As humans, we have limited physical abilities because of the world’s “flatness.” In this post, I’ll be exploring what is a 3D ultrasound and how it can revolutionize pregnancy. It will also answer your most burning question: What does a 3D ultrasound look like?
When you go to see your OBGYN or midwife during an ultrasound, you may get called in for an “extra” scan that is in 3D. It looks more like what we would call “real life,” which might sound cheesy but is true! Your ultrasound technician will go over the procedure with you before getting started. You may be asked to lay on your side or sit up, depending on how you normally pose during an ultrasound. If you’re sitting, they may even ask you to rock back a little bit so that the sound waves can reach your belly in all three dimensions.
An ultrasound is basically a “sound picture” of your baby that takes advantage of the fact that “sound travels best in straight lines and away from solid objects.” It isn’t magic though, because the sound waves are still traveling through air and are therefore affected by most sounds around them. Any noise will cause some of the “inside” sounds that come out when the technician is pointing at your belly to be distorted or interrupted. Another amazing thing is that services like edgeunderwaterphotography.com can send your friends and family those beautiful ultrasound images.
A 3D ultrasound happens when the technician uses a special type of machine that allows them to see what is going on inside your body. The sound waves don’t travel like normal; instead, they are split into several directions (broadly speaking). When they bounce back, they do so at different angles, making it possible to reconstruct the image in 3 dimensions without having to turn your body in different positions.
This can actually be very helpful during pregnancy because it allows us to see if there are any complications with your baby or pregnancy. If you have gestational diabetes, for example, a 3D ultrasound is basically mandatory as it would allow your doctor to see your baby’s face and organs more clearly.
Side note: To find out if the technician will be using a 3D ultrasound for your appointment, ask them during your first appointment. If they don’t have one, it’s not a big deal – they can still do the standard 2D ultrasound.
You will receive the usual printed report that you get from the technician about what is going on during an ultrasound. However, there are a few key features about your baby that only come through when looking at it in 3D.
The best part is, you can easily share these findings with your partner or family member because they are in 3D too! It’s amazing to see what is going on inside your little one. Plus, if you move them around, like the technician does, you can see how the images change. Here are a few examples:
So, a 3D ultrasound can help us map out and see the structural development of your baby?
Yes! A lot of the time, if there’s a problem, for example when your baby is not shaped as we would expect, or if something is wrong with the placenta, this can be clear. For example, twin babies often have a different head shape when you look at them in 3D. This happens because one twin is on top and gets all the placenta (which means that this baby has more blood supply). If they are facing opposite directions at birth, things like their necks won’t grow evenly which can be a sign of problems.