- What is ultrasound imaging?
Ultrasound is high-frequency sound waves, whose frequency is above the upper limit of the range of human hearing (approximately 20 kilohertz). The waves are transmitted through the mother’s abdomen and creates an “echo” where the sound wave bounces off of the object, or in this case, the part of the baby that is being examined using a special device (the probe that moves across your tummy). The echoes are then converted into a picture called a “sonogram”. Ultrasound imaging, referred to as “ultrasonography”, allows you to get an inside view of the developing baby without using invasive techniques.
- Is it safe?
Extensive studies have found that ultrasound has not been shown to cause any harm to mother or baby. Ultrasonography is safe for mother and baby and has been used in obstetrics since the late 1950’s and early 1960’s. It is non-invasive and has multiple purposes during pregnancy including confirming the pregnancy, checking for defects and the growth of the baby. Ultrasound does NOT use any radiation, such as X-ray. It only uses sound waves to look inside the body to view the baby.
- What is the difference between 2D, 3D, and 4D ultrasound?
A 2D ultrasound is most often the ultrasound that you will get at your doctor’s office as part of your routine prenatal care. It visualizes the baby in planes (or layers). The images are in black and white. It is often used to determine baby’s heartbeat and anatomy or determining gender.
A 3D ultrasound is a three-dimensional “still” view of your baby in color. It is like a photograph. The results provide an amazingly clear view of the baby. You can see surface detail such as their adorable little noses and precious little toes. You can even see bits of their hair growing! It’s that amazing!
A 4D ultrasound streams 3D ultrasound images together into “real” time live motion, which can be captured on video. With 4D imaging, or “3D Live”, you can capture what your baby is actually doing; every kick, smile, stretch, or yawn. Just imagine that! You could actually see your baby’s first smile before he or she is ever even born! This is what makes 4D imaging so great, it allows for you to develop such a special connection with your baby before it is even born. You no longer have to “imagine” what he or she will look like…you will know!
- What is an “elective” ultrasound?
An elective ultrasound, also known as a “limited diagnostic ultrasound” only identifies the fetal number & presentation, heart beat, location of placenta, and amniotic fluid volume. It does NOT in ANY way replace the full diagnostic ultrasound you must receive at your doctor’s office to check the biophysical profile, screen for the presence of any anomalies or defects, and to look for any other pregnancy related issues.
- Do I still need to get an ultrasound at my doctor’s office if I have one at Prenatal Miracles?
ABSOLUTELY!!! No question about it. In order to receive an elective prenatal ultrasound at Prenatal Miracles, you must already be actively receiving prenatal care with a physician. The elective ultrasound you will receive at Prenatal Miracles is only serving to provide a positive bonding experience between you and your baby!
- Do I need a note from my doctor saying it is OK for me to get an elective 3D/4D ultrasound?
No. However, you do need to provide your doctor’s name, address, and telephone number at the time of the appointment in case an anomaly is incidentally detected during the elective ultrasound so that we may notify your doctor at once.
- Do I need to schedule an appointment?
Yes, appointments are necessary. We recommend that you schedule your appointment 2-3 weeks in advance as our appointment times fill quickly, especially if seeking an evening or Saturday appointment. However, we do have cancellations from time to time, so you are more than welcome to call at any time. We will do our very best to meet your needs.
- What if I want an ultrasound but I don’t want to know the gender (sex) of my baby?
Not a problem! If you don’t want to know, we won’t tell you. You can have an absolutely wonderful time bonding with your baby without having to worry. We always ask if you would like to know your baby’s gender before we begin your ultrasound.
- When is the best time to schedule my ultrasound?
Between 16 weeks and 26 weeks is the best time to see the entire baby at once and to get gender determination (if desired). This produces a more exciting video because there is more room for your baby to move around and be active. Prior to 26 weeks, babies have not yet started putting on fat, so they won’t have that “Gerber Baby” look you might be expecting, however, you will get to see their entire body when they are moving. It’s very exciting!
Between 27 weeks and 34 weeks of pregnancy is the best time if you plan on having only one 4D ultrasound. This is when you will see facial features best. You’ll be able to pick out daddy’s chin, mommy’s lips, and big sister’s adorable little nose.
For full-figured mothers, it is best to schedule between weeks 32 and 34 of pregnancy.
After 36 weeks space can become an issue and it becomes more difficult to obtain high quality pictures. The baby may also be facing your spine, preparing for birth.
For multiple visits, we recommend coming in for your first session between 16 and 23 weeks; your second visit between 30 and 34 weeks.
**Please note: If you are having twins or multiples, the best time for you to have your ultrasound is between 23-27 weeks, however you can have an ultrasound as early as 18 weeks. Before 28 weeks is the best time to see your twins interacting with one another. Any later than this, there is less room for the twins to move making it more difficult to obtain good images.
- Why does it matter how much room the baby has to move?
The more room your baby has to move, the more you can watch their little ands and feet in motion, toes and fingers wiggling, and your baby’s face from all different angles. Also, if the baby is in a position that makes viewing difficult, it is easier to try to reposition for better imaging.
- What do I need to do before my appointment? Do I need a full bladder?
You do not need to have a full bladder for this type of ultrasound (thank goodness!). However, we do ask that you hydrate yourself well (with water) the 3 days before coming in for your ultrasound. It will maintain your amniotic fluid level, which will result in improved clarity and better images.
You do need to arrive approximately 10-15 minutes before you scheduled appointment so that you have plenty of time to fill out your paperwork, so that you are relaxed when your ultrasound begins. We want you to be able to focus on your baby and this wonderful experience.
- What should I expect during my ultrasound?
It’s best if you come with a comfortable shirt that you can raise easily. You will lie on a padded examining table and a small amount of warmed water-soluble gel is applied to the skin over your abdomen. The gel does not harm your skin or stain your clothes. A small device, called a transducer (or probe), is gently applied against the skin on your abdomen. You will be able to view the “still” 3D images and 4D “live” motion video of the baby on our large HD television screen, perfectly positioned for you and your family members. These pictures, or photos, will be saved to a CD-ROM in high-resolution .jpeg format that you will be able to print out, email, or post online. Depending on the package, you may also receive a DVD containing the entire ultrasound session. This is a perfect keepsake for you, your family, and your unborn baby.
- What kind of ultrasound machine do you use?
At Prenatal Miracles, we are proud to be using the very latest technology has to offer. We use the revolutionary Medison SA-X8. The X of the “X8” stands for eXtreme quality. It is the most advanced, premier system to use in ob-gyn. Medison pioneered the first digital imaging scanners in the 1980’s and then introduced the world’s first live 3D ultrasound technology in 1990. It is the best the industry has to offer. Many other companies claim to use “state-of-the-art” but are in fact using older technology, which results in less clarity of your baby and more “choppy” 4D motion.
- What happens if my baby is uncooperative during the ultrasound?
Obviously each scan is different, but we are very successful in getting just what we need. And although we are very skilled sonographers, there are some occasions where we have to get a little creative. If your baby is facing towards your back and is unwilling to turn and face us, we have some options. We will reposition you, or possibly have you step out and take a little stroll or get something to drink. But even then, sometimes it just doesn’t work, baby wins, and we have no choice but to ask you to return another time. Return visits are free if we cannot reveal gender or we cannot provide any face pictures at all. All other return scans cost $30.
- Who will perform my ultrasound?
All ultrasounds are performed by sonographers who are board certified with the American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonographers (ARMDS). Many other studios claim that they are a “certified provider” or use a “trusted seal”. They may even display emblems or group accreditation in their windows. What this in fact often means, is that they have no previous experience in ultrasound and have only completed a 3-day course in ultrasound training. This does not conform to the standards set by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the American College of Obstetrics & Gynecology (ACOG) and the American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine. The use of non-medical persons, who do not have adequate training, even though they are claiming to only provide “keepsake photos”, is discouraged and believed to possibly give women inaccurate or even harmful information. Additionally, many of the other companies are often unsupervised by a physician.
- Do you have a physician on staff?
Yes. We are the ONLY ultrasound studio that has Board Certified Radiologist Physicians on staff. If, during the course of providing an elective limited ultrasound, we suspect an anomaly or defect, we will notify your ob-gyn doctor at once. However, at no time does the ultrasound you receive at Prenatal Miracles replace the full diagnostic 2D scan you must receive at your doctor’s office. You must actively be receiving prenatal care from your doctor.
- What is an ARMDS sonographer? Do you need special training?
ARMDS (American Registry for Medical Diagnostic Sonographers) is a globally recognized standard of excellence in sonography. An ARMDS sonographer has at a minimum a 2-year associate’s degree and has attended medical classroom lectures and received clinical training. They have taken courses in anatomy, general physics and obstetric sonography and fetal anomalies. However, before becoming an ARMDS sonographer, they must then pass two comprehensive examinations, which includes a specialty. We use only ARMDS sonographers with a specialty certification in obstetrics & gynecology (OB-GYN). Other studios may either use someone who has no background in sonography at all, or had “on-the-job” training and have no formal certifications.
- Will I always get great images of my baby?
Most of the time, but not always. Every baby scans differently depending on its gestational age, position, amount of amniotic fluid, and maternal body tissue. We promise our very best efforts to obtain the best possible images of your baby.
- Can I bring family and friends? What about children?
All are welcome to share your very special moment with you! We never limit the age or amount of loved ones our clients wish to bring with them to share in their baby’s “big debut”. Our ultrasound room will comfortably seat 8, however, if you don’t mind standing room only, we don’t either! Our HD LCD television is large enough that everyone will have a great view of your baby.
- Is the 3D/4D ultrasound covered by my insurance?
No. This is a completely elective limited diagnostic ultrasound to promote the bonding of you and your baby, therefore, is not covered by insurance. Only a full diagnostic 2D ultrasound you receive at your doctor’s office is covered by insurance since it is done solely for medical purposes.
- What type of payment do you accept?
We accept cash, Visa, MasterCard, and ATM/Debit cards. We do not accept personal checks.
- How much will the ultrasound cost?
We have packages fitting just about anyone’s budget. Beware of other studios that appear to charge less. Some have entry packages for less than $99, however, often times you only get a 10-minute scan, with no keepsake DVD and a limited number of images on your CD-ROM for you to take home and share with your unborn baby once it grows up. We, at Prenatal Miracles, provide superior service with very competitive pricing. Click here to see our list of packages and pricing.
- Do you have gift certificates?
Of course! What makes a better gift to an expectant mother than the gift that will truly last a lifetime? Don’t bother with candy or flowers. A 3D/4D ultrasound is the perfect gift for any occasion or “just because”. It’s something she will never forget as long as she lives.
- What is your cancellation policy?
We ask that you please give us at least 24 hours advanced notice, as there are many mothers waiting to see their own baby’s “debut”. Therefore, less than 24 hours notice will result in a $50 no show fee.
- What should I do if the weather is severe?
In case of SEVERE WEATHER, please follow the Virginia Beach Public School closings. If Virginia Beach Public Schools are closed, we will also be closed. We do not want to jeopardize the health of our mommies and precious little ones. We will gladly reschedule you as soon as possible in the first available time slot at your convenience. If you are coming from a distance during severe weather and you feel it is not safe to come for your appointment please call ahead and we will gladly reschedule you as well.
Should you have any questions that have not been answered, please call us at
757-961-PEEK (7335) or send us an email at: firstname.lastname@example.org