The Pros and Cons of 4D Scans

4D ultrasounds have shown to have no negative side effects and are just as safe as standard ultrasounds. They can provide additional benefits, and offer high-quality images.

4D Ultrasounds

Wouldn't you love to see your baby moving inside your womb? It's made possible through 4D ultrasounds! This technology works by reproducing a moving image of the baby in the womb. A 3D ultrasound shows a three-dimensional picture of your baby while a 4D takes it to another level.

Using this technology is like watching a live video, you can see what your baby is doing as they are doing it. The test is performed the same as a regular sonogram, you lie on your back and gel is applied to your abdomen. The technician then slides an instrument known as a transducer around the area in circular motions. This sends sound waves through the abdomen to the uterus, bouncing off the baby and echoing back to be translated on the screen. This picks up baby's movements in real time for you to watch.


The 4D ultrasound offers real benefits for assessing the fetus's prenatal condition with much clearer images.  It gives a real-time look at the face, breathing and movement of limbs which could lead to a much clearer picture of the health of your baby. Prenatal neurodevelopment issues would be discovered more often than what a 2D scan could offer. This test, performed in different periods of gestation, shows the fetal behavior and brain development, making it possible to determine normal versus abnormal central nervous system conditions and diagnose any structural or functional problems.

The 4D ultrasound makes possible the fetal assessment of normal versus abnormal behavior patterns, making it possible to determine fetal brain impairment. It also, of course, shows the healthy development of your baby and can ease your mind that everything is going normally during your pregnancy while giving you HQ images to share with daddy, family, and friends.


Anything you do during pregnancy could pose a risk, but experts seem to agree that 3D and 4D scans put you and the fetus at no more of a risk than a regular 2D ultrasound would. They use the same frequency of wavelengths to conduct the tests. However, doctors normally limit the length of the test to thirty minutes as the longer the test, the more wave exposure the fetus is subjected to. Not knowing the side effects of prolonged exposure, they limit the amount of time spent on the test.

The FDA sets the standards for ultrasound scanning, the intensity of the waves. The machines are designed to shut off or give an error message if something goes wrong. Ultrasound waves create heat and the FDA studies show this may heat the tissues slightly, which could cause gas pockets in tissues and fluids, but the long term effect is not known.

Additional Reasons

A regular sonogram is an integral part of your doctor’s evaluation of your baby's size and health. They will normally ask for a 4D scan if they suspect something out of the ordinary and want a clearer picture to assess the situation and it is advisable to do so. You may also request one, but they are usually not covered by insurance and must be paid for out of pocket. Subjecting your baby to any unneeded tests, though, is not always the best idea, although there is no scientific test showing any harm could come to the fetus.

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