3D scans show still pictures of your baby in three dimensions. 4D scans show moving 3D images of your baby, with time being the fourth dimension.
With 3D and 4D scans, you see your baby’s skin rather than her insides. You may see the shape of your baby’s mouth and nose, or be able to spot her yawning or sticking her tongue out.
3D scanning can also be useful to look at the heart and other internal organs. As a result, some fetal medicine units do use 3D scans, but only when they’re medically necessary.
There’s no evidence to suggest that the scans aren’t safe, and most moms-to-be gain reassurance from them. Nonetheless, any type of ultrasound scan should only be performed by a trained professional, for as short a time and at the lowest intensity, as possible.
If you’d like a 3D or 4D scan you’ll probably need to arrange it privately, and pay a fee. The clinic may also give you a recording of the scan on DVD, though this is likely to cost extra.