Frequently Asked Questions
What is an elective prenatal ultrasound?
We offer elective 2D, 3D and 4D prenatal ultrasounds to provide a positive bonding experience for the mother, father and family members with the unborn baby. We feel that realistic surface images provide a connection between the parents and baby that can be beneficial to the whole family. We make no claims that 3-D as used in this examination is performed to better assess the baby for abnormalities. A routine ultrasound examination should have already been performed to assess the gestational age of the fetus and to evaluate for fetal anomalies as well as the basic components of fetal anatomy recommended for screening. We are not doctors or medical professionals, so in NO way are we providing any diagnostic services (thus we do not accept any form of insurance - see below). The services that we provide are purely elective and are simply a fun experience for family and friends to share!
Will a doctor perform my ultrasound scan?
No. As stated above, we are not doctors, medical professionals or licensed sonographers. What we provide is 100% non-diagnostic, elective prenatal ultrasounds. We have, however, taken the required training to perform an elective ultrasound with more than satisfactory image results (see “Will I always get beautiful pictures of my baby?” section below). Our training was also precisely designed around the specific ultrasound machine that we own to optimize the likelihood for great image outcomes. What we do is fun for all!! Combining our state-of-the-art ultrasound technology and our comfortable, home-like atmosphere, our clients are provided an unforgettable bonding experience for family and friends to share!
Does this take the place of an ultrasound at my doctor's office?
ABSOLUTELY NOT! Women seeking an elective prenatal ultrasound Golden Memories, LLC MUST already be receiving treatment with a healthcare provider for prenatal care and have already undergone a medical, diagnostic ultrasound ordered by their provider to confirm their due date, screen for fetal anomalies, and to look for any other pregnancy related issues. during your scan at Lake City Ultrasound and Photography we will listening to babies heartbeat, confirm the number of babies in the pregnancy, the position of the baby, and the placental location. Please note, at no time is this scan to be used in place of a complete diagnostic ultrasound.
Do I need a Doctor/midwife referral?
No. When scheduling an appointment you will not need a referral from your doctor/midwife. We do, however require proof of prenatal care. This means that we need to be assured that you are receiving prenatal care through a doctor/midwife and are not using an elective ultrasound from Golden Memories in lieu of a medical diagnostic ultrasound. If you are unable to provide such proof you will be denied eligibility to receive an elective ultrasound through Lake City Ultrasound and Photography. You can bring in a photo of an ultrasound your doctor/midwife has performed, a signed document that proves you are receiving medical care from your doctor/midwife or you can get a copy of our release form for your doctor/midwife to sign.
Do I need an appointment?
Yes, appointments are necessary for all our services.
What should I do prior to the 3D/4D appointment?
Drink plenty of water even several days before your appointment to ensure your amniotic fluid is clear. About a half hour before your 3D/4D ultrasound scan, try to drink a fruit juice so that your baby will be awake during your session (unless you are told not to by your physician). Also, please don't forget to bring your documentation of proof that you are already receiving prenatal care from a doctor/midwife.
What is the difference between 3D and 4D?
The only difference between 3D and 4D is still images verses movement. 3D refers to the printed still shot images you will receive with the package you purchase. 4D refers to the real-time version of 3D. This is the actual movement of your baby. This is recorded onto a DVD for you as a keepsake. All of our 3D packages are a combination of 3D and 4D.
Can I bring my family, children and friends?
Yes! We encourage our clients to invite family and friends to attend the ultrasound session. This is a joyous and wonderful experience, one that can be shared with your family and loved ones. We can comfortably accommodate you in our ultrasound room. Our seating is arranged so that everyone in your party will have an excellent view of our large screen 4D images of the baby.
**We do ask that you only bring your children that are able to sit and behave. Our studio is an open floor plan and we ask that the parents/caregivers take responsibility for the children who attend. We do not allow children to run or roam around the studio because it is not safe and equipment/props can get damaged. Anything that is damaged is the clients responsibility to pay for repair costs. We ask that your children remain seated or are welcome to play with the provided toys, but are NOT allowed to run or roam around at any time. If children are misbehaving and parents/caregivers are not able to control them, we have the right to end the appointment at any time and you will be asked to leave. We appreciate your understanding and cooperation.**
How long does the 4D Ultrasound take?
Depending on the package you choose, the 4D ultrasound session will last between 15 and 60 minutes.
Are you able to tell the gender of the baby?
Yes, in most cases we can provide an indication of the gender of the baby. There are a number of variables that can affect whether we can determine gender as early as 16 weeks. First, your baby needs to be in a position for us to get a good photo. That includes not having their legs closed! Keep in mind, the sonographer may not have extra time between appointments to wait for the baby to move into a better position to make a prediction.
A mother’s weight also affects our ability to predict gender. The more body tissue the ultrasound waves must travel through, the fuzzier the images may be. A 2016 study found that a body mass index below 23.8 was the best cutoff value for early gender predictions. The odds of an accurate prediction fall for women above that number.
There’s also a chance that our prediction simply will be wrong, which has happened to doctors and technicians alike. We tend to overpredict boys more often than girls. This can happen, for example, if the baby is developing slowly and the tubercle hasn’t begun to point up or the umbilical cord is mistaken for a penis. There is also a possibility that the babies genitals are simply larger or smaller than expected and thus can be mistaken for opposite sex.
We are happy to attempt to determine gender as early as 16 weeks. If you are over 16 weeks and the gender can not be seen, we invite you back for a weekday return appointment and we will rescan you for free within 1-2 weeks of your original scan. The need for a return visit is usually due to the baby's position.
Will I always get a beautiful picture of my baby?
Usually, but not always. Sometimes if the baby is persistently looking face down, i.e. towards your spine it may be difficult to see the baby’s face. If this happens, a repeat scan will usually succeed because the baby has turned to a favorable position. We make no promises that the images will be similar to those you might have seen elsewhere, or that we can always meet everyone’s expectations. Every baby scans differently, depending on its gestational age, position, amount of fluid, and mother’s condition.
A mother’s weight also affects our ability to get great images. The more body tissue the ultrasound waves must travel through, the fuzzier the images may be. We promise to make every effort to obtain the best possible images of your baby. If a repeat scan is necessary, it will be scheduled at your convenience.
How far along should I be before I have a 4D Ultrasound?
That depends on what you are looking to see. Many mothers like coming in twice, early on, 16-26 weeks, when they can see the baby as a whole, and then again at 25-34 weeks to see a more detailed face. Between 28 and 32 weeks, your baby develops more fat and gets a more defined face. After 34 weeks, it becomes more and more difficult to obtain good pictures since the baby is running out of room. However all babies are different and we have been successful in obtaining great images all the way up to 39 weeks.
Is the 4D Ultrasound covered by Insurance?
At this time, insurance does not cover the costs of our ultrasounds. Since this is an elective procedure and is not intended to be a replacement for your doctor ordered ultrasound, you will need to pay the cost of this ultrasound as an out of pocket expense. We accept cash, Visa, MasterCard, Discover, and American Express.
Is it safe? Are there any risks to me, or my baby?
Extensive research over 40 years have found that ultrasound has not been shown to cause any harm to mother or baby. Routine scanning of all pregnancies is now normal throughout the United States . In 3D/4D scanning exactly the same type and intensity of ultrasound is used as with conventional 2D scanning. 3D and 4D ultrasound both utilize sound waves to look inside the body. The technology is similar to radar. A probe placed on the body emits sound waves into the body, listens for the return echo and generates an image. 4D ultrasound will be similar to a conventional scan in terms of exposure.
What if I need to reschedule my appointment?
You will need to call our office within 24 hours of your appointment. Appointments that are not cancelled or rescheduled by phone within 24 hours may be subject to a $25 rescheduling deposit. Please see Our Policies section for further information.