Are 4D Ultrasounds in Pregnancy Worth It?

Marwan and I received a 4D ultrasound gift certificate from family but we had to ask, what is 4D?

3D ultrasound

2D, 3D, 4D

Turns out that a 4D ultrasound is just a video of a 3D image, easy enough. Since finding out we were pregnant, we have been getting monthly ultrasounds at our Ob’s office. These are the traditional 2D ultrasounds¬†that are shades of white and gray. These ultrasounds provide great medical information and differentiate sex pretty early on. They show placenta placement and blood flow through the umbilical cord, as well as monitor baby’s growth and development. For Marwan and I, the ultrasound really made the pregnancy feel much more real.

That may sound weird to some, but seeing that heart beating for the first time is incredible. He became less of an idea in our mind and more of a reality. So after having such a great experience with our 2D ultrasounds, we were very excited to get our 4D ultrasound!

2D image (traditional ultrasound)

3 Major Differences You will See with 3D/4D

  1. You aren’t looking at a gray and white image. The 3D/4D images are a golden-yellow color (my pictures are black and white because the printer was black and white). This makes the baby look less like that white noise on old school televisions, and more like a baby.
  2. The image doesn’t appear flat. We could see his chubby cheeks and round nose. This was what really made him appear like a baby.
  3. The 4D video is like watching your future baby moving and interacting with the world around him. We actually saw baby Grayson crying, which was heart breaking. But I didn’t even know babies cried in utero?! We also got to watch his hiccups and kicking. These moments make you feel so connected to your baby, knowing he is feeling and sensing his very small surroundings.

Limits to the 4D Ultrasound

You should consider some limiting factors.

  1. Grayson was sleeping with his hand over his face for the first few minutes of the US. If he hadn’t woken up, we would not have seen much. The mother before me actually ended up having to reschedule because her baby stayed asleep for the whole appointment.
  2. Also, where the baby is situated can affect the image. If the spine is facing up, this can distort the image. Every imaging facility is different. I would tell you to read patient reviews to see how their experience was before deciding where to go.
  3. The cost will be out-of-pocket, most insurance companies do not reimburse for these images.
4D ultrasound
His hand covering his eyes

As a first time mom, I couldn’t be happier we had this experience. Marwan and I felt more connected to Grayson and we saw so much of his personality. We were also provided with a DVD and a link to our 4D video that we can send to family and friends. This allows our family to also see our baby boy moving around! If you have the opportunity, I would fully recommend this experience, especially if this is your first pregnancy.

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