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The ultrasound is a regular part of pre-natal care, but there are different kinds of ultrasound tests to provide a closer look at your baby. An ultrasound uses sound waves to penetrate the soft tissue and organs to create a picture on a monitor. A wand called a transducer is moved across the abdomen after a gel solution has been applied to the skin to make it easier to get a clear reading. An ultrasound uses no radiation; it's safe for mother and baby, and has been used in obstetrical care for over 50 years.

ultrasoundNorthline Women's Health Center in Brownstown and Southgate, Michigan can help you see your baby for the first time with our “My Baby Ultrasound” service, but do you want a 2D, 3D, or 4D ultrasound, and what's the difference? The simple answer is the bigger the number, the better the view.

A typical ultrasound is considered 2D, meaning the image is flat and in black and white. A 3D ultrasound uses the same principle as a 2D ultrasound, but in a 3D reading, the sound waves are emitted from all angles, so the picture is in three dimensions and colorized, producing an image that shows depth and great detail.

In a 4D baby ultrasound, the 3D technology is enhanced to show movement. Much like a motion picture is a collection of many individual still frames, a 4D ultrasound combines a sequence of 3-D images to show motion. In a 4D ultrasound, you may see your baby yawning or a heart beating.

So when is the best time to get a baby ultrasound? A 3D/4D ultrasound is recommended between 28 and 32 weeks of pregnancy, when your baby is at the best size to get the closest pictures. There is no special preparation necessary for your ultrasound, but there are some tips to help make the most of “baby's first pictures.”

An empty bladder will usually provide the best results for your 3D/4D ultrasound, but having a drink of orange juice or apple juice about 30 minutes before your appointment may give you better images. That's because the sugar in the juice is absorbed into your bloodstream quickly and tends to wake up your baby and provide more movement.

If you haven't given up caffeine, you could drink a cup of coffee or a soft drink and the caffeine might stimulate your baby to move around. A cold drink of water just before the appointment may also wake your baby.

It's fun to share the excitement of your baby ultrasound with a friend or family member, but during the procedure you should be attentive to your technician who may need to give you instructions. That's why most providers ask that you bring no more than two guests and do not recommend that you bring young children to your ultrasound appointment.

Northline Women's Health Center Locations:

15675 Northline Road

Southgate, MI 48195

(734) 282-3600
(734) 282-3603 - Fax

23050 West Road, Suite 210

Brownstown Twp., MI 48183

(734) 362-7000
(734) 362-7077 - Fax