Owning an elective ultrasound facility, I often get the age old question “When is the best time to come in for a 3D/4D ultrasound?”
My facetious response: When you’re pregnant.
My professional business response: Well, that depends…
I know, neither of the responses are very helpful right?! But let me elaborate a bit more on my professional business response. The “best” time to come in for a 3D/4D ultrasound really depends on what you want to see. Below is a breakdown on what to expect during an ultrasound depending on how many weeks pregnant you are:
14-18 Weeks: A 3D/4D ultrasound will allow you to see the entire baby in one picture. The baby is very active during this stage of the pregnancy. Therefore, if the baby is awake, you will be able to see all the unfelt fetal movements. You can watch the baby kick, wave, grab its feet, etc… During this time frame you will be able to make out that the baby has two eyes, a nose, and a mouth. However, you will not see the facial composition in elaborate detail, i.e. it will be hard to say “oh baby has dad’s nose” or “mom’s lips.”
19-26 Weeks: The baby’s facial features will be filling out and becoming more prominent. However, there is also a high probability the baby will be breach, which is not ideal for getting good 3D/4D pictures. When babies are breach they usually have hands and feet in the face or are folded in half. Therefore, I generally only recommend coming in during this stage of the pregnancy in special circumstances, such as if you are pregnant with twins, have family in town who won’t be around later in the pregnancy, or if you are worried you won’t make it full-term.
27-40 Weeks: Generally, by this time the baby is head down, which is preferred. 27 to 40 weeks is the best time to get the up-close detailed pictures of the baby’s face in 3D/4D. And yes, I said 40 weeks. Disregard all the rumors you’ve heard or read online about there not being enough room to get good pictures past 32 weeks. This speculation could not be further from the truth. In fact, I frequently encourage late-term scans, because if you have the patience to wait, the detail only gets more amazing the further along you are!
During all stages of the pregnancy the most important element that influences the clarity of pictures is the amount of fluid the mom drinks, the days or even weeks, leading up to the appointment. Staying extra hydrated will ensure there is enough fluid in the amniotic sac to see the baby in elaborate detail.
So there you have it, a very long-winded convoluted answer to a very simple question 🙂
At Mother Nurture Ultrasound we do offer free bring backs if we are not able to get good quality pictures during the first appointment.
Mother Nurture Ultrasound
803 39th Ave SW, Suite D
Puyallup, WA 98373