A 4D ultrasound is similar to a regular ultrasound in that it uses sound waves to create an image of your baby in the womb. However, 4D ultrasounds use a series of 3D images looped together to create an effect that looks like a video of your baby. You can see your baby’s face move and even watch your baby smile or yawn.
Sometimes 3D and 4D ultrasounds can reveal certain abnormalities or congenital disabilities, such as a cleft palate or a clubfoot, that might not show up on a regular ultrasound. Because 4D scanning enhances visualization, it also enhances your understanding — since it’s easier for Dr. Brodnik to explain to you what appears on the images.
Studies suggest that 3D and 4D ultrasounds are safe. There’s no radiation exposure, as ultrasounds use only sound waves.
It’s the commercial ultrasounds performed at local malls or in homes that the Food and Drug Administration does not recommend, because they aren’t regulated or performed by a trained health care professional. These sessions also often last longer than they would at a doctor’s office, and this increases potential harm to the fetus and mother.
The process is just like the standard ultrasound procedure. You'll lie down, and Dr. Brodnik or a technician will apply gel on your belly that will help carry the sound waves. Then, they’ll hold a probe against your belly and move it around to get the images. After the procedure, you may get still photos or a copy of a 4D movie to take home with you.
4D ultrasounds are optional and are not part of standard prenatal testing. However, Dr. Brodnik can provide one on request and can answer any questions you have regarding the process. 4D ultrasounds also are not always covered by insurance, so check with your provider beforehand to make sure.
Fetal imaging can promote bonding between you and your growing baby — if you’re interested in a 4D ultrasound, contact Bluefield Women's Center by phone or book an appointment online.
Feel free to email us regarding any scheduling or general questions!