Podcast Episode #35: 4D Moments Ultrasound
Ever wondered what the difference is between a 3D and 4D ultrasound? Are they safe? Today we talk to Jessica from 4D Moments to answer all these questions! You can listen to this complete podcast on iTunes and SoundCloud.
Alyssa: Hello! Welcome to Ask the Doulas podcast. I am your host, Alyssa Veneklase. I am co-owner at Gold Coast and also a postpartum doula. Today we’re talking to Jessica from 4D Moments. How are you, Jessica?
Jessica: I’m great.
Alyssa: So we recently connected because we were going to do an event together, and then we got talking a little bit more. And I would love for you to tell our moms more about your service. And I’m curious, too, because I don’t know much about you. Is this your business?
Jessica: I am the owner. I’ve been open for just over five years in Kalamazoo, and then I’ve been coming to Grand Rapids here for the past three years. And we’re now in our own location on Alpine in Grand Rapids.
Alyssa: Which I visited to pick up your lovely fliers. It’s really nice. Tell us about your facility.
Jessica: There’s just one scan room. People, when they walk around the corner, they typically go, wow, because we have a big, very nice, regular mattress bed. Moms always comment on how comfortable it is. And it’s kind of high up because I’m tall, so I like to be able to reach them well without leaning, so they’re kind of like a queen on that bed. And we have a nice couch in there and a bench; we can bring in several chairs. We can seat eight to ten people, and I’ve had more than a dozen or more, if they want to squeeze in, so that everyone can enjoy it.
Alyssa: Wow, so they bring their whole family? And if there’s other kids?
Jessica: Yes, kids of course are welcome!
Alyssa: Fun! So what’s the difference – your brochure says 3D and 4D ultrasound. What’s the difference between those two?
Jessica: 3D is a still image, like the color baby pictures that you see on our website and our brochure; that’s a 3D image. 4D is when you put that to time, so it’s like the video version of that. So the fourth dimension is time.
Alyssa: Okay. So do you have different packages, then, if people want just 3D; if they want both? Do you actually print out pictures? What does that look like?
Jessica: Yes, 3D and 4D come together. You can’t get one without the other. We do have different package options; some that are just 2D because there are some stages of the pregnancy where 3D/4D isn’t the most attractive because Baby is small and skeletal. So early on in the pregnancy is not always the best time for that, so we do have some 2D options, just the black and white, regular ultrasound that you get at your doctor’s office. And then we have several options for the 3D/4D. You can get those anytime from 12 to 40 weeks, but the best time for the 3D/4D facial videos and pictures is 28 – 32 weeks. Anywhere from 24 – 36 weeks is usually very good.
Alyssa: Yeah, I remember doing that with my daughter, and she just wouldn’t budge. She was turned the wrong way and I couldn’t see her face, so I had to go again. How often does that happen?
Jessica: Yeah, that happens about 10% of the time that you come and the baby’s just in a bad mood or sleeping and will not move or is tougher than I am and I cannot make them get their hands out of their face or their feet out of their face. So we just have a courtesy to bring you back one time for no charge to try again. Most of the time, that works great. We just catch them on a better day.
Alyssa: So what made you get into this?
Jessica: I was looking for a new business to start. We were selling a different business and looking for the next idea, and I found the one over in Detroit area that just totally captured me. I’m the mother of eight, so…
Jessica: Yes, eight!
Alyssa: I did not know that about you!
Jessica: Yes! And so babies are kind of my thing, and I just loved the idea, that this could be a non-clinical, just a fun way to bond and spend time with the baby. You know, we can involve the grandparents, the older brothers and sisters, and just make it a fun thing rather than what the doctor’s office has to do with all the clinical stuff. So we get to skip most of that and just make it fun. So I started my own over here in Kalamazoo and now in Grand Rapids.
Alyssa: So what’s the reason most parents come to you? Are they looking to find out the gender, or do they normally do that at the doctor, and then they just want a picture from you?
Jessica: Three main reasons; the two most common are just they want a good picture of their baby’s face. The second biggest reason is to find out gender early. We recommend 16 weeks; we’re able to find it over 99% of the time at that age. We find it at 15 weeks and 14 weeks, too, with a lower percentage of chances, but still, over 99% accuracy no matter what. We’re not going to make a call unless we can get it right. And so that brings a lot of people in because, you know, you’re a pregnant mom; you wake up, you all of a sudden have to know what you’re having today. And so once they come in for that and then they see the office and how comfortable it is and how nice it is, most of the time I get them back later in their pregnancy. The third reason that’s less common is those who just want to come in at that 12 weeks and get a great picture of their baby in 2D so they can announce it to the family. Or just peace of mind, if they have to wait until their 20 weeks to get one at their doctor’s office. They just want to see their baby and feel better about it.
Alyssa: Have you had a mom come in often, like more than one or two times? What’s the most that someone’s come in for an ultrasound?
Jessica: Not counting bring-backs, which are the free returns, probably about four is the most; four paid visits. We don’t want you in every week; that’s not what we’re here for, but you know, they come in maybe early to find the gender, and then a month later, they can’t wait to see again, and then they’re getting close near the end, so they come again. Plus we have a two-visit package as one of our options, so that’s automatically two if they do one early, and then they might want to do it again later.
Alyssa: So for a mom who wants to see their baby more often like that, maybe three or four times instead of one, are there any safety precautions or anything they need to worry about?
Jessica: Great question. There are no safety concerns, especially after 12 weeks. Ultrasound is just soundwaves. It’s completely safe. There are many medical conditions that require you to have to do it every day later in pregnancy. Doctors know that it’s completely safe for the baby and for you. There’s never, ever been an injury after 12 weeks of an ultrasound on a baby.
Alyssa: I’ve heard people say that they think there’s radiation. That’s absolutely not true?
Jessica: Not true, and the 3D/4D is the same soundwaves. It’s not like stronger soundwaves or something more dangerous. It is not any different than just soundwaves. You can feel vibrations coming through the probe, like the mom sometimes can tell when the machine shuts off and stops running or freezes because the vibrations stop. Your baby does often – I think that they can tell when I’m there sometimes because they feel those sound vibrations hitting them, but it’s just sound; just soundwaves.
Alyssa: So what’s the process? If we had a mom who wanted to get an ultrasound, what do they do? Call you?
Jessica: They can call. They can go to our website and request an appointment or just a contact through our website, and then I’ll get an email and either give them a call or an email back. Or they can go to our Facebook page. We have a very active Facebook page. We run a contest every month for a free ultrasound. Right now, we actually give two away every month. Or you can contact me and message me through Facebook.
Alyssa: Awesome. And what’s your website?
Jessica: It’s www.4dmoments.com. Our Facebook page: just search 4D Moments. And our phone number is 269-384-2229.
Alyssa: Awesome. Well, thanks for coming. We’re excited to partner with you. We’ve been giving away your information to our moms at classes and stuff.
Jessica: Great! Thanks for having me. I really appreciate it!
Alyssa: Sure! As always, you can find Gold Coast on our website, goldcoastdoulas.com. Email us with questions about this or suggestions for different topics. Our email is email@example.com. You can find us on Facebook and Instagram, and you can listen on iTunes and Soundcloud. Remember these moments are golden. Have a good day!