Posted on April 27th, 2017 by
3D, 9 Weeks, ultrasound facts

3D 9 Week Embryo

Ultrasound Facts About General Stuff

  • Technically speaking, ultrasound is the study of the subject (the field of ultrasound) and a sonogram refers to the examination itself.
  • Current biohazard testing reveals no ill effects of ultrasound on the fetus, mother, or sonographer. However, ongoing tests show increasing levels of heat after scanning for several hours in one area. Over-scanning for long periods can cause cavitation or the creation of bubbles. This is much longer than the time required for performing a diagnostic test. Additionally, for this reason, only the prudent and diagnostic use of the technology is recommended by ACOG, ARDMS, and any other professional medical organization. The benefits of the information from diagnostic exams for patient and physician currently outweigh any known risk.
  • Ultrasound is just that…sound waves that operate at a frequency far beyond human hearing. Nope, Baby cannot hear the sound waves! Human hearing ranges from 20Hz to 20,000Hz. Diagnostic ultrasound operates in the millions of Hertz. Ultrasound probes range from about 2 – 13MHz.
  • Ultrasound is sound waves, NOT radio waves. No radiation is emitted by ultrasound equipment or Dopplers utilized by your physician to detect Baby’s heartbeat.
  • 4D is 3D in motion or a live 3D image.
  • Most people are familiar with 3D imaging as a fun way to see the outside of their baby. Additionally, the best and cutest 3D images are obtained later in the 2nd trimester or very early in the 3rd. Baby’s skin has developed more fat at this point which makes for chubbier cheeks!


Ultrasound Credentials for Sonographers

  • Someone newly trained in the field earns the credentials of DMS or Diagnostic Medical Sonographer. He or she has completed some sort of formal or on-the-job ultrasound training. This person is usually relatively inexperienced and has not yet passed the registry examination. This person should have direct supervision in performing your examination.
  • RDMS stands for Registered Diagnostic Medical Sonographer. A sonographer earns these credentials when he or she has passed a registry examination in his/her ultrasound specialty. Moreover, a certified sonographer will typically have at least two years of experience.
  • Not everyone who scans an expectant mom in a 3D non-medical business is a certified OB sonographer. Some have no formal ultrasound training whatsoever! These businesses are not regulated like medical practices. They may not be knowledgeable of or follow guidelines for equipment maintenance. Ultrasound equipment that is not properly maintained can be an electrical hazard for mother and/or fetus!!!


Ultrasound Facts About Performing Your Exam

  • Every practice is different. Most physician’s order a first-trimester ultrasound examination to date the pregnancy. This is usually performed with a vaginal probe. If no other problems necessitate another scan, the next is performed around 18-20 Weeks. Most women know this scan as the anatomy screen where we evaluate fetal and maternal parts for abnormalities. This study is not ordered to determine sex! Also, important to note here is that determining sex is never a guarantee, nor should it be an expectation. However, most sonographers will happily provide the info if at all possible!
  • The health of your pregnancy determines whether you will receive more ultrasound scans later in your pregnancy.
  • 2D ultrasounds are the grey-scale images you might recognize during your diagnostic examinations. Occasionally, a high-risk practice (MFM or Maternal Fetal Medicine) will usually also use 3D to assist in visualizing a fetal abnormality. We also frequently use the technology for GYN scans to attempt a better look at uterine shape and/or IUD placement.
  • Ultrasound cannot predict how much your baby will weigh at birth. While we can measure your baby’s head, belly, and femur for an educated guess for weight at the time of your scan, a large discrepancy for weight determination exists due to fetal position and sonographer inexperience or skill. We can typically track a trend for large or small babies. We know the average gained weight in the last few weeks is about 1/2 lb per week. However, every baby is different!


Ultrasound Facts About Fetal Sex

Most expectant moms today already know this little fact. The ultrasound machine is never “wrong” in determining fetal sex. Actually, it is the observer who is incorrect!

Guessing the wrong sex can be due to one or a combination of many factors. It is possible your baby was in a difficult position to see well. Maybe you were too early in your pregnancy for an accurate guess or your sonographer is inexperienced. In addition, an overall poor view can also limit fetal sex determination!

Ultrasound Facts About Your Ultrasound Results

Yes, the sonographer can read your examination. However, your OB/GYN physician or radiologist must ultimately interpret the images and report we create. Consequently, only your physician can legally give you results!!!


Patients ask me these questions on a very regular basis. I hope it was helpful! Feel free to email me at with your comments or questions!

Thanks for reading!

wwavblogger, RDMS
wwavblogger, RDMS

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Posted on November 15th, 2015 by

These were such great fetal 3D images that I felt they should be reposted!  They are representative of the best of the best.

You’ll see from the captions that this baby was 33wks at the time of the scan. Just know this isn’t the norm! Most babies at this gestational age are not well seen with 3D because the head is typically pretty low at this point and fluid begins to diminish a bit. However, this mom had polyhydramnios (or extra amniotic fluid) and baby had his own Olympic-sized pool!  The additional fluid allowed better visualization of baby’s face which yielded these most beautiful pics!

In other words, Moms-to-be, the images you see below are an exception to the rule. The best time remains about 27-30wks. Enjoy! His mom and I sure had a fun time taking them:)


No paparazzi, please!

3D fetal face 33wks


Pucker up!

3D fetal face 33wks


Sleepy baby;) So sweet!

3D fetal face 33wks

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Posted on December 21st, 2014 by

I’ve discussed in earlier posts the true scope and nature of what I do. I’m not a glorified photographer (“go out and get a real job”??). I have always had a problem with that line in Juno. I guess it’s because the words are condescending and diminish the work I really do.  I will add here, however, that the description would not be out of line regarding those who work only in the “elective ultrasound” business, the 3D peek, mommy and me, I’ll-take-your-money-and-guess-at-gender-too-early establishments. I have to wonder if they cannot get a “real” job in ultrasound. Shut it DOWN (in the words of Jess to all you New Girl followers – such a great show!) Okay, enough with movie and TV references, I promise. But whomever wrote the Juno line is either totally ignorant about my “real” job or, conversely, maybe he/she was trying to convey the ignorance of the character of Juno’s mother. Regardless and much to my dismay on a very regular basis, this is the general perception of my work to most lay people.

In a nutshell, my job is to rule out abnormalities. Structural abnormalities and pathology relative to the patient like the uterus, cervix and adnexal regions (out to the sides of the uterus) and of the fetus like the placenta, amniotic fluid, umbilical cord and the fetus itself. I am attempting to exclude some 200 disease processes and/or pathological conditions with the Anatomy Screen or the fetal ultrasound examination otherwise known as “the one where I find out the sex”.  Unfortunately, this IS the most important tidbit of information and we hear it on a weekly basis. Patients call in to find out the results of a chromosomal test asking only for gender results; comical yet sad.

So my job surely is not always fun as I do occasionally find problems but when it is fun, it is great fun. My motto is “Business in the front, party in the back!”. In other words, let’s take all the measurements and make sure baby looks great then have some the image below.

This little sugarplum is all snug in his bed.  Hope yours is, too!


Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays until next post!

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Posted on November 30th, 2014 by

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving and ate lots of turkey and dessert like I did!  Before the holiday, we had the experience of one unhappy mama! Let me expound..

I have my usual spiel that I deliver to patients when they come in for a 3D scan.  Like most other elective options in life, it’s a service.  You pay your money, the service is provided.  Now you may not be entirely happy with the results of the service (like the facial that left an oil slick behind) but you don’t get your money back. You may, however, receive a coupon for a free facial upon your next visit and 3D appointments work in a similar way.

What you are paying for, I typically communicate, is essentially the block of time on the ultrasound schedule for the use of the facility..the time, the sonographer and my experience/expertise required to perform the exam and use of the equipment.  We, and no one else on the planet, will ever guarantee that you will get the images you want. This is because we know obtaining the perfect images your best friend got are dependent on so many variables.  I’ve discussed this one before..fetal position, placental location and amniotic fluid volume are all make-it or break-it possibilities.

Baby can’t be facing your back or be plastered into the uterine wall or placenta. And an anterior placenta (one located on the front-side of your uterus) adds to the limitation so that if Baby faces up, the placenta is usually in the way. We need to see a good pocket of fluid in front of Baby’s face with no limbs or cord in front or blocking the face.  Also, the farther along you are the less likely we are to obtain great images.  This is because Baby starts to engage that head into the pelvis, Baby is growing bigger and fluid begins to naturally diminish a bit.  If we don’t get great images, we (and most other places) simply offer to have you come back to try again free of charge the following week.  This is pretty fair in my book. If you don’t go back, it’s your loss! don’t expect a refund. We recommend scheduling at about 27wks.

Is it possible to obtain great 3D images later in the third trimester?! Absolutely! We just know the chances become more slim the longer you wait. I’ve gotten beautiful images at 38wks! This baby was 33wks+ but mom had polyhydramnios, a condition where excess amniotic fluid develops. For this reason, she was scanned every week but it gave us many awesome photo opps!

SONY DSC 3D fetal face, 33wks


So, if you want it, go ahead and try it! Just go into the scan with some education. Know you may not get what you wanted but you should be able to go back and try again. It’s also a good idea to ask about a policy before you have it done!

If all the stars align, you’ll get some fabulous images of your baby like the ones above!

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Posted on November 27th, 2014 by

Happy Turkey Day to all of you expectant moms out there!  Today is a day for thankfulness for our blessings and to enjoy our families and all those whom we love.

Every once in a while I’ll scan a patient whose baby’s face is in a perfect position to see in 3D with a great pocket of fluid and no limbs or cord in the way. When I see this, it’s so hard not to play! I had just such a patient this week. We were able to get such cute pics and mom and dad were so happy..and thankful! ☺️ It’s just what the holiday is all about!!

She is about 28wks; see how cute she is below!






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Posted on August 13th, 2014 by

As promised, I am delivering a second great 3D image of a fetal face this evening.  Yesterday, I posted one where he draped his hand over his nose, playing shy I suppose.  This time he is puckering up for some sugar and I’m sure he’s gonna get it as soon as he makes his grand entrance.

Stay tuned for more and in the meantime, if you have great 3D images of your baby you’d like to share, please email them to me and I’ll be happy to post!  Just click the Ask Me page or use the email address below.  I’d love to see them!

3D fetal face, 33wks

3D fetal face at 33wks GA

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Posted on August 13th, 2014 by

The following 3D fetal images are some of the cutest you’ll ever see.  This baby boy is 33w2d here and we were able to see so clearly because he had a fabulously large pocket of fluid in front of his face..just where we need it.  He gave us some really sweet shots, that is, when he felt like moving his hand from his face.  You know, they all just do what they want in and out of the uterus.  Even at his most uncooperative, his cute little face will bring a smile to yours.

I don’t want to inundate you with too much precious at one time so I’ll deliver (ha! no pun intended) a new one each day for the next few days:)

I hope you enjoy him..his mom and I sure did!


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Posted on July 17th, 2014 by blast everyone in your OB doc’s office.  The old adage that one can attract more bees with honey seems to be something we learn as we become more mature in this life.  Certainly, most of us can reflect on a time when we wish we had taken the higher road.  I guess when you’re unhappy with an uncooperative fetus, everything else in life just sucks, too.  Read below for what NOT to do in this circumstance..

Most expectant moms understand by now that the only way to obtain the totally precious 3D images they’re paying for is for Baby to be facing up toward Mom’s belly with nothing else in Baby’s face except a nice pocket of fluid.  If you didn’t know this, now you do!  I love to impart a plethora of informative tidbits to my beloved readers and future moms.  However, if Baby is facing down?  Forget it.  We can’t scan through your back (too many bones) and pretty much nothing usually changes Baby’s position.  But hell hath no fury like a mom jacked-up with pregnancy hormones.

My co-worker (who was her sonographer and a sweetie-pie, at that) did what I would have done..rolled mom to each side and jiggled the belly until the cows came home but this resulted in nothing.  She explained what we views we needed, what we didn’t have and why and offered for her to come back.  The patient seemed reasonable enough and agreed to come back another day (free of a second charge, mind you)…or so we thought.

The patient reaches the appointment desk on the way out and, I suppose, had just enough time for her blood to boil.  She unleashed a rash of f-bombs on the poor receptionist.  She made the appointment, left and called back unleashing a second wave by  bitching about my co-worker (who tried to make her pretty pictures), the receptionist, a phone nurse, the office manager and, by the time she was done, cursed out her physician.  Whoa, Nelly!  Too bad we couldn’t take her down with an injection of sedatives while she was still on the property.  Just kidding!  We’re legally not allowed to do this even though some patients need it when they start foaming at the mouth.

And what did it get her in the end?  The search for a new OB doc!

Note to self:  If I behave this way in a private practice, I WILL be fired as a patient..preggers or not!

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Posted on July 13th, 2014 by

I think not. I was mailed a flyer from a 3D ultrasound businesses who offer 3D franchises and ultrasound education in a matter of days for anyone off the street with no prior ultrasound knowledge or training. The goal? To start their own entertainment ultrasound business. Before this, I had no idea such a business was even legal.

Firstly, I don’t want anyone to believe this nonsense. As a certified sonographer of over 23 years, I feel confident enough to say that no one can adequately learn ultrasound well enough in days or weeks to be responsible for the moms and babies they scan. And, furthermore, the people “teaching” haven’t learned it, either.

To Those Who Are Not Qualified to Scan..

Make no mistake about it. Waiver or not, if you scan a pregnant woman for fun and miss gross pathology, you can still be the subject of a law suit. Contrarily, how would you handle seeing something you feel is abnormal or you cannot explain? What do you say to the patient? Would you even know if a problem existed? If you do not have experience in the medical field, you also have no idea how to address a mother-to-be with a fetal abnormality. Most of us only get slightly better at breaking terrible news, but it is never easy. It is always a sad and difficult scenario. This unfortunate experience will inevitably be yours at some point. How do you explain to your this to your customer when you have no idea what you are seeing yourself?

Moreover, I will also add here that it takes a bit of artistry and (again) proper training and experience in order to obtain good 2D images, which are also needed in order to create good 3D images. Providing sub-standard images takes advantage of the customer paying for it, especially when they assume you know what you are doing. Anyone can set up a 60″ monitor and some comfy seating.

Good Luck Guessing Fetal Sex!

Now, let’s address fetal sex. I have what seems like hundreds of posts on this subject! These places market accurate determination of fetal sex guaranteed by refunding your money along with a gift certificate if they are incorrect. This is irresponsible. A guess too early in pregnancy is a toss-up. An expectant mom is better off flipping a coin than to pay these people to casually throw out any guess. For those of you who are entirely out of your realm of expertise, anyone can show you how to press a few buttons. It doesn’t mean that you providing a fair service or doing it well. It’s unethical, and you shouldn’t be doing it at all.

And to patients who utilize these facilities, please be sure to ask if the person scanning you is a certified sonographer with experience and not a former used-car salesman. You are paying someone real money for this service. It’s disgraceful enough that some of these places boast they are “mom and pop” shops. In my opinion, this is only a good thing if you are running a restaurant. They either employ those who are right out of school or with no formal training at all. Please do your research. You would be better off with this elective scan at doctor’s office instead. A sonographer there is far more likely to detect a problem if one exists. At least your doctor or another physician would be in-house to discuss it with you and answer your questions.

Please Do Your Research!

I’ve made it no secret in my past posts that I’m not a fan of these cash cows. I believe that non-medical personnel should not be scanning pregnant women or utilizing medical equipment.

Even though this can be a fun experience for the family, the potential for serious issues is real. Please do your homework first, educate yourself, and make an informed decision. Giving these places your hard-earned cash may not be worth your while.

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Posted on April 29th, 2014 by

Sometimes it’s just effortless, well with the exception of trying to get this baby girl to just turn over!  We asked, she listened.  What a good little baby!  The result was just great imaging.  She was 27w3d here which is an optimal time for a 3D scan.  Babies have begun to develop some fat in their skin so cheeks look a little more plump now.

What you’ll see here is a great 2D facial profile, which is ideal for great 3D images and then two really sweet 3D images.  Mom was happy to share:)  She’s a keeper!

2D facial profile







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Posted on April 26th, 2014 by

It’s a curious thing..  Why do people assume in my job that if I say I can’t obtain a particular image, they don’t believe me? They can’t read ultrasound, know nothing of the technology or how to use it.  So why would a patient assume I’m not trying my best?  Because Americans want what they want..and it drives me crazy.

I document millimeter changes in appearance of certain structures and measure parts of the brain during an examination, and the patient assumes I’m knowledgeable as I click away taking images and measuring parts unknown to them.  At times, she will even make remarks like “Wow, I’m glad you can see that!” or “I sure am glad you know what you’re doing.”  My job can be quite intricate and patients tend to appreciate that aspect of what I do when it comes to diagnostics.  Yet, if I can’t get a good image of Baby’s face for a 3D, as during a recent experience, or if I can’t tell gender the patient assumes I’m not trying hard enough?  Or there is some magical trick to make Baby move that I am withholding to be spiteful?  I’m struggling to get an image of this face, pushing around on mom’s belly and rolling her from side to side.  I say a number of times that  Baby is just not in a good position..the baby is facing mom’s back and pressed into the uterine wall or placenta, hands and feet and cord are in the way..basically, everything that can be not ideal is.  The question I get?  “Can you try anyway?”

Really?  Why in the world would I  say I can’t see if I could?  And if attempting 3D would help, wouldn’t I have tried it already?  And if you trust that I can determine the normalcy of the structural appearance of your baby’s brain and vital organs, I can promise, getting the cutesy stuff is a piece of cake..if your baby cooperates..believe it or not.

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Posted on April 20th, 2014 by

Short and sweet today.  This cool little man says Happy Easter!

Here’s to spring, new beginnings and healthy new babies!


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Posted on March 28th, 2014 by

Is three company or is it a crowd?  I think when we are talking a uterus, crowded..definitely crowded.  Granted, they may start out with lots of wiggle room but space is a hot commodity by the end.

I scanned first trimester triplets the other day and couldn’t help feeling this woman has no idea what she is in for.  I know twins can be a quite difficult pregnancy so imagining three in the third trimester and as newborns is completely unfathomable.  They were IVF babies; two were implanted.  Go figure one of them would morph into two!  They were thrilled..and scared.

We really only scan anything beyond twins in the first trimester and then refer them out to the perinatologist for management of the rest of the pregnancy.  An ultrasound exam is quite easy early on.  My job is to determine how many babies are seen, how many main sacs (chorions) exist and how many amnions.  If two babies share a space, then it is important to try to discern a separating membrane between them.  We also measure each one for size and document normal heart rates and yolk sacs.

You can google images of triplets by ultrasound. I don’t personally have any to share!

I’m sure this couple I met is wondering how in the world they are going to get through the next several months, much less provide for three babies at the same time.  It’s like I always say, our babies come to us when they are ready..not necessarily when we are.  Sometimes they need a little company coming into this great big world.  Many families have done this before them; all of you with three buns in the oven will find a way, too.  There always seems to be enough love to go around.

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Posted on February 23rd, 2014 by

Okay, so we’ve talked about how some 3D images are impossible due to fetal position.  When Baby is facing Mom’s back, there is almost nothing you can do to get them to flip over!  These moms (and all family who joined in for the festivities) are totally bummed that Baby wouldn’t show off.  Often times for these exams, that’s all they show..their bums.

However, SOMEtimes babies are just in a fabulous position for 3D images so that obtaining them is just effortless..and beautiful!  This is one of those times!  Mom and Dad were a cute young couple who were so excited to get these great shots and had no problem with me sharing with the world:)

Here’s hoping your baby cooperates like this!



















She is so precious!



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Posted on February 6th, 2014 by

One of my readers sent me a few images of her baby boys!  Enjoy!  And please share yours, too!



Cute profile!



I love baby feet:)



Thumbs up, dude.



NO paparazzi!



A great profile!  He’s contemplating what he’ll do first today. many options.



Oh, I think I’ll just nap..

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Posted on February 4th, 2014 by

Calling all readers!

Everyone, especially me, can really appreciate a great ultrasound image.  So, send me some!!

If you are in possession of really great ultrasound images, please email them to me and I will share with the world.  If you have a great profile or 3D image of your baby’s face, great 2D images of hands, feet or funny things your baby did during your ultrasound, please share!  By the way, you know they’re great when your sonographer tells you so!

Most people love an opportunity to ham it up and, sometimes, so does your fetus!  Show us what you’ve got.

If you don’t have pics but burning questions instead, just click the “Ask Me” page.  Remember!  I’m not your doc and cannot give medical advice but I’ll do my best to fill your brain with ultrasound knowledge.

This was a great profile of Megan.  She’s now about 6 with long curly locks and beautiful:)


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Posted on February 1st, 2014 by

I added images to this post I made the other day for your comparison.  Check it out!

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Posted on January 28th, 2014 by

There’s been so much hype surrounding 3D/4D ultrasound and I have posted on this before but it’s been a while so it’s worth revisiting!

Your regular ultrasound is 2D, that is to say it is 2-dimensional so we only see two planes at a time.  Our regular vision is 3-dimensional so that we perceive depth.  Therefore, the ultrasound image is like looking at a flat piece of paper.  It carves out a 2mm slice thickness and we see whatever is in that plane.  We move the probe around in order to make a mental 3D picture in the sonographers’ mind so that we know how your baby is positioned and where to find all the parts.  It’s as complicated as it sounds!

We usually say the best time for a 3D scan is when you are about 27-28wks.  Yes, it’s possible to do it later but the farther along you are the more engaged the head gets, the less room baby has and the harder it can be to see..ergo, we may not be able to get good images.

What we need for a good image…

Baby needs to be looking up or even a little to one side with a great pocket of fluid in front of the face, no cord, limbs or placenta in the way!  If all these things are so, we can get AMAZING images!  If not, we can’t.  It’s kinda all or nothing.  Sometimes we can get a partial face shot but those are not always great.  See the image below:



Compare to the much better 3D image below.  Huge difference!


To further clarify, 3D is a frozen image, 4D is seeing baby move in 3D…yawning, sticking out the tongue, opening his/her eyes (which freaks some people out but I think it’s cool, of course).  So if baby is active, we can record these video clips.  We typically save all images and clips to a DVD for you to take home.

Be sure to ask your doctor about the policies regarding these exams at his/her office, especially regarding what time-frame they want you to schedule and their policy if baby is not cooperating.  If you can have this done at your doctor’s office, PLEASE, for the love of Pete, have it done there and not the local Peek-A-Boo-3DMommy-and-Me-good-for-nothing-and-nobody ultrasound turnstile.  Just my opinion;)


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Posted on January 9th, 2014 by

So, I know that what results in a total disappointment for patients and the whole entourage is a very uncooperative baby.  Fetus, Jr. has a mind of his own and, believe me, you can poke until the cows come home but he will still likely not turn.  Yes, sometimes they’ll kind of fake you out..wiggle a bit and turn the face a quarter of the way..and then back down.  Mom, Grandmas and dads-to-be are all rooting him on, pushing on the belly and talking to him with English he doesn’t yet understand, as if any of this will make him magically move into the position of choice.  Most of the time, they’re not having ANY of it.

I’m talking about 3D scans.  They are a total blast when baby is in a great position and the best time to do them is about 27-28wks.  But it’s sort of all or nothing.  A great position is baby facing upward toward mom’s belly with a great pocket of fluid in front of the face and no placenta, limbs or cord in the way.  Any of the above-mentioned parts will obscure baby’s face in a 3D rendering so that it just cannot be seen, therefore, making a 3D image not possible.  Also, trying to attempt a 3D too far into the third trimester is a mistake.  Baby usually gets that head engaged quite low, obscuring part of the forehead and eyes, and fluid slightly diminishes as you get farther along so that will also make the probability quite low that a good 3D scan can be obtained later in pregnancy.  Now, let me disclose that I certainly have gotten some great images later in the 3rd trimester but it was totally by chance, not the norm and I just don’t recommend scheduling them that late!  And, I can’t really say for sure…  I’m assuming you are now asking, “Well, when is too late??”  I think after 30-31wks, you may be SOL.

If baby is cooperating, it’s tons of fun (as I have a love of photography outside of the daily fetus, uterus and ovaries) and I just click, click away.  Some of the best 3D scans will yield a good 50+ images.   And fun is had by all.  If baby is camera-shy or just plain obstinate, we blame dad and end up turning mom every way but on her head to no avail.  I usually just let her come back the next week to try again..

Try eating a good meal (not m&ms and a Coke -although both are delish, I can’t encourage that!) about 30minutes before your scan.  Schedule it right after breakfast or lunch.  Babies usually get more active after a meal and this may help your 3D be a success.  You don’t want your baby doing cartwheels after a sugar high..this can make getting images more difficult.

Good luck and email me your great 3D images if you have them!  I’d love to share them with everyone in a post and other moms will love to see them!


What a cutie!

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Posted on August 17th, 2012 by

Sometimes, the answer to that question is a big fat no.  It’s actually a little condescending to us sonographers who always try to give a patient great ultrasound pictures and will usually give MANY images if baby is cooperating so it implies that we are not TRYING to give you great pics.  I know that some sonographers are just downright unfriendly and unhappy in their hospital jobs (prey tell, why?) so I cannot say this is not sometimes the case, unfortunately.  In ultrasound, fetal cooperation IS the name of the game.  If baby doesn’t cooperate, cute pictures simply are not gonna happen.  Especially when baby is facing mom’s back, it then becomes very difficult for me to see the specific organs and structures that I need to document much less to be able to get cute pics of the face.  Because of the way ultrasound works, baby needs to be facing upward toward mom’s belly in order to see the face well.  Usually, if baby is in this position without limbs or the cord in the way, we can typically get some really great shots of the fetal facial profile.  The feet and hands are cute but it is seeing that face that identifies us with another person.  Without this shot, the patient usually leaves feeling a little empty-handed.  Poo.  I hate when this happens.  I usually apologize profusely and just say that their baby simply did not want to cooperate that day.

Also, the one major thing that can hamper images..weight.  I will never say this to a patient when she asks the above question but it is truth.  The more tissue the sound waves have to penetrate, the worse the image will be on the monitor…Ultrasound Physics 101.  So, unfortunately, the more a patient weighs, the less likely it will be that I can get good pictures no matter what position baby is in.  Same for 3D.  We cannot tell a patient who weighs 300lbs that she cannot have a 3D scan, but we know it will simply not be a good one and we just try to get her the best images we can.

So, at the end of the day, we can jiggle all we want, we can poke at the belly and we can stand mom on her head but sometimes those babies just won’t budge.  “Can’t you get me better pictures?”  For the 20th time this week, I’ll just smile , apologize and hand her an image of a penis and a foot.

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Posted on July 4th, 2012 by

The question of the day pertains to freestanding 3D ultrasound imaging businesses..let’s say, in your local mall.. To do or not do?!

Well, parents, all I can do is give you my professional and very own personal opinion.  No way in hell would I ever advise someone to visit one of those cash cows much less pay them for it.  SOMEtimes, the people scanning you are not even certified (having completed a formal ultrasound program) or registered (having also passed a registry examination in the field of OB/GYN with at least a couple of years experience).  They sometimes “train” someone to find a face, hand or foot and teach them to hit a few buttons.  Really ticks me off a business like this can even be established.

Firstly, performing ultrasound well requires highly-specialized training and years of experience to become a really good and competent sonographer.  It’s not learned overnight and recognizing certain pathology can take years.  I know you really want to know the gender of your baby but at what cost?  You also want your sonographer to be correct!!  The less experience someone has, the greater the chance there is the gender determination could be incorrect.   This is precisely how these things happen.  I don’t care if it’s an OB doc who does very little scanning or a new sonographer to the field..inexperience is inexperience.

Also, many of these places will either overlook a fetal abnormality or, if inexperienced, not recognize one altogether.  Who do you want telling you that your baby has a problem??  Your OB doc, of course, that you respect and have developed a relationship with in your pregnancy.

Furthermore, it is my professional opinion that no one should lay hands on you that is not of your OB doc’s practice.  The cash cows will be miffed that I’ve said this but it’s my site and I can be as honest as I’d like, right???!!!  I’m telling you this for your own protection.  Let your doctor’s office be the only one providing you with all the care you need.  Chances are, in this day and age, most OB docs have 3D services they can offer you.  Anymore, it is a matter of software that is added to practically every ultrasound machine manufactured.

Work with me, people.  If you don’t visit them, they’ll have no choice but to close their doors.  It’s the innocent ignorance of the public on this issue that keeps them open.  But they don’t want to tell you any of the above..or just maybe you WILL stop going to them.

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