A scan basically helps to detect abnormalities in the baby. A 2D scan helps to check and monitor the baby’s heartbeats, internal organs and even the size of the baby. It also helps to check overall growth of the baby and locate the baby’s exact position and even the position of the placenta. A 2D scan will generally help to determine the gestation period.

How Can 3D And 4D Ultrasounds Help In Pregnancy?

3D and 4D scans help the sonographer or the doctor to examine the baby’s outer layer. 3D and 4D scans are predominantly conducted to examine and detect fetal abnormalities such as a cleft lip. It will also help to examine and detect spinal cord issues in the fetus. 3D and 4D scans are also conducted to examine in detail a specific part of the baby. Thus, these are done only if the parents so wish, or a doctor feels the need for it. They are also expensive and to make a DVD of the scan may cost extra too.
Pregnancy ultrasound scan

When Is The Right Time To Get A 3D Or A 4D Scan?

Ideally you should only go in for a scan when the doctor asks you too. If you decide to go for a 3D or a 4D scan without consulting the doctor wait until you reach the 26th week. Before 26 weeks your baby’s skin will not have developed completely and conducting a 3D and 4D scan will only show the skeletal structure. After 26 weeks baby’s skin will be greatly developed and the scan will give you a clearer image of the baby. Also make sure that you conduct a scan before the 30th week. After the 30th week your baby’s face will move towards your pelvic, in order to prepare of the delivery. This position is not very conducive while conducting scans since your baby’s face won’t show clearly. To generate the best scanned image of your baby, the placenta need to be exactly in front of the uterus, this usually happens in the 28th week of pregnancy.

Another crucial criteria to get a good picture of the baby is that the baby should be in the optimum position. Generally, when the baby is facing downwards you get the best possible image of the baby but if the baby is on its back you won’t be able to get a clearer picture. To get a good scanned image the baby’s face needs to be in the amniotic fluid present in the uterus.

Are 3D and 4D Scans Safe During Pregnancy?

Ultrasound and scans are being conducted since quite some time and there haven’t been any complaints from the mothers to be so far, though experts say that too many scans can be harmful for the baby. Ultrasounds use sound waves and not radiation hence they are least bit harmful to the mother or the baby. Studies on the subject also haven’t come up with a concrete conclusion.
Nonetheless ultrasound must only be conducted by trained professionals. You may even request the sonographer or the specialist to conduct the ultrasound at a low intensity, if possible. Also, do not treat scanned images as memorabilia or souvenirs and conduct ultrasound regularly for that sake. Even though they are not harmful, scans must always be conducted by doctor’s recommendation only.

Click here to read about Diagnostic Tests Done During Pregnancy.