Frequent Questions About 3D, 4D & HD Ultrasound

The questions listed below are the most frequently asked questions about our Elective Prenatal 3D Ultrasound, 4D Ultrasound & HD Ultrasound packages. Should you have any questions that are not answered below, please call or text us at (408) 604-VIEW (8439).

2d ultrasound, 3d ultrasound, 4d ultrasound and hd ultrasound comparison images

2D ultrasound is the standard black and white ultrasound image you will typically receive at your doctor’s appointment. 3D ultrasound images show much more detail of the baby’s facial features. 4D ultrasound shows the movement in the womb of your baby Finally, HD ultrasound shows even more detail and a richer color.

What is an elective prenatal ultrasound?

We offer elective 2D, 3D & 4D prenatal ultrasounds to provide a proactive, positive bonding experience for the mother, father and family members with the unborn baby. Realistic surface images provide a connection between the parents and baby that can be beneficial to the whole family. A medical, diagnostic ultrasound 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.

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

ABSOLUTELY NOT! Women seeking an elective prenatal ultrasound with Belly Bean must already be receiving treatment with a healthcare provider for prenatal care and have already undergone 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 Belly Bean is strictly an elective ultrasound. We demonstrate and document only the existence of a heart beat. Please note, at no time is this elective experience to be confused with, or used in place of, a diagnostic ultrasound.

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

Extensive studies conducted over 35 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. These routine scans would be considered highly irresponsible if there were even a small risk to mother or baby. 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 sound exposure.

Do I need an appointment?

Yes, appointments are necessary for all of our services.

How long does the 4D ultrasound take?

Depending on the package you choose, the 4D ultrasound session will last between 15 and 30 minutes. However, plan on spending an hour with us for select packages so we can select and print your favorite photos from the session.

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

If you plan on having only one 4D ultrasound session, we would recommend having the ultrasound performed 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. Many mothers obtain more than one 4D ultrasound and have images to enjoy from their second and third trimesters.

Will I always get a beautiful picture of my baby?

Usually, but not always. Sometimes if the baby is looking face down, i.e. towards your spine, it may be difficult to see the baby’s face. Other factors that can influence the images are gestational age, amount of amniotic fluid, and maternal obesity. We will be happy to discuss with you our policies and your options should your scan be difficult to obtain.

Can I bring my family and friends?

Yes. In fact, we encourage our clients to invite family and friends to attend the elective 4D ultrasound session. This is a joyous and wonderful experience, one that can be shared with your family and loved ones.

Are you able to tell the sex of the baby?

Yes, in most cases we can provide an indication of the sex 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 sex.

Is the 4D ultrasound covered by 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, Mastercard and Visa as forms of payment.

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

We use the state-of-the-art GE Voluson to complete all ultrasound sessions. The GE Voluson has been seen in GE television commercials and many printed articles from around the world. This machine is the finest HD (2D, 3D, 4D and HD technology). Please note, many organizations claim to offer 5D Ultrasound and claim to use “state-of-the-art” equipment, when in fact they use older or inferior technology and no 5D ultrasound (see below)

What is 5D Ultrasound?

5D ultrasound is an “automated software program” found on high end ultrasound machines that assists the technologist by automatically obtaining multiple views as well as automatically measuring various parts of the fetus. This new technology helps standardize measurements and increases the efficiency of the technologist by reducing overall scan time through automation. This is not any type of 3 dimensional imaging. 3D, 4D and HD Live are all very different from 5D ultrasound. 5D technology will most likely never be found at any 3D Ultrasound facility as it is an aid for diagnostic ultrasound procedures.

Please read about this technology at the following website “” and in the search area just type 5D ultrasound. You can also go to YouTube and watch “What is 5D Ultrasound Medical Technology? By Samsung Business USA. Some videos you may find show HD live technology and call it 5D ultrasound technology but it is not. With-that-said, Belly Bean does have the latest HD live technology that is raved as 5D technology.

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