When's the best time to have a 4D scan?

Ultrasound scans  give you a fascinating snapshot of how your baby is growing and how their vital organs, including the brain, heart and kidneys, are developing. It’s a very special moment when you see your baby moving on that screen for the first time.

4D scans are called 4D because you see a 3D image of your baby that's moving in real time, not just a still image. This take things to a whole new level! The detail you are able to see lets you see your baby’s facial characteristics for the very first time. It’s mind blowing.

Ultrasound Direct’s 4D scan and Premium 4D Bonding Scan are offered between 24 and 34 weeks – the time period when our expert sonographers estimate you’ll get the very best views of your baby. This is because vital stages of development will be complete by then and the baby will be big enough to see, but there will still be enough room in the womb for the sonographer to get several different views. We recommend the best time to get your 4D scan is before 32 weeks to give us the best chance of seeing all the beautiful detail of your baby.

For multiple pregnancies (twins or triplets) the best time for a 4D scan is between 20 and 26 weeks, while there is still enough room in the womb to get a clear view of all the babies.

It’s important you choose this optimum time window to avoid disappointment: have one too soon and there won’t be as much to see and have it too late and there will be less room in the womb to get a clear view.

Why choose a 4D scan?

4D scans are not available on the NHS so if you’re wondering why you should pay for one privately – here’s what you’ll get for your money.

  • You’ll see your baby’s organs close up in real time
    With a 4D scan you'll get to see your baby's internal organs – this means you’ll see their heart beating in three dimensions rather than the two dimension of normal scans. A checklist of other health indicators will also be measured. Ultrasound Direct’s sonographers measure your baby’s growth and calculate an estimated birth weight and check the health of the placenta.

  • You’ll see their face in detail
    This is your big chance to see the shape of your baby's nose or mouth and get a much clearer idea of what they’ll look like when they’re born. You'll also get to see your baby moving around, yawning, sucking their thumb or playing with their umbilical cord.

  • You can find out out the sex of your baby (or not)
    If you can’t wait to find out if you’re having a boy or girl, your sonographer can give you the option of finding out.

  • You’ll have that bonding moment
    Seeing your baby up close on a 4D scan can help you bond and feel closer to them and it’s a great way to introduce your new addition to other members of the family and prepare them for the birth, especially siblings.