3D Ultrasound FAQ's

The questions listed below are the most frequently asked questions about our elective 3D/4D and gender determination ultrasound packages. Should you have any questions that are not answered below, please contact us at 623-977-3634.

What is an elective prenatal ultrasound?

We offer elective 3D & 4D prenatal ultrasounds to provide a positive bonding experience for the mother, father and family members with the unborn baby. We feel that realistic surface images provide a connection between the parents and baby that can be beneficial to the whole family. We make no claims that 3D as used in this examination is performed to better assess the baby for abnormalities. A routine ultrasound examination should have already been performed to assess the gestational age of the fetus and to evaluate for fetal anomalies as well as the basic components of fetal anatomy recommended for screening.

Does this take the place of an ultrasound at my doctor's office?

ABSOLUTELY NOT! Women seeking an elective prenatal ultrasound with Sweet Pea In 3D must already be receiving treatment with a healthcare provider for prenatal care and may only rely on a medical, diagnostic ultrasound ordered by their provider to confirm their due date, screen for fetal anomalies, and to look for any other pregnancy related issues. Your imaging session at Sweet Pea In 3D is strictly an elective ultrasound. It is for your enjoyment and bonding experience. Please note, at no time is this elective experience to be confused with, or used in place of a diagnostic ultrasound.

How is this different than the ultrasound performed/ordered by my Doctor?

Many women have a diagnostic ultrasound performed at 18-20 weeks. In some cases, your doctor or sonographer may even take some pictures and video of your baby in 3D/4D but this is a very different experience than an elective ultrasound at our facility. A medical ultrasound is focused on looking for abnormalities and performing diagnostic measurements. While fascinating, we feel this focus detracts from the relaxed environment and interactive bonding experience we provide and with the lengthy, unhurried session we schedule you for. In addition, the best pictures of your baby will be captured later in your pregnancy when the baby is bigger and more developed.

What is the difference between 2D, 3D, and 4D imaging?

2D, 3D, and 4D are trademarked terminology used in the industry to distinguish the different types of ultrasound pictures and videos that can be provided.

2D ultrasounds are the traditional black and white ultrasounds you have probably seen before. The pictures show the skeletal structure (outline) of the baby. This is the type of ultrasound that was probably used for your diagnostic ultrasound. It is still the best technology for gathering measurements of the baby and ensuring that the baby is developing as expected.

3D shows the tissue of the baby, which is more like real pictures. We can see the roundness of the baby's face, the shape of the nose and the contours of the lips. The color is actually not the color of the baby but is computer enhanced to make the pictures more appealing.

4D shows the tissue of the baby as the baby is moving. This will provide moving clips of your baby in action. The 4D video clips of your baby are pretty much 3D pictures—but in motion.

Is it safe? Are there any risks to me, or my baby?

Extensive studies over 30 years have found that ultrasound has not been shown to cause any harm to mother or baby. Routine scanning of all pregnancies is now normal throughout the United States. In 3D/4D scanning exactly the same type and intensity of ultrasound is used as with conventional 2D scanning. 3D and 4D Ultrasound both utilize sound waves to look inside the body. The technology is similar to radar. A probe placed on the body emits sound waves into the body, listens for the return echo and generates an image. 4D ultrasound will be similar to a conventional scan in terms of exposure.

Do I need an appointment?

Yes, appointments are necessary for all of our services.

How long does the 3D/4D ultrasound take?

We schedule a full hour for all of our 3D/4D ultrasound sessions and the ultrasound itself will last between 25-30 minutes. The second half hour will be used to choose the pictures of your baby you would like to print.

How far along should I be before I have a 3D/4D ultrasound?

If you plan on having only one 3D/4D ultrasound, we would recommend scheduling your appointment to take place between the 26th and 34th week of the pregnancy. However, excellent images of your baby can be obtained anytime after about 22 weeks of pregnancy and up until your baby's birth. Many mothers choose to have more than one 3D/4D ultrasound and have images to enjoy from their second and third trimesters.

23-26 weeks: Baby's facial features are starting to be defined and you can see more of the baby at once.

27-32 weeks: This is a good time for your second 3D ultrasound or if you are only going to come in for one session during your pregnancy. Baby's facial features are more defined and the baby still has room to move around. However, because baby is getting larger, you won't see quite as much of him/her at once as you would earlier.

33-36 weeks: A great time for beautiful facial shots if baby cooperates. Please be aware that increased crowding in the womb does make it more challenging to get specific pictures.

Will I always get a beautiful picture of my baby?

Usually, but not always. Sometimes if the baby is persistently looking face down, i.e. towards your spine it may be difficult to see the baby's face. If this happens, a repeat scan will usually succeed because the baby has turned to a favorable position. We make no promises that the images will be similar to those you might have seen elsewhere or even from our clinic, or that we can always meet everyone's expectations. Every baby scans differently, depending on its gestational age, position, amount of fluid, placenta location, location of body parts that may interfere with views of the face and mother's condition. We promise to make every effort to obtain the best possible images of whatever parts of the baby that can be seen.

How can I help get the best possible pictures of my baby?

First, pay attention to when your baby is most active during the day and try to schedule your appointment during that time. Second, pay attention to whether eating and drinking impact your baby's energy levels and try to eat or not eat right before your ultrasound. Many babies seem to perk up after Mommy drinks cold and/or fruity beverages so we recommend having a fruit smoothie on your way to your appointment. The most important thing you can do to ensure good pictures is to drink plenty of water in the days and week leading up to your ultrasound. The more hydrated you are, the clearer the pictures will be. By drinking plenty of water you can increase the amount of amniotic fluid surrounding the baby. Do whatever works for you and your baby so we can see him/her awake and in the mood to play.

Can I bring my family and friends?

Yes. In fact, we encourage our clients to invite family and friends to attend the elective 3D/4D ultrasound session. This is a joyous and wonderful experience, one that can be shared with your family and loved ones. We can accommodate up to 20 guests seated and many more standing.

Are you able to tell the sex of the baby?

Yes, in most cases we can provide an indication of the gender of the baby. We can't however guarantee that the baby will cooperate during your session. Certain factors such as body tissue content, developmental stage and fetal position all affect the ability to determine gender. If we are unable to determine this, we will bring you back at no charge to try again.

Is the 3D/4D ultrasound covered by my Medical Insurance?

At this point, insurance does not cover the costs of our ultrasounds. Since this is an elective procedure and is not intended to be a replacement for your doctor ordered ultrasound, you will need to pay the cost of this ultrasound as an out of pocket expense. We accept cash, checks, Visa, MasterCard, American Express and Discover cards.

What communities do you serve?

We are conveniently located in the west valley off the 101 at Thunderbird Rd. making us easily accessible from anywhere in the valley. Most of our clients live in the following west valley communities: Glendale, Peoria, Goodyear, Surprise, Phoenix, Estrella, Deer Valley, Luke Air Force Base, New River, Maryvale, El Mirage, Avondale, Tolleson, Buckeye, and Youngtown.

What kind of ultrasound equipment do you use to perform the 3D/4D ultrasounds?

We use the state of the art GE Voluson 730 Pro to complete all ultrasound examinations. The GE Voluson 730 Proinstead of Expert has been seen in GE television commercials and many printed articles from around the world. This machine is the best 2D, 3D, and 4D ultrasound machine available. Please note, many organizations claim to use "state-of-the-art" equipment when in fact they use older or inferior technology.

How much does it cost?

We have packages to fit just about anyone's budget. Click here for package options.