When you are pregnant, the doctor constantly needs to monitor your baby’s health and development. Which is why they ask you to go through an ultrasound scan. This test uses sound waves to show you a picture of your baby in the uterus.
With the advancement of technology and medical science, ultrasounds have also moved beyond the grainy and obscure images of your growing fetus.
In fact, the new 3D ultrasound technology gives a much clearer and sharper look at your baby. But remember they are not standard prenatal tests. Doctors often give them as a courtesy only if you want them.
If you are wondering whether you should get a 3D ultrasound during pregnancy or if it’s safe for the fetus, don’t stress. Here’s everything that you need to know about a 3D ultrasound.
What Is A 3D Ultrasound?
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Similar to regular ultrasounds, a 3D ultrasound also uses sound waves to create an image of your baby. But the difference is that 3D ultrasounds create a three-dimensional image of your baby.
How is it performed?
A 3D ultrasound is performed like your regular ultrasound. Your doctor will rub the gel on your belly and then move a transducer across the area. The transducer directs the sound waves toward your uterus and the baby inside it. Thus, giving you a clearer picture of your baby. You can request your doctor to give you these ultrasound photos.
The best images are obtained between 24 and 28 weeks of pregnancy. In fact, some clinics say that past 30 weeks of gestation, the baby’s head is more likely to engage in the mother’s pelvis. In this case, visualising the face can be difficult. But, it depends on individual clinics and the guidelines that they follow.
3D Ultrasound: Benefits Of This Scan
As the images are sharper and clearer, your doctor can recommend a 3D ultrasound. It can potentially allow your doctor to better understand and diagnose any medical issues in your baby.
In fact, these images can show certain birth defects, such as cleft palate, that might not show up on a standard ultrasound.
The most exciting part is that a 3D ultrasound technology can give you a much better look at your baby’s face.
But Is A 3D Ultrasound Safe?
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A 3D ultrasound involves no radiation or X-rays, and it’s safe for both you and your baby. But make sure you’re getting it done by a qualified professional and for medical reasons only. As Dr Ken Lim says, “If you’re at a regulated centre at a hospital or medical clinic, all machines must adhere to safe levels of heat and mechanical effects.”
3D “keepsake” or “entertainment” ultrasounds done for non-medical reasons are not recommended by experts. Tara Chegwin, professional services coordinator for Sonography Canada told Today’s Parent, “Non-medical ultrasound centres are unregulated and there is no professional standard around them.”
The FDA cautioned that the biggest concerns with keepsake ultrasound centres are that there’s no limit on how long the imaging session will last. In some cases, you may be there for up to an hour to get ‘good’ pictures of your babe.
It’s understood that you may be excited to know more about your baby growing inside you. But getting a 3D ultrasound just to see your baby’s face is not a safe option.
It’s just a matter of few months or maybe days, and you will finally get to see how your baby looks! So if you can, you should wait for it.
Incidentally, 3D ultrasound is not the only technology that allows a closer look at the developing fetus.
You also have the option of 4D Ultrasound.
You can watch your child smile or yawn through the 4D ultrasounds. They create a live video effect, like a movie. While the 3D ultrasound gave you clear visuals, 4D will help you see your baby’s live movements.
Should I Go For A 3D Ultrasound Or A 4D?
Over the past few years, the demand for 3D and 4D ultrasounds have skyrocketed as more couples want to experience a closer look at their unborn babies. But don’t run after the new technologies unless your doctor advises as such.
Both 3D and 4D ultrasounds are optional.
The entire purpose of an ultrasound is to screen for potential problems and make sure your baby is healthy and the traditional 2D ultrasound is still effective in performing the same function.
Dr Hakakha as quoted in Parents says, “Opting to get a 3D/4D ultrasound in pregnancy to obtain ‘better’ pictures of one’s fetus is absolutely not required and may be dangerous when done repetitively, outside the recommendation of a physician.”
You should also remember that not all doctors have access to 3D or 4D ultrasounds. Also, your insurance may not cover the cost. Check with your provider before going ahead with it.
However, if you want to get a 3D/4D sonography done. Here’s where you can do so in Singapore.
3D Ultrasound And 4D Clinics In Singapore*
Image courtesy: iStock
1 Orchard Boulevard,
#04-03A Camden Medical Centre,
Phone: 65 6733 8810
Thomson Medical Centre
339 Thomson Road
Phone :6250 7442, 6250 7443
Phone: 65 6836 0808
All RadLink Centres are open from
Monday-Friday: 8:30AM – 5:30PM | Saturday: 8:30AM – 12:30PM
Throughout your pregnancy, it is very important to eat healthy and follow a good lifestyle. Reduce stress and stay positive.
Note: The list* is subject to change, so please call and consult with your hospital before you head out for a 3D ultrasound.
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