If you’re pregnant, you’ve probably already drooled over the dreamy 3D ultrasound photos that are constantly popping up on your Facebook feed, Instagram and in local mommy groups. In the last 4-5 years elective ultrasound has become increasingly popular as more mothers are wanting to see their baby’s face before he/she is born. And thanks to recent advances in technology, ultrasound machines can render 3D and 4D imaging that is more lifelike than ever before.
But, before you get your hopes up that you’ll get those perfect full face 3D photos like your best friend, it’s important to know that no two expecting mothers are created equal; and neither are their wombs.
There are SEVERAL factors that influence the clarity of ultrasound photos. I am going to list the top 5 in order of importance below:
- The Location of the Placenta:
Your placenta is the organ that develops inside your uterus during pregnancy that provides oxygen and nutrients to your growing baby. The placenta is attached to the uterine wall either in the front (called an anterior placenta), or in the back (a posterior placenta).
If you have an anterior placenta, it will be over the top of baby’s face, making it harder to get clear photos. Therefore, the recommended timeframe to get 3D/4D imaging is at 28-34 weeks, before baby gets too big and squished into the placenta. If your placenta is posterior, it will be under the baby, and you can wait until 34-38 weeks to have your ultrasound.
If you don’t know where your placenta is located, you can email us an ultrasound picture from your anatomy scan, and we can tell you.
- The amount of amniotic fluid:
The more fluid present in the amniotic sac, the clearer the 3D/4D imaging will be. Higher fluid levels are especially important if you have an anterior placenta because we need to have fluid between baby’s face and the placenta to be able to get images. To make sure you have fluid in the amniotic sac, it is recommended that you drink 65 to 80 ounces of water a day, every day, the week leading up to your ultrasound appointment.
- The position of the baby:
It is ideal that your baby is head down (meaning the head is down low near your cervix). This is the position baby should be in before you go into labor. This position also yields the best 3D/4D imaging. The baby’s face should also be pointing upwards towards your stomach. If baby is looking towards your spine it would be impossible to get images. Babies in the breach position are also harder to get images of, especially with an anterior placenta.
- The Make and Model of the Ultrasond Machine
Just like any other technology, the newer more modern devices and equipment produce better quality imaging. There are several major manufacturers of ultrasound machines. The leading brands are Samsung and GE. These companies offer the latest cutting-edge 3D/4D and high definition ultrasound technology. Ultrasound facilities that use newer, updated machines can provide you with better imaging of your baby.
- The Experience of the Sonographer
Learning to do ultrasounds is not an easy endeavor. Extensive professional training and several years of hands on practice is required to gain the experience necessary to acquire clear 3D/4D imaging. Additionally, the ultrasound tech should be knowledgeable about the tricks to get baby in the right position for photos. You’ll want to choose a facility that has an experienced tech who has performed, not just hundreds, but thousands of ultrasounds.
There are additional factors that contribute to image clarity such as the location of the umbilical cords, the body fat content of the expectant mother, and if the baby has hands and or feet up in front of he face during the scan.
At Mother Nurture Ultrasound we are dedicated to ensuring we provide the best 3D/4D imaging for ALL our clients. When you call to book your appointment we’ll ask you a few quick questions to make sure we get you in at the right time-frame to get the best images. We have Samsung’s latest 3D/4D and High definition technology and ultrasound techs that have performed over 10,000 scans. We guarantee high quality pictures, meaning if we can’t get good images at your first appointment, we offer a free bring back to try again.
Mother Nurture Ultrasound
803 39th Ave SW, Suite D
Puyallup, WA 98373
12505 Bel Red Road
Bellevue, WA 98005