The Science Behind 4D Pregnancy Scans



Every parent longs for the first ultrasound scan of their baby. It is an exciting and emotional time to look forward to, and gives an insight to the growth and development of your baby. With the development of 4D scans, we are now able to see a three-dimensional moving image of your baby as it grows.

At Take A Peek, we offer these innovative 4D ultrasound scans at between 16 and 31 weeks of the pregnancy. The best time to come to see your babies features is between 27 and 31 weeks. Through this technology, you’re able to see detailed features of your baby, capturing its movements. See your baby pointing and smiling before it even meets the outside world.

How does it work?

The 4D pregnancy scans combine the usual 2D technology by using sections of these images to create a 3D image, which give you real-time access to the movements of your baby in the womb – this is seen as the ‘fourth dimension’ of the resulting image. It is more than just a picture, as you see your future child as a little living human before you even meet them. All scans are made by using ‘ultrasound’ – sounds outside the range of human hearing – to create a wave that passes through the stomach. Where the density changes, some waves are reflected back to a special sensor, in turn feeding back information to a computer. The computer then interprets this data to create the image.

Why is there a best time?

The optimum time to undertake a 4D scan is stated to be between 27 and 31 weeks. Any earlier baby will not be quite as chunky, needing to acquire some fat before their features will be visible enough. If later than recommended, then baby just gets squashed up. Your baby may have moved position in the lead-up to its birth, so it will be more difficult to pick out its features, especially if you can’t see their face!

Is it safe?

In trained hands it is. Whilst some may be wary of new technology, you can be rest assured that there is no scientific evidence of side effects on either mother or baby. Ultrasound technology has been in use for foetal development since the 1950s, and the 4D scans are no different to the ones you’re used to. You can rest assured that at Take A Peek, we are experienced NHS sonographers.

Can I get it on the NHS?

As 2D scans are essential for keeping track of your baby’s growth and development, 4D scans are not, therefore they are not available for free on the NHS. However, at Take A Peek, we do have discounts for those who work in the NHS, as well as those in the Armed Forces. On rare occasions, it may be recommended you get a 4D scan, but most of the time it is something parents choose to do purely for their own joy and pleasure of having a child. Whilst a 4D scan is not essential, it can help you bond with your baby before the birth – which may help with the inevitable pain of giving birth!

Contact us

We have our clinic in St Helens. If you are in the Manchester or Mersey region and interested in a 4D scan, please get in contact. We also serve a variety of other areas, including Wigan, Leigh, Widnes, Ormskirk, Southport, Blackburn, Chorley, Preston, Bolton, and Liverpool.