Setting Expectations: What Can and Can’t Be Seen in a 3D/4D Ultrasound

When expecting parents book a 3D or 4D ultrasound at our clinic, it’s often with a mixture of excitement and curiosity.

These advanced imaging technologies bring you closer to your unborn baby, offering a glimpse into their developing world.

However, it’s crucial to set realistic expectations regarding what these ultrasounds can and cannot reveal.

This article will help you have clear and transparent guidelines of what can and can’t be seen during your 3D/4D ultrasound.

The Wonders of 3D/4D Ultrasound Technology

What You Can See

Facial Features and Physical Form

3D ultrasounds provide a detailed view of your baby’s facial features. You might see them sucking a thumb, or the shape of their nose, which makes for a heartwarming bonding experience.

Movements in Real-Time

4D ultrasounds add the dimension of movement, allowing you to see actions like yawning, smiling, and other fetal movements as they happen.

Physical Positioning

These scans can show the position of the baby in the womb, which can be fascinating as well as informative.

What You Can’t See

Predicting Physical Characteristics

While 3D/4D ultrasounds offer a clear image, they can’t accurately predict future physical characteristics like skin colour, hair texture, or other post-birth features.

In-depth Medical Analysis

These ultrasounds are not primarily diagnostic tools. They should not replace regular medical ultrasounds which are designed to evaluate the baby’s development and health.

Setting Expectations for Your Scan


The clarity of the images taken during a scan can be influenced by several factors. One key factor is the baby’s positioning in the womb. If the baby is facing away or has their hands over their face, obtaining a clear view becomes significantly more challenging.

Another important aspect is the gestational age. The optimal period for acquiring detailed images is typically between 26 to 32 weeks of pregnancy. Images taken before this timeframe might not be as clear due to the baby’s small size, while scans performed after this period may suffer from clarity issues as the baby becomes more crowded within the womb.

Maternal factors also play a pivotal role in the quality of the images. The characteristics of maternal tissues, along with the levels of amniotic fluid, can greatly affect the clarity of the images. In some instances, these maternal factors may result in images that are not as clear as one might expect.

Cherishing the Ultrasound Experience with UBM Scans


3D and 4D ultrasounds offer an incredible opportunity to connect with your unborn child.

At UBM Scans, we pride ourselves on providing memorable and comfortable bonding experience for you and your family.

While it’s important to understand the limitations of what these scans can show, these finite moments are invaluable. It’s a chance to see a glimpse of your baby’s world, creating memories that will last a lifetime.

Find out more about our 3D ultrasound services and 4D ultrasound services.

Ready to experience the magic of a 3D/4D ultrasound?

Book your session with us today and start a journey filled with wonder and love.