Sunday, July 6, 2008

4D Ultrasounds

Did you get a 4D Ultrasound with your kids? I did with my first son, but not with the second. With my first son, we went to a company in Michigan that takes pictures and video of your baby in utero in 4D solely for keepsake purposes. We planned on doing the same with the second baby, but I went into preterm labor and got put on bed rest for two months. So, the pictures were no longer a priority. I think some people would probably look down on me for doing the ultrasound because it wasn't for medical purposes. However, there is new evidence that the 4D ultrasounds can find birth defects other ultrasounds can't.

Here's the story from ABC:

The 4D ultrasound gives "realistic" pictures of your yet-to-be-born baby. It's so accurate you'll recognize your baby when it's born. Some doctors think of the 4-d as a "gimmick", saying it gives them little medical information, but the 4D may be finally proving it's "medical mettle."

The pictures are so good that mothers to be have sought these 4D ultrasound shots out in shopping malls just to have them for the baby albums. Patricia Diaz is a first time mom. She said, "I can see how he's gonna look when he's born. LBJ is one of the first Houston hospitals to have a 4D ultrasound and Patricia Diaz today got to see her little boy for the first time through the 4D technology. The pictures on this page show the difference between 2D and 3D ultrasounds. 4D is simply 3D that moves.

But the pictures have made 4D ultrasounds controversial in the medical world. Are they a toy or are they medically necessary? UT Houston OB-GYN Dr. Joan Mastrobattista says the 4D can find birth defects that other scans didn't show. Dr. Mastrobattista said, "If there's a cleft lip they can have an idea, ok that's what that looks like. It helps in some cases with parental bonding. In other cases it gives information, how do the hands look, how do the feet look is there an extra finger?

LBJ hospital has been ahead of the game on 4D technology. It's had it for some 5 years. The technology has been available for a decade, but it's only recently that new uses are being discovered. Another use is to look for problems with shape of the uterus or fibroids. Dr. Mastrobattista said, "Although you can see fibroids and uterine shape on 2D ultrasound, with 3D the image is enhanced.

Mom Patricia said, "I'm gonna put them in a photo album.

Doctors warn women not to have ultrasounds just for the photos. Although it 's considered safe, one study found a slight risk to the baby's brain from frequent ultrasounds. Christi says doctors also recommend getting ultrasounds in a medical institution where the power settings on the machines are monitored.
Did you get 3D or 4D pictures/video of your kids in the womb?

-NewsAnchorMom Jen

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rachel b said...

I had 4-D ultrasounds & videos done with both of my kids. Baby Reflections in Normal does them. They weren't done for medical reasons. My daughter actually smiled at us during her ultrasound!!

Melody R said...

I had a 4-D/3-D ultrasound with my daughter at the perinatalist office the day after Christmas in 2006. It was the best Christmas present I think I have ever received. If I have another child I will definatley be looking into having it done again.

Shannon said...

It was never an option for me during my pregnancies, but I would consider it if I were to get pregnant again. I might try to do it in place of a routine ultrasound, so I guess I'd look to do it with a doctor if possible. I would be nervous though, we wouldn't want to know the sex and it's harder to avoid with those!

SallyN said...

Not us. Personally, I'm not comfortable with 'extra' ultrasounds.

Jenny said...

Since I had gestational diabetes, I saw a Perinatologist weekly from about 27 weeks. Anyway, I got ultrasounds weekly at his office and some of them were 3D/4D. It was great as I didn't have them with my other daughter. They mainly focused in on the face for us to see. Then would then do all the measurements, etc. w/ the 2D (so couldn't see anatomy) :)

I don't understand the controversy as it seems that you can learn more if you can see more, but that is my humble opinion.

Shannon said...

I believe the controversy has to do with the ultrasound waves themselves. They send a very high-pitched noise into the uterus and there are some who feel there haven't been enough studies done on the possible effects on the growing baby. We tend to think that because they aren't physically invasive, ultrasounds must be safe. But many feel that isn't the case.

Have you ever heard of a baby moving away from a doppler or turning away during an ultrasound? Some feel it's because they're trying to avoid the waves and may even be experiencing discomfort.

It's why many midwives also choose to forego any doppler monitoring as well, or only use it if necessary, not for routine heartbeat checks.

That's why I said I would probably only do it in place of a regular medical screening. But you never know, I guess it would depend on circumstances at the time. said...

Great explanation Shannon! Thank you!

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