All About 3D & 4D Ultrasounds Of Twins. When To Go, How To Prepare, Costs & Any Risks? Etc.
All About 3D & 4D Ultrasounds Of Twins.
When To Go, How To Prepare, Costs, & Any Risks? Etc.
Pregnancy is really the most exciting time in any woman’s life. When you multiply that by two, not only is the wonder and excitement increased, but you can’t help but imagine, ‘What is going on in there? I wish I could take a peek!’ Nowadays that is entirely possible.
Most women are ecstatic to have these memories captured for them on ultrasound to share with others. Usually these are regular photos from 2D ultrasounds that are given out after a woman’s pregnancy scan. (Be sure and ask for such photos if you aren’t automatically offered them.)
There is a way to go above and beyond the typical black and white almost skeletal, still photo. It’s called 3D/ 4D ultrasound technology, and most likely is available near any place you live. You can easily look it up in your phone book, or with a couple strokes of the keyboard, you can do a search revealing plenty of offices in your area.
The movie part of things is what the 4D stands for, and this can show you a side of your baby twins that you never imagined you could get a peek of before their birth. It’s them in live and complete action. If you are lucky they won’t be sleeping, but we’ll discuss that below. 3D are the still photographs such as these:
Their newborn pics resemble these. Same with my 5 yr. old dughter. Quite amazing.
Example of 3D picture of twins together.
Here are some common questions and concerns.
When is the right time to go for a 3d/4d ultrasound with twins?
This is very common question, and a good one at that. Go too early you will see a lot of movement which is very fun to watch, however, your babies will look very skinny and less defined. Some places offer packages where you can go in at around 16-18 weeks and then maybe 6-10 weeks later to get both sides of things, which is awesome.
For those who will be going for one ultrasound the question remains when should I go with twins? You need to find a happy medium. To me, it’s usually around 22-25 weeks. Twins run out of room in the uterus quicker then a singleton, so if you had a 3D ultrasound in a prior pregnancy you may want to bump it up several weeks.
For full body shots, 16-18 weeks is best, but then again, you will see very skinny, skeleton-like looking babies, but more of them. After about 22 weeks with twins you will get 1/2 body shots. Example from the chest up, but they can still move a bit, and you’ll see SOME action still.
The more time that goes by, the more well defined the facial features will look, and the more fat layers underneath the skin, making for that ‘chubby baby look’, but you don’t want to wait too long with twins, as they will start to smoosh each other, and it will be really hard to get decent shots of the face, when they start running out of space in there. I’d say by 24, 25 weeks tops, but it is a personal choice. I liked my timing.
With a singleton I had 3d/4d ultrasound done at 22.5 & 24.5 weeks. I was very pleased with the pictures and the video. With twins I went at 23 weeks & 2 days, and 25 weeks for the other twin who decided to be difficult. There was more movement to be seen at the 1st ultrasound.
By the second one you could tell room was getting scarce. (We had to come back due to uncooperative baby B. Expect that MAY happen, so leave yourself some room for that, just in case) The face was a little more chunky, but not a huge difference. At 25 weeks baby A decided to be uncooperative. I wouldn’t have gone in any later then this last one. Twins tend to come early anyway.
This is just showing what babies at different stages of pregnancy look like in 3D. These are singletons to get the best glimpse.
*Note: Babies will be far more cramped x’s 2, so the 28-34 week scans won’t yield such results, as the ones below.*
Will I get to see the sex of my babies?
Gender determination via ultrasound can take place as early as 16 weeks gestation nowadays. (Sometimes even earlier, as shown below, but don’t bank on it.) The position and cooperation of the babies cannot be predicted prior to the ultrasound, but most places will guarantee you the gender by allowing you to come back until they can see what is ‘up’ or not, if you will. This is usually checked out in 2D mode, and then you are able to get a gander in 3D, as well.
I already knew with the twins via the CVS test, but with my 5 yo, I was hesitant to believe she was a girl after 2 boys, so I went in for confirmation and have the video that says, ‘I’M ALL GIRL.’ It’s quite funny. Of course the expertise of the person behind the controls is important, along with up to date, state of the art ultrasound equipment. Check out these things and the place’s reputation before going in.
Baby boy in 3D at 14 weeks & 2D ultrasound at 22 weeks.
Baby girl gender shot at 18 weeks.
How do I ensure I get the best look. How can I prepare?
Well, of course most of the job is up to your babies, but there are a couple of things you can do. HYDRATE YOURSELF! When you lack water in your body, the amniotic fluids can be lowered, and you do not get as nice and as clear of a shot as when fluid levels are high. Making sure you are taking in very good amounts of water in the days leading up to your ultrasound, certainly can help with your picture quality. DRINK UP. 😀
Sleeping babies in the right position mind you, may make for a pretty picture, but there won’t be any action. Solution? Drink or eat something sweet before your appointment. Yes ladies you are allowed to break the rules and indulge here, but do NOT over do it. A couple of glasses of OJ, or a piece of candy or a chocolate bar will do the trick. I went overboard and paid the price for it.
The babies were so hyped up after a Pancake Cottage strawberry banana pancake platter with apple juice and then a piece of candy on the way there. (Over kill, but who knew? I thought it’d be cool, but I ended up feeling guilty.) We did not get the best pictures, because they were going loco in there. The images were a bit rippled and not as clear as they would have been, had I just ingested the right amount of sweets. So don’t go overboard, but this trick really does work.
Get nice & hydrated in the days before the big ultrasound.
Sweets or sugary drinks can help before a 3D ultrasound, but in moderation.
How much will my 3d/4d ultrasound experience cost?
This will depend on where you go, which package you select, and your geographical location. If you live in California and New York, you will likely be paying more then somebody out in Iowa or something. That is basically a given. There are packages ranging from a ‘sneak a peek’ gender prediction ultrasound, to a gold package, where you can have two visits. Some have the 4D DVD, and others are just stills. I need both. 😉 Prices for these can range from $50-$300. (These are elective and NOT covered by insurance.)
I think I paid $250, and I’m in NY, so we are on the higher end of things. I got the second to best package to. I did NOT pay more for the second baby, but a lot of places do charge an extra fee for twins, so do ask prior to going. I will say it is an experience that you will never forget, and to have the photos and DVD of your babies before birth is such a wonderful memory, that to me, is invaluable, and worth far more than what it costs.
I definitely encourage any parents-to-be, to go for these ultrasounds once or twice (if you can afford it), during their pregnancy(ies). It helps with the bonding experience, and is just a miraculous event for you, your spouse, and family. Pregnancy can seem very long. It’s nice to have something mid-way to look forward to. These were my last, so there was no debating it. I was going!
Need a place to go? Call here to find a facility near you!
1-800-SONOGRAM if that helps you, or search online. Just thought I’d throw that out there!
Are these elective ultrasounds safe to have?
As far as everything we know, these ultrasounds are regulated and deemed to be perfectly safe. Just as safe as the in-office ultrasounds you receive from your doctor. They do NOT emit any more ultrasonic waves then a typical 2D scan. If I had any doubts at all, I would not have done it.
When you are pregnant with twins especially, you will be used to having far more scans then a singleton pregnancy. This is just like adding an extra one to that list, except for your own viewing pleasure, and also sometimes even your peace of mind. It really does help make things more ‘real’, and even helps with twin shock I find, since it’s often very hard to grasp that there are two real live beings inside of you.
There will always be those who will debate this, and think that it can potentially cause harm. But to date, there is zero physical evidence that any ultrasound technology can cause harm to unborn fetuses, and I have had quite a bit of experience without any ill effects, nor ever hearing of any ill effects from anyone else I know, online or off. It’s a fun, and safe experience to have.
Over 30 years of ultrasound technology has never been shown to harm a single mother or child. That speaks volumes to me, so go ahead and enjoy!