Seeing your baby for the first time with 3D ultrasound is such an exciting experience.
Thanks to recent advances in technology, 3D/4D ultrasound images are now clearer and more lifelike than ever before.
The latest 5D/HD Live ultrasound brings incredible skin-tone rendering software, and a digital flashlight to create the best lighting possible!
But, before you get your hopes up that you’ll get those perfect, full face 3D pictures like your best friend did, it’s important for you to know that no two pregnancies are alike.
Every baby scans differently, and not every ultrasound session produces textbook perfect images.
The quality of your 3D ultrasound photos depends on MANY different factors.
Below are the 5 most important factors affecting the quality of ultrasound images, listed in order or importance.
The clarity of your 3D/4D ultrasound pictures depends solely upon how hydrated you are at the time of your appointment.
To get good images, there must be plenty of fluid around the baby’s face.
To ensure you are well hydrated, be sure to drink the recommended 8-10 glasses of water per day in the weeks prior to your ultrasound appointment.
Take a look at the examples below. Both images are from 3D ultrasounds performed in our office.
Take note that being hydrated is the single most important thing you can do to improve the quality of your ultrasound. This is not something that you can cram in the night before your appointment.
Drinking an abundant amount of water the day before your ultrasound will do absolutely nothing to help improve the quality of your pictures.
To ensure clear photos, you must increase your water intake DAILY for – at the very minimum – an ENTIRE week.
For good 3D/4D images, it is ideal for baby to be positioned with the head down low, near your cervix.
If baby is breech, it will be harder to obtain good face pictures. Breech babies are often sitting ‘folded in half’, with the feet and hands blocking the face.
Baby should also be facing upwards towards your stomach.
If baby is facing completely down, looking towards your spine, it would be impossible to get images.
If your goal is to get the best 3D face pictures possible, you must be sure to schedule your ultrasound at the right time.
Weeks 30-32 are the best for obtaining good face pictures.
At this time, baby is likely to be head down, which is ideal. Baby’s facial features are prominent and the cheeks have filled out nicely with fat.
If you come too early, baby may be breech and will not have very much fat yet.
Coming too late may yield unpredictable results, as baby begins to run out of room and it becomes more difficult to get clear pictures.
Ideally, your baby should be awake and active during your 3D ultrasound.
When baby is moving around and making different facial expressions, you will have a more enjoyable experience & get better 3D pictures.
To get baby moving, you should drink something cold and sugary 30 minutes before your appointment time. We recommend apple juice for best results.
If baby is asleep throughout your scan, it may be difficult to get good images, especially if baby is snuggled up with the face pressed against the placenta.
Your placenta provides all the oxygen and vital nutrients to your baby in the womb.
The placenta is attached to your uterine wall, and it can either be in the front (anterior placenta), or in the back (posterior placenta).
If you have an anterior placenta, it is located in front of your baby’s face. Usually, this is not a big deal, and we are able to obtain great 3D images.
Sometimes, however, an anterior placenta can make it harder to get clear photos. Especially if baby is breech, or there is not enough fluid between the baby’s face and the placenta.
There are several other factors that affect the quality of 3D ultrasound images, including how cooperative the baby is (i.e. if baby has hands & feet up in front of the face), the location of the umbilical cord, the body type & fat content of the expectant mother, the presence of other conditions such as uterine fibroids, IUGR, etc.
At 3D Baby Boutique, our goal is to get you the best 3D pictures possible. We want all of our clients to have an amazing experience & to leave happy, with plenty of great images. We use the best, most advanced 3D imaging technology in the industry, and all of our ultrasounds are performed by an experienced ARDMS sonographer who specializes in 3D/4D imaging techniques.
If you take the time to properly prepare for your ultrasound, utilizing the tips and info above, you will have the best results possible at your appointment.
In the unlikely event that we are unable to obtain any good pictures during your scan, we will bring you back for a free rescan within 7-14 days.