Having a 3D/4D and now HD Ultrasound during your pregnancy is one of the most exciting moments of the journey. Words cannot describe the joy a new mom feels when she sees her baby’s face for the first time. Years ago, women had to wait 40 long weeks for that incredible moment. Now, we are able to offer remarkable images of your baby developing and a way for parents to experience the excitement of seeing detailed images of the baby throughout the journey!
There are many factors that effect what kinds of pictures you will get — Most of these factors are outside of our control (remember they still are in the womb!). The sonographer might move you around to try and obtain different angles but the position of the baby, fluid level, and the density of the tissue we scan though all impact the picture quality. Here are some things we ask our clients to consider before having a 3D/4D/HD ultrasound and ways to help get the best pictures possible:
1. Know who is scanning you!
Believe it or not, in many states (including Ohio) you do NOT have to have ANY medical training to perform ultrasounds. When choosing an elective facility be sure to ask what type of education and training the technicians receive. Becoming Mom is the only elective Cincinnati area Ultrasound facility that employs sonographers who have gone through an independent and accredited multi-year program in medical ultrasound and also have extensive experience in OB/GYN scanning. This allows us to provide you with both peace of mind and reliable imaging.
Ask if the person performing your ultrasound is RDMS Certified (Registered Diagnostic Medical Sonographer) … a nurse or someone that has been trained for a few weeks to take baby pictures is NOT the same thing and has not received the extensive training required to know what it is they are looking at on an ultrasound!
2. When to do an ultrasound
This is a very common question and there are a few different things to consider when picking a time to do an ultrasound.
Gender can be accurately determined after 16 weeks. At this time you can see more of your baby and the amazing development already underway. We often get asked if we are able to determine gender prior to 16 weeks. We recently conducted a trial to test our accuracy prior to 16 weeks, and while we were right more than we were wrong we did not feel that the rate of accuracy was high enough for our standards. So many important decisions, feelings and plans will be made based on baby’s gender. We want to feel confident in baby’s development and the images we obtain before telling you to go and buy pink and blue.
Between 24-26 weeks facial features are becoming more defined. If you are having multiples this is also a good time to capture 3D pictures of the babies.
If you are only going to have one elective ultrasound, between 27-32 weeks is the BEST TIME. The baby has had time to build up body fat, but still has room to move around.
Between 33-37 weeks is also a great time, if baby will cooperate. Because the baby is getting larger and may start to drop… getting the desired facial pictures becomes a little more challenging.
3. Drink plenty of fluids
Drink plenty of water in the DAYS leading up to your ultrasound. This simple tasks is one of the most important factors in determining the quality of pictures you will receive. Drinking water will increase the quality and clarity of your amniotic fluid which is like the “window” to view baby. The clearer the “window” the clearer the pictures. Because we are looking for clarity, water truly is the best option. It is important to note we are relying on amniotic fluid vs. hydration. It can take days for the water you drink to turn into amniotic fluid. You do not need a full bladder for these scans so use the restroom often and drink up!
4. Eat before your appointment
Try to have something light to eat (sandwich, salad, small bowl of pasta, etc.) about 45 minutes to an hour before your appointment. This will get the baby a little more active.
5. Have a glass of fruit juice
Drinking a glass of orange juice, apple juice, etc. will also help get the baby more active. Juice works better than soda. The caffeine in the soda does get the baby active, but has a negative affect on fluid levels. Natural sugars in juice create a longer active period, which is ideal. Try to have a glass about 30 minutes before your appointment.
6. Wear loose clothing
You will need to have your pants slightly below your hips during the ultrasound. Make sure they are comfortable at that position, since ultrasounds can take anywhere from 15 to 30 minutes.
Most importantly enjoy this special experience!