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3D Ultrasound Timing

Take a more in-depth look at your baby’s development.

When is the Best Time to Get a 3D Ultrasound?

If you are pregnant, getting an ultrasound is a relatively routine part of your prenatal care. Not only does it give you a chance to see your newest addition, but the procedure also lets doctors get a closer look at how your child is developing to ensure there are no issues.

For most pregnancies, a 2D ultrasound is usually sufficient to find problems. However, you might find your pregnancy needs a more in-depth look at the baby’s development. This is where 3D ultrasounds come in.

The professionals at Valley Perinatal Services in Phoenix, Arizona, have a great deal of experience with ultrasounds and can help you decide when you should have one.

What is a 3D Ultrasound?

Like a 2D ultrasound or sonogram, a 3D ultrasound involves taking digital images of your baby in utero. These images can be used to monitor fetal growth, organ development, and learn the baby’s sex. Usually, a 2D ultrasound is all that’s required, however if something doesn’t look quite right in the 2D ultrasound or if the tech has trouble getting good measurements, a 3D ultrasound may be performed.

A 3D ultrasound takes multiple two-dimensional images of your baby from various angles. These images are combined using a computer program to create a three-dimensional image. These images are helpful for situations where knowing the width, height, and depth of organs or other features is necessary to diagnose suspected problems.

Your child’s facial features, umbilical cord, placenta, and other features, can be more clearly examined, giving your doctor a better picture of you and your child’s health.

When Should I Get a 3D Ultrasound Done?

While you should get a doctor’s or perinatologist’s advice, it’s possible that a 3D ultrasound won’t be necessary for your pregnancy. While it may be medically necessary for diagnostic purposes, and 3D ultrasounds are just as safe as 2D ultrasounds, you should avoid exposing your child to additional sound waves if possible.

There is no medical benefit for most women, but 3D ultrasounds can be helpful if a problem is detected on a regular ultrasound or a doctor recommends it. And for high-risk pregnancies, it is smart to be extra cautious.

If you do want or need a 3D ultrasound, the best time to have one is in your third trimester, between 24 and 34 weeks. You can get one at any time, but the images will be the clearest during this time.

Is a 3D Ultrasound Any Different than a 2D Ultrasound?

3D ultrasounds follow the same procedures as the standard 2D ones. A transducer placed on top of the belly sends out sound waves that get interpreted into images by a computer.

There’s a different probe, special software, and more specialized training for the technician operating the equipment, but it’s a similar test and just as safe. The doctor will tell you if they see anything unusual on your results.

Valley Perinatal Services 3D Ultrasounds

If you have a high-risk pregnancy or are an OB/Gyn treating women who are high risk, it’s worth using every resource you can to make sure the mother and child are as safe as possible. 3D ultrasounds and other technologies can help confirm a baby is developing correctly or further investigate potential problems. The more information that’s available to a birth team, the better the outcome.

Expectant mothers in the Phoenix area can turn to VPS for co-management and testing of their high-risk pregnancy. Our highly-trained ultrasound sonographers, nurse practitioners, and other staff are experts at ensuring risky pregnancies have the best possible outcome. Get in touch with any of our locations at 480.756.6000 or contact us online.