We are often asked when is the best time to do a 3D/4D Ultrasound? The truth is the answer is dependent on what the priority is. If determining/confirming gender is top of mind, then as early as 15-16 weeks is good for gender assessment right up until delivery. The benefit of coming earlier in the pregnancy rather than later is that we can visualize the whole baby on the screen at one time as opposed to having to view a larger baby in sections.
Babies start to appear fuller in the face around 24 weeks so if seeing a chubby baby with well defined facial features is your preference, we typically recommend 27 to 30 weeks as optimal, although we are often able to obtain great images well before and after 30 weeks. As babies get larger, 4D image clarity becomes largely dependent on the individual pregnancy. Women who have an above average volume of amniotic fluid around the baby enables us to push the 4D scan later, often up to 34/35 weeks or more without compromising image quality.
On the other hand, if the placenta is above the baby’s face (eg. anterior) we recommend coming in for the 4D scan no later than 27-28 weeks as the placenta can obscure facial imaging as the baby gets bigger.
Many folks opt to do the Double Take package which is a two-session package done in both the second and third trimester of the pregnancy. The benefit of this package is that in part one we can determine/confirm gender early if wanted (it’s optional though) and typically see a more active, younger baby occupying the full screen. In part two we can image a fully developed baby exhibiting lots of expressions and well-defined facial features.
When pregnant with multiples, gender can still be determined early on usually right up until delivery but if facial imaging is a priority, we recommend coming no later than 26 weeks as it usually gets tighter earlier on in the womb with multiples which can impair 4D clarity.