Frequently Asked Questions
About Elective Prenatal Ultrasound
Q: What is an elective prenatal ultrasound?
A: We offer elective 2D, 3D and 4D prenatal ultrasound with the express intent of offering expectant parents the opportunity to see their baby and to promote family bonding. We feel that seeing the realistic surfaces images of your baby and actually watching their movements, while still in the womb, helps establish a strong bond between parents, extended family and friends with the unborn baby.
Please note we do not make any claims that 3D ultrasound as used in our facility should be used to better assess the baby for abnormalities. You should have already had your routine 2nd trimester ultrasound examination which is used to assess the gestational age of the fetus and to evaluate for any abnormalities as well as the basic fetal anatomy.
Q: Can this type of ultrasound be used to take the place of an ultrasound at my doctor’s office?
A: ABSOLUTELY NOT!! Any woman seeking an elective prenatal ultrasound with Before the Stork 4D must be under the care of a doctor for her current pregnancy and needs to have previously undergone a medical, diagnostic ultrasound to confirm the due date, screen for fetal abnormalities and to look for any other pregnancy related concerns. During your elective ultrasound at Before the Stork 4D, we will confirm the position of the baby, number of babies in the pregnancy and confirmation of the babies heart-rate. Please note, at no time is this exam to be used in lieu of a complete diagnostic ultrasound.
Q: Is 3D/4D ultrasound safe? Is there any risk to me or my baby?
A: Ultrasound has been performed and studied for more than 30 years. Never has ultrasound been shown to cause ANY harm to mother or baby. Today, ultrasound is routinely used in all pregnancies in the United States. 3D/4D sonograms uses the EXACT same type an intensity of ultrasonic waves that is used with traditional 2D ultrasound.
Q: What is the difference between 3D and 4D?
A: The 4th Dimension or (4D) is the element of time, added to the 3D image of your baby, so in 4D we are able to watch the baby’s movement in real time. This is what is recorded onto the DVD or video. The 3D images are still pictures captured during your ultrasound.
Q: How long will my appointment take?
A: Plan on spending about 45 minutes with us. Depending on the package you choose, your 3D/4D ultrasound session will be between 10 – 20 minutes, but please arrive a little early to fill out your paperwork. By the time you leave, you will have your video or DVD and all of your pictures ready to take with you!
Q: What do I need to do before my appointment? Do I need a full bladder?
A: You do not need to have a full bladder for this type of ultrasound (thank goodness!) We do ask the following:
- Please arrive 5 – 10 minutes prior to your scheduled appointment time to fill out your paperwork so we can use your full time for your ultrasound.
- If you do NOT have gestational diabetes, please drink your favorite juice or soda 20 minutes before your appointment to help wake up your baby.
- Remember to bring a picture of the ultrasound your doctor ordered for you. We use it to confirm you are under prenatal care. We will photocopy it and give it right back to you.
Q: How much does it cost?
A: Please click on here or “Our Pricing” tab at the top of the page for a list of our packages and their prices.
Q: Do I need an appointment?
A:Yes, please call the office of your choice to make your appointment. We recommend calling about two weeks ahead of time if you need to come in on a Saturday, Sunday or if you need an evening appointment. If you can come during the week, you can usually call a week ahead and we can find a time that fits into your schedule.
Q: When is the best time for me to have a 3D/4D ultrasound?
A: If you plan on having only one 4D ultrasound, the best time to come is between 26-30 weeks. We do have a package where you come twice, to see how your baby grows and changes during the last phases of your pregnancy. If you would like to come twice, your first appointment would be between 21- 24 weeks and the second between 27-32 weeks.
Q: Will the pictures of my baby look like the ones I see on the website and brochure?
A: We usually get great pictures. However, there are several factors that affect the clarity of the images we get. The baby’s position, the possibility of the baby having an arm, leg or foot blocking the face, the amount of amniotic fluid and tissue density of the mother, and the gestational age can all affect the outcome of the pictures. If we do not get any pictures on your first visit, due to the baby’s position or objects obstructing our view of the face, we will bring you back and try again.
Q: What is your return policy?
A: If we are unable to get any pictures of your baby on your first visit, we will invite you to come back with in one week for no additional charge. If on your second visit, we are still unable to get pictures (due to the baby’s position) but feel that good pictures are obtainable, you can choose to come back a third time, for a $30 fee.
Q: Can I bring family and friends?
A:We encourage you to invite those
closest to you to share in this amazing experience. However,
both of our offices can comfortably seat at least
5 other adults. We never limit the number of guests you
Q: Can you tell the sex of the baby?
A: All of our packages come with
a gender determination/confirmation (if desired). In most
cases we are able to confirm the gender, however we can not guarantee
that the baby will cooperate. The earliest we do gender
confirmation is 15 weeks. If you are coming in for a “Gender
Check” package and we are unable to tell you the gender,
we will invite you back again in a week for no additional charge
to try again.
Q: I am having twins (or triplets). When should I come in for my 4D ultrasound?
A: The best time is between 24-26 weeks. Please book your appointment accordingly. Also, note that because we want plenty of time to try to get images on both babies, your ultrasound session will be twice as long, and you will get more pictures than someone with a singleton. Because of these factors, we add $70.00 to the price of any of our 4D ultrasound packages.
Q: Is this covered by my insurance?
A: Currently, insurance does not pay for this elective procedure. You will need to cover the cost of the appointment at the time of the service. We accept cash, MasterCard and Visa.
Q: What kind of ultrasound machine do you use for the 3D/4D ultrasound?
A: We use the state-of-the-art GE Voluson 730. This machine is the best 2D, 3D and 4D ultrasound machine available. Please note, many other ultrasound studios claim to use “state-of-the-art” equipment, when in fact they are using older and inferior technology, resulting in a lower quality 3D/4D image.