Ultrasound FAQ’s

Why should I choose to have an ultrasound performed at Baby Belly?

These simple reasons:

  1. All scans are overseen by an RDMS sonographer with years of experience in performing medical ultrasound scans for area OB’s. Experienced sonographers help insure your safety and that of your baby and that the very best images are obtained.
  2. We use the state-of-the-art Mindray DC-88 with iLive technology to complete all ultrasound scans. Nothing compares to it in terms of image capture, capabilities and quality.
  3. We follow the professional guidelines established for the length of scans and intensity of sound waves. Not all centers do.
  4. Area OB’s recommend us to their patients because they trust our sonographers!
  5. If you want to know gender, we’ll guarantee our accuracy… or your money back on our Gender Determination package.
What is Ultrasound?

Diagnostic ultrasound is the use of high frequency sound waves to visualize structures within the body. A small device called a transducer is used to send sound waves into the body, which are then reflected off of internal structures. The returning sound waves (echoes) are captured by the same transducer and sent to the attached equipment which electronically changes the echoes into a picture (image) of the internal structures.

What is 4D Ultrasound?

“4D” is shorthand for “four-dimensional” – the fourth dimension being time. As far as ultrasound is concerned, 4D Ultrasound is the latest ultrasound technology and it is exclusive to GE. 4D Ultrasound takes three-dimensional ultrasound images and adds the element of time to the process. The result: live-action images of your unborn child. We use the state-of-the-art Mindray DC-8 now with iLive technology to complete all ultrasound examinations, as seen in the GE television commercial and many printed articles from around the world. This machine is the best 2D, 3D and 4D ultrasound machine available. Please note, many organizations claim to use “state-of-the-art” equipment, when in fact they use older or inferior technology.

Is it safe?

Diagnostic ultrasound has been in use for over 40 years. The American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine (AIUM) has issued the following statement regarding the safety of ultrasound:

“There are no confirmed adverse biological effects on patients or instrument operators caused by exposures from diagnostic ultrasound instruments. Although the possibility exists that such biological effects may be identified in the future, current data indicate that the benefits to patients of the prudent use of diagnostic ultrasound outweigh the risks, if any, that may be present.”

The ultrasound imaging performed by Baby Belly uses ultrasound energy subject to the same limits as conventional (2D) ultrasound to create our 3D and 4D images. The amazing pictures and videos generated at Baby Belly are not the result of increased ultrasound frequency or power levels, but a combination of better transducer (the probe that rolls across mom’s belly) technology and sophisticated software interpretation of the sound waves generated.

Why do you still offer two-dimensional (2-D) Ultrasound?
Two-dimensional imaging is ideal for viewing heartbeat, fluid level, real-time fetal activity, hair (after 27 weeks) and gender. We always include 2D ultrasound with 3-D as they work together to show a full picture of the baby’s features and activity. The benefit of regular ultrasound is its ability to look “through” some obstacles, such a hand on the face. Also, the real-time movement shown in 2D ultrasound as well as your 4D session can be recorded on your video.

Do I Need a Note From My Provider to Visit Baby Belly?

It is essential that you are under the care of an OB/GYN and that he/she knows that you have requested our services. We are an optional service and do not replace any element of your prenatal care. Your ultrasound session will include a limited diagnostic scan to confirm heartbeat, the number of babies in the pregnancy, the position of the baby, the placental location, and the fluid level in the uterus. If you have medical concerns, we urge you to notify your health care provider. We give you a report and send a copy of the limited diagnostic report to your doctor as well.

What kind of training do your Sonographers receive?

Believe it or not there are no regulations in most states for who can perform ultrasounds. As a result, there are many facilities that do not employ medically trained sonographers. In contrast, Baby Belly employs Sonographers to oversee all scans who have gone through an independent and accredited multi-year program in medical ultrasound and who also have extensive experience in OB/GYN scanning. This allows us to provide you with both peace of mind and reliable imaging.


Do You Accept Competitor Coupons and Offers?

Of course! But, because packages may be structured differently at different centers, please let us know when you are making your appointment what your coupon says so we can let you know how that coupon will apply to our pricing. Coupon must also be presented at time of appointment and competitor must be within a 20 miles radius.

We also accept Spa Finder Gift Certificates for our Ultrasounds!

When is a Good Time for an Ultrasound?

Anytime is good for an imaging ultrasound, but you will see different things at different times. Many women choose to come in twice or more to see their baby at various stages (and we have specially discounted packages available for that reason).

After 16 weeks, we can accurately determine gender and you can see more of your baby at once and witness the amazing development already well underway. We typically recommend a 2D Ultrasound during this time.

Later, as babies build more fat, more facial features can be seen. More fat creates pudgy baby images, but the baby gets increasingly crowded at the end of term and may hide. 3D and 4D ultrasound quality depends upon the baby’s position, size and movement, so we cannot guarantee image quality due to those factors.

Between 24-26 weeks is a good time as facial features are starting to be more defined.

Between 27-32 is the BEST TIME if you’re only going to have one 3D Ultrasound during your pregnancy because facial features are well defined and baby still has room to move around.

Between 33-36 weeks is still a great time if baby “cooperates”, but there is increased crowding in the womb making it more challenging to get specific desired pictures.

What will determine the quality of the images?

Unfortunately not every ultrasound session produces images like the ones you may have seen in magazines. Because we use the best imaging technology available coupled with experienced sonographers, we feel you have the best chance of obtaining quality mages by having your ultrasound completed at Baby Belly. We do our best, for every client, to obtain the very best images possible.

Regarding image quality, the following factors, outside of our control, impact the quality of the images:

  1. Position of the baby. The baby’s position has the greatest impact on image quality. Many cooperate with lots of open face views, smiles and yawns. Others however, hide behind feet, hands and the placenta. Some sleep through their sessions… and some babies seem a little too anxious for their first portrait, and press their face right against the uterine wall. Other camera shy babies face the mother’s spine, giving us a great view of their back. If your baby is not in a good position, our sonographers will use appropriate approved procedures to encourage the baby to change position.
  2. Tissue density. Since ultrasound waves must pass through the skin and uterine wall to reach the baby, the composition and thickness of skin tissue and the uterine wall can impact image quality.
  3. Amniotic fluid levels. The amount of fluid surrounding the baby can also impact image quality. The more fluid, the better!

We want you to walk away with at least a picture of your baby’s face and If we can’t get at least that, we’ll let you come back for one free return visit, but due to the factors above, we can not guarantee perfect pictures or a particular facial angle.

Will You Be Able to Determine The Gender of My Baby?

We pride ourselves on our skill and accuracy and gender determination/verification when it is desired. However, we will never guess or give percentages on gender. If, for any reason, we cannot determine gender and you are at least 16 weeks pregnant, we will invite you back for a free return visit (must return within 2 weeks of original appointment for free return). And you find out we were wrong after you have you’re baby, just bring his/her birth certificate in and we will give you your money back on our Gender Determination package.

If you want to know sooner than 16 weeks, we sell Intelligender Home Test Kits that predict the gender of your baby as early as 10 weeks.

You don’t want to know gender? Not to worry. Our sonographers always ask if you want to know gender before they get started. If you don’t want to know, they can insure that you won’t.

Can I Have My Friends and Family With Me?

*COVID-19 UPDATE: Due to the current circumstances with the pandemic our usual guest policy is ever changing. Please confirm the current policy at the time of booking your appointment for the saffety of you and our staff.

CURRENT POLICY (effective 4/1/22) Mom plus 4 guests can join her. Young children are asked to be held to prevent contact (touching surfaces & products unneccesarily. 


Anyone you want may join you for your experience at Baby Belly. The benefits that you will share by viewing your unborn child will result in prenatal bonding between mother, father, siblings and the unborn child. Unlike other imaging centers, Baby Belly Prenatal Imaging room is equipped with a 42″ plasma screen and comfortable furniture so that your guests can relax and enjoy seeing your baby.

Do I Need a Full Bladder for My Session?

No. However, we do recommend keeping your body hydrated several days before your visit. Water, not soda, gets the best results.

Is the 4D ultrasound covered by Insurance?

If you are having an elective procedure, you will need to pay the cost of this ultrasound as an out of pocket expense. Some Flexible Spending Plans do cover elective ultrasounds… particularly if they include limited diagnostics (all of Baby Belly’s ultrasounds do). We accept cash, FSA cards, ALL major credit cards, Baby Belly Gift Certificates, and even Spa Finder Gift Certificates. We’re no longer accepting personal checks.

Do I Need an Appointment?

Yes, we schedule by appointment. Occasionally, same day visits can be accommodated; however, we strongly recommend that you call for appointment availability. Please note that weekends and evenings are in high demand and do fill up quickly.


When Will I Get My Pictures and Video?

All pictures, USBs, and if you added CD’s, DVDs, etc. will be ready to take with you when you leave your appointment. Your DropBox link will be emailed to you within 24 hours of your appointment as is available for one year.

Why do the Ultrasound images have a golden hue?

Studies have found that the golden hue is aesthetically pleasing to the eye and shows excellent shadow and highlights.

What is Included in the Limited Diagnostic Report?

When you have an Elective Ultrasound performed at Baby Belly, Sonographers complete a report to have on file for your OB/Midwife that includes the following information:

  • Number of babies
  • Heart rate
  • Position of the baby
  • Position of the placenta
  • Fluid level
  • Gender at 16 wks if desired
How Should I Prepare for My Ultrasound to Get the Best Pictures

Make sure you drink PLENTY of fluids during the says leading up to your appointment (as you should already be doing!). This will help with your baby’s amniotic fluid levels. We recommend a gallon of water every day for 5-7 days leading up to your appointment.

On the day of your ultrasound, eat normally but also try to have something light to eat and a glass of fruit juice about an hour before hand. This will help to get your baby moving.

What are the Benefits of Prenatal Ultrasound?

Extensive research has been conducted on the use of ultrasound during pregnancy. Ultrasounds have been proven to increase the bonding between Mom and her baby and to produce improvements in the baby’s health and size at birth. Mom’s who have “seen” their babies feel more connected to them and have a stronger sense of well-being/reassurance about their pregnancies. Ultrasounds typically result in an increased commitment to healthier prenatal behaviors such as improved diet and exercise as well as smoking cessation. And, it’s probably no surprise that Moms who are more relaxed about their pregnancies also tend to sleep better.

The benefits don’t just apply to Mom….Studies have also reported significant reductions in stress for Dad after seeing his baby with an ultrasound.

Can I use Spa Finder Gift Certificates for My Ultrasound?

Absolutely! We also take Spa Wish gift certificates.

Gift Certificates