2D & 4D scans | what’s the difference?
Evolving technology is making 4D scans more of a reality for many pregnant couples (who can afford it.) Whether it’s because you can’t wait to meet baby, want a more solid confirmation of the sex or for added piece of mind, there are many reasons why the scans are growing more and more popular.
So what’s a 2D scan?
You will get a 2D scan at your local hospital as part of your pregnancy care, and typically you will have two of these scans throughout your pregnancy (not including any additional complications or advice from a consultant.) These scans are typically held at 12 weeks and again at around 20 weeks. It’s at the latter scan that the sonographer can tell you the sex (if your baby plays along, of course…)
2D scans can see through the baby’s skin and so look at the organs and give an idea of how your baby is developing.
But what makes a 4D scan different?
4D scans are the same as 3D scans (which are also available). The only difference with a 4D scan is that you can see your baby moving in real time.
The main difference between the 2D & 4D scans is that you can see your baby’s skin (4D) – you’re not looking through it to the internal organs (2D). Detail such as your baby’s button nose, the outline of lips as well as actions like yawning (it’s a hard life) or holding their feet can all be seen in 4D scans.
4D scans are considered to be as safe as traditional 2D scans, but experts warn against have them done as souvenirs. The extra dose of ultrasound that your baby is exposed to takes it over the recommended limit.
These scans can successfully identify further issues, like a cleft lip, that would not have been picked up by a 2D scan. This can then help the hospital to be better prepared for when you go into labour.
4D scans are expensive and tend to take a lot longer than a 2D scan, with appointments lasting for on average an hour. Some clinics will also give you the recording on a DVD to share with friends and family but again, this will probably come at an additional cost.
4D scans are best to have between 26 and 30 weeks of your pregnancy as this is when your baby has developed a layer of fat under her skin, so the bones will not be visible.
Over to you – did you have a 4D scan and what was your experience? Or did you just stick to the traditional 2D scan and wait to meet your baby?
Let us know in the comments section!
Image credit: http://pixabay.com/static/uploads/photo/2014/11/06/07/00/pregnant-518793_640.jpg