Dr Penman is a specialist fetal medicine consultant and has over 21 years of baby scanning experience.
Before 10 weeks of pregnancy only 2D is used during scans as the fetus is not yet developed enough for clear 3D or 4D images. At your scan, Dr Penman will guide you through what’s visible of your baby at that point, and you will get some printed scan images of your baby to take away with you free of charge.
After 10 weeks of pregnancy, 3D and 4D images are possible, and are included for free as part of all scans after this date. As with scans before 10 weeks, Dr Penman will guide you through what’s visible of your baby at that point. You will get a CD and DVD of images of your baby, as well as some printed scan images of your baby to take away with you free of charge.
There are no hidden fees for any scans.
For more information on what scan is best for you at each point in pregnancy, please visit the Baby Ultrasound Scan Progamme page.
What Is A 2D Scan?
A standard ultrasound scan will show images in 2D – grainy black and white images, where it’s pretty difficult for the untrained eye to see what’s going on.
Dr Penman is a specialist fetal medicine consultant and has over 25 years of baby scanning experience. At your scan, he will guide you through what’s visible of your baby at that point and answer any questions you may have.
What Is A 3D Scan?
A sequence of 2D images digitally overlaid create a 3D image. A 3D image shows the outline of your baby much clearer and can, in later pregnancy, even show a glimpse of what your baby will look like once he or she arrives.
The more advanced your pregnancy, the clearer images of your baby should be. However, various things can affect the quality of your baby’s scan photos. For more information, please see the What Affects The Quality Of My Baby’s Scan Images section below.
What Is A 4D Scan?
A 4D baby scan will show your baby moving in real-time. Depending on the point in your pregnancy the scan is conducted, and your baby’s position, you will be able to see his/her face, eyes, mouth and nose, and watch him/her stretch, yawn, or even suck a thumb!
What Are The Benefits Of A 4D Scan?
Medically, there are no benefits of a 4D scan. This is because creating a 4D image requires 3D images to be blended to create the 4D real time scan, which can conceal abnormalities. So, Dr Penman performs this scan purely for parents-to-be to see their little one in real-time.
What Affects The Quality Of My Baby’s Scan Images?
Occasionally, it might be the case that it’s not possible to see what you want to see at a scan. Various things can cause this, such as if the baby’s back is against the uterine wall. If this is the case, Dr Penman may ask you to stand up and move around a little, to encourage the baby to move into a different position.
Additionally, if your BMI is raised, this will make it much more difficult to obtain high-quality scan images. The stage of the pregnancy and abdominal wall scarring from previous surgery may also prevent high-quality images being obtained.
Future Scan Technology – 5D Scans
5D ultrasound technology is a type of automation. You have your scan performed as usual, but the machine can give assistance to the operator to complete scans more quickly. The technology is not sufficiently consistent to be used in everyday practice and is really more evidence based at the moment, but this is something to watch for the future.