Skip to main content

What’s the Difference Between 2-D, 3-D, and 4-D Ultrasounds?

What’s the Difference Between 2-D, 3-D, and 4-D Ultrasounds?

Congratulations on your pregnancy from the team at Southern Crescent Women’s HealthCare in Fayetteville, Newnan, and Stockbridge, Georgia! We know that when you’re expecting, there’s nothing more exciting than meeting your baby and seeing what they look like for the first time. 

Thanks to advances in imaging technology, today’s ultrasounds make this a possibility sooner than ever before. There are a few kinds of ultrasounds, and they can be used for routine care, to make a diagnosis, and, in the case of keepsake ultrasounds, to give you a memory for a lifetime.

What are the different ultrasounds?

Most women have at least one ultrasound during their pregnancy as part of routine prenatal care. Your provider uses the information from the ultrasound to check on your baby’s development and diagnose any complications. 

Different ultrasounds provide different pictures, from “flat” two-dimensional (2-D) images, to more realistic three-dimensional (3-D) studies, to four-dimensional (4-D) images that include movement and sound. Here’s what’s involved with each:

2-D ultrasounds

Two-dimensional ultrasounds are the most common type of prenatal ultrasound. These ultrasounds use sound waves to create “flat,” black-and-white images that reveal your baby’s skeletal structure and allow your provider to view the infant’s internal organs. 

This type of ultrasound is typically for diagnostic purposes. For example, your provider may use a 2-D ultrasound to confirm pregnancy, estimate your due date, and look for any physical abnormalities or birth defects. 

3-D ultrasounds

Three-dimensional ultrasounds also use sound waves to create images of your baby. However, 3-D ultrasounds put together multiple 2-D images from different angles, resulting in a 3-D picture of the unborn baby. 

This means that instead of seeing the outline or profile of your baby’s face, you can see their facial features more clearly. Your provider may also use a 3-D ultrasound to get a more complete picture of your developing infant as needed. 

4-D ultrasounds

Like 3-D ultrasounds, 4-D ultrasounds also create a more lifelike picture of your baby. However, 4-D ultrasounds create a live-video effect, allowing you to see your baby move and make expressions, such as yawning, smiling, or blinking.

What are keepsake ultrasounds?

Keepsake ultrasounds are nondiagnostic ultrasounds. In other words, these imaging studies are done to give you and your family a sneak peek at your growing baby and create memories together, not to perform routine care or diagnose a condition.

At Southern Crescent Women’s HealthCare, you can choose from the following types of keepsake ultrasounds:

Keep in mind that gender 2-D ultrasounds take place around 16-18 weeks, while 3-D and 4-D ultrasounds are offered around 28-32 weeks.

Are there any benefits to keepsake ultrasounds?

Absolutely! With keepsake ultrasounds, you get to revisit your baby again and again through the photos and DVD recordings. In addition, you also experience additional benefits, including:

The team at Southern Crescent Women’s HealthCare takes time to answer your questions and address any concerns. We want you to feel comfortable, so you can decide when it’s the right time to visit your baby on screen.

To schedule a keepsake ultrasound, or for more information about the different ultrasounds, call 770-991-2200 or book an appointment online with Southern Crescent Women’s HealthCare today.

You Might Also Enjoy...

Fetal Movement: What's Normal and Not

Fetal Movement: What's Normal and Not

Feeling your baby move is one of the most exciting parts of pregnancy. But it can be a source of concern, too, if you don’t know what to expect. Here’s a look at what’s normal and what’s not when it comes to fetal movement.
Is a Midwife Right for You?

Is a Midwife Right for You?

Are you pregnant and wondering if working with a midwife makes the most sense for you? Take a moment to learn about modern midwifery and the reasons partnering with one of the specialized providers helps you thrive during pregnancy and childbirth.
How to Get to the Bottom of Your Vaginal Dryness Symptoms

How to Get to the Bottom of Your Vaginal Dryness Symptoms

Do you struggle with vaginal dryness? Many women experience this uncomfortable condition as they age, but that’s not the only cause. Understanding the reason why you’re experiencing vaginal dryness is the first step to finding relief.

5 Reasons to Consider Pelvic Floor Therapy

Your pelvic floor plays a big role in your overall health. Read on to learn what the pelvic floor is, how a compromised pelvic floor can cause problems, and how problems with the pelvic floor can be treated.