Three-dimensional ultrasound images provide visual depth and contour to baby’s face and body.

Picture perfect: 3D ultrasound captures baby’s first photos, from the comfort of your own home

Cherish baby’s first images and sounds with 3D and 4D ultrasound

Through nine months of “firsts,” one of the most amazing experiences for parents-to-be is that first ultrasound image – their first look at baby.

For Narissa Dougans, who had the opportunity to see a 3D image of her now two-year-old at just 15 weeks along, the experience was magical, and one she wanted to share with others.

“We want to provide families with the best possible bonding experience,” says Dougans, who founded Blooming Baby Images about 18 months ago. The only one offering mobile 3D and 4D ultrasound images on Vancouver Island, she’s worked with expecting parents from as far away as Campbell River, providing that first look at baby.

“People love the personal experience of being able to have that first ultrasound in their own home, with as many or as few people as they wish with them to share the joy.”

The wonders of 3D

While two-dimensional images are flat, and black and white, three-dimensional images have visual depth and contour to the face and body. 4D ultrasounds combine a series of 3D images to look like a real-time video so you can see your baby’s movements.

Scheduling the sessions depends on what you hope to see. Earlier on, baby is quite small, you can see the whole body, but the face might not be as visible and they tend to move a lot. Between 26 and 34 weeks scans will likely capture the best facial features and detail, and baby is still small enough to see some movement. Later sessions will show more details in baby’s face, but while they look chubbier at this point, they tend to move less getting good images can be more challenging, depending on their position. “Many women have two or more sessions to see their baby at different stages, but if you’re planning to only have one, we recommend doing it between 26 and 34 weeks,” Dougans says.

Beyond the photos, discovering baby’s gender is another memorable moment. “It’s just so touching, to see parents’ excitement when they learn whether they’re having a boy or a girl,” Dougans says, recalling her husband’s own excitement at meeting their son for the first time. “It was just such an amazing experience and I wanted to share that.”

In addition to the images, Dougans can also provide baby’s first video and heartbeat recordings, which she can put into a teddy bear.

The opportunity to take her time with each family is essential, especially when busy medical professionals might not be able to. “We take the time to catch precious moments with your baby that you might not get to see during your average ultrasounds ordered by your doctor or midwife,” she says, emphasizing that Blooming Baby’s 3D images are non-diagnostic, and do not replace regularly scheduled medical ultrasounds.

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