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What is 2D, 3D, 4D scanning?

2D ultrasound produces a simple black and white 2 dimensional image of your baby. This is produced by passing harmless, high frequency sound waves from the little probe into the womb. As the sound passes through the different tissue densities, it is reflected back to the probe and the image is created – in 2 dimensions.

3D ultrasound simply means adding a third dimension to the image, allowing you to see the detailed features of your baby’s face. We use a different shaped probe which simply allows the sound to be transmitted in more directions than the standard 2D probe. This enables more information to be reflected back to the probe which then creates the image – in 3 dimensions.

4D ultrasound is the addition of a fourth dimension, which is time adding real time, to the 3 dimensional image. This technique allows you to see your baby moving in a way you never thought possible. See your baby yawn, suck on their little fingers, stroke their noses, and exhibit many of the behaviour patterns of the newborn creating the ultimate bonding experience.

How do I book?

There is no requirement for you to be referred by your GP or other health care provider. You simply refer yourself. We are fully qualified providers of diagnostic ultrasound services. We work to a regulated clinical framework to ensure standards are continually maintained. You can just call or email to discuss your individual requirements. You can be assured of a personal, professional service at all times.

Are these scans safe?

Since the introduction of ultrasound into general and obstetric care 30 years ago, research has been undertaken in hundreds of clinical studies. The current research shows there are no known hazardous effects associated with multiple first line scans provided the service is operated to recommended standards.

Routine scanning with ultrasound has been part of normal procedure in all pregnancies for many years. The ultrasound equipment used to produce the 3D and 4D scans uses exactly the same type and intensity as the more conventional 2D scanning equipment used in hospitals.

Provided the ultrasound service is being offered to the required, professional guidelines, and delivered by suitably qualified practitioners there are no contraindications.

At BabyFace4d we adhere to strict guidelines set out by the British Medical Ultrasound Society and all the scans are delivered in line with best practice.

The safety of diagnostic ultrasound continues to be researched and monitored by all the relevant professional bodies.

'I was disappointed with my NHS scan.' 'I felt rushed.' 'I had no time to ask questions.'

At BabyFace4d we offer bespoke services to all our clients. Our appointments are booked in a timely and respectful manner.

Do you and your partner work? Is making any appointment a problem?

We offer weekday, weekend and evening appointments.

Each client is given time, both before, during and after their appointment to discuss any queries and anxieties.

We see our service as being quite unique in these times of crowded waiting rooms and overbooked appointment lists.

Do you have any restrictions on who I may bring with me to the scan?

For 4D pregnancy scans, this can be a happy and sociable occasion and we can accommodate up to 4 guests please advise us if you would like to bring more. We would like to make you aware that this type of scan is not really suitable for the under 2’s . Why not get a babysitter to allow you and your partner to relax enjoy the special bonding time with your new baby. Big brother or sister can always watch the DVD recording with mum & dad at another time. Older siblings are welcome.

We must also mention that certain examinations may involve intimate scanning.

We do recommend that if you require a chaperone, please bring someone you feel comfortable with as there may not be suitable staff available on the day.

When is the best time to have a 3D / 4D scan?

Normally between 24 and 32 weeks is the optimal time for a 3D / 4D scan. In the case of a twin pregnancy, – double trouble! around 25 weeks is more suitable, because leaving it later will make a clear image of both babies more difficult as they grow and have less space!

What if a problem is found?

Our 2D, 3D and 4D scans are primarily undertaken to enhance parental bonding and maternal reassurance before birth. The scans offered at BabyFace 4D are not part of your routine antenatal care and should be considered as additional scans only. It is vital to the health and well being of both yourself and your unborn baby that you attend all your routine hospital antenatal appointments.

Our sonographers have many years’ experience in diagnostic obstetric ultrasound. If the sonographer becomes suspicious that there may be an abnormality, the findings will be explained as fully as possible. With your consent the sonographer will make arrangements to speak directly with your GP or health care professional responsible for your antenatal care.

Do I need to bring anything with me to the scan?

It is important that you bring your hospital / antenatal notes with you to the appointment. We may need contact details of your midwife / GP or obstetrician in charge of your antenatal care should the need arise.

Will I always get lovely pictures of my baby?

In most cases yes. Unfortunately, however, occasionally,it may not be possible as babies don’t always behave in the way we want them to. Sometimes, the baby may be facing the wrong way making it difficult for us to see baby’s face. If this happens we may ask that you take a gentle walk outside for a while and hope that baby moves. If we are still unable to obtain a satisfactory result after a second attempt on the day, then we will offer a further appointment at your convenience, free of charge.

Other factors can affect image quality on the day. The position of the placenta, the amount of amniotic fluid around the baby, hands across the face and the amount of maternal body tissue ( increased BMI )  between the ultrasound probe and the baby. These factors are unpredictable on the day.

BabyFace4D DVDs and CD-ROMs will be available to take away on the day of your appointment.

Please note that mounted colour prints will be sent out to you in the post.

Is there anything I can do to improve the chances of getting good images of my baby?

Empty your bladder 1 hour before your scan, then drink a sugary drink like orange or blackcurrant. Eat a piece of fruit, yoghurt or even a chocolate bar! All these things can improve the chances of a better quality picture and DVD.


The AIUM (American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine) has examined the increasing demand from patients for ultrasound examinations for bonding and reassurance purposes. It recommends that only registered qualified professionals with specialist training in foetal ultrasound perform all foetal ultra sound scans. This recommendation is also endorsed by the BMUS (British Medical Ultrasound Society). For more information please see: www.aium.org & www.bmus.org.