3D Ultrasounds

3D and 2D ultrasounds: what is the difference?

An ultrasound is a method of imagery that uses high-frequency sound vibrations (ultrasound) that bounce off internal tissues or organs to produce echo waves. Then, these waves are analyzed by a computer that recreates a multidimensional image.

  • 2D ultrasound gives a view of the internal anatomy of the baby in height and width.
  • The third dimension of 3D ultrasound is depth. It shows us a still, embossed and coloured image of the baby, in which we see his traits and his movements.
  • This technology has existed for almost 15 years.
However, 3D ultrasound is NOT a medical ultrasound because unlike the 2D ultrasound, it does not show the internal anatomy and the organs of the baby. That is why specialists often refer to it as “keepsake ultrasound”, because it only allows you to see (and get very emotional about it!) your little angel for the first time…

4D ultrasounds produce a 3D image in movement. In other words, it is a video where you can see your baby in action, like in those UC Baby videos.


The average rate for 3D/4D ultrasounds is $175, but it can cost up to $225 (like in Procrea clinics). This price usually includes a CD, a DVD and a few prints. Some private insurance plans cover all or some of the costs. It may be worthwhile to check with your company.

The 3D ultrasound is offered in many fertility and prenatal care clinics, like UC Baby, which has 19 clinics across Canada.

  • A session usually lasts 20 to 30 minutes.
  • The best moment to capture clear images of the baby is between the 26th and 30th weeks of pregnancy.
  • Because it uses the same type and the same intensity of waves as 2D ultrasounds, three-dimensional images represent no additional risk to the fetus and the mother.
  • The picture quality can also vary depending on the position of the baby, the presence of amniotic liquid in front of his face or the position of his hands.
  • And if you do not wish to know the sex of your unborn baby, you can tell the technician who will avoid the area…

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