Ultrasounds are diagnostic tests that use sound waves to create images of the inside of your body. They’re low-risk and completely noninvasive, and ultrasound screenings are a routine part of prenatal care.
On average, pregnant women get two ultrasounds to evaluate their baby’s development during pregnancy. Most of these ultrasounds are 2D, but while 2D images give your doctor a closer look at your baby, the blurry images can be difficult to understand without medical training.
That’s why 3D ultrasounds are rapidly growing in popularity. These ultrasounds capture more detailed, lifelike images that can give you a sneak peak at your baby’s features and help your doctor identify possible health issues before birth.
At ObGyne Birth Center for Natural Deliveries in Forsyth, Georgia, our obstetrics team provides both 2D and 3D ultrasounds for expecting mothers. If you’re curious how 3D ultrasounds work and whether this advanced diagnostic test is right for you, you’re in the right place.
Here’s what our board-certified OB/GYN Bola Sogade, MD, wants you to learn about a 3D ultrasound during pregnancy.
The 3D ultrasounds use the same technology as 2D ultrasounds. The test is noninvasive and there’s nothing you need to do to prepare.
We help you get comfortable on an exam table, then apply a special gel on your lower abdomen. We use a handheld transducer to send soundwaves painlessly through your skin. The soundwaves generate 2D images of your baby’s anatomy, and our software combines them to create 3D images.
3D ultrasounds generate clear images that can be much easier for parents to decipher. You may not be able to see your baby’s features with a traditional 2D ultrasound, but 3D images are so detailed that they look like photographs.
You may be able to clearly see your baby’s facial features, including their eyes, nose, and lips. For many parents, these photos help them feel more connected to their child while they’re waiting for the birth.
Seeing clear, realistic images of your baby’s face is exciting. But 3D ultrasounds have medical benefits, too. The detailed images can make it easier for our team to screen for abnormalities and health issues that are hard to see in 2D ultrasounds.
Depending on your baby’s development and your own health, we may look for conditions like cleft palate, neural tube defects, congenital heart disease, or skeletal abnormalities in the 3D ultrasound.
While 3D ultrasounds aren’t medically necessary for most healthy pregnancies, every pregnancy is different. If you’re interested in getting one, talk to our team about your options.
You may be able to combine your routine 2D ultrasound with a 3D ultrasound, so you can see higher-quality images without coming in for a separate appointment. If you’re getting a standalone 3D ultrasound, we may recommend scheduling it between weeks 24 and 34.
At this point, your baby’s facial features are developed enough for you to see them clearly. There’s a better chance that they will be in a good position for ultrasound imaging, and there should be plenty of fluid around their face, which is essential for quality imaging.
A 3D ultrasound gives parents-to-be a better look at their child and can provide important insight into your baby’s health. To find out if a 3D ultrasound is right for you, call ObGyne Birth Center for Natural Deliveries at 478-772-3780 or request an appointment online now.