3D and 4D scans have hit the headlines as Professor Cathy Warwick, chief executive of the Royal College of Midwives criticised companies for cashing in on expectant parents.
Claire Stokes, 34 from Bolton had a 4D scan with her third baby, and her twins, now eight months. She tells us how she found the experience and why she would definitely do it again if she had another baby...
"I went for a 4D scan with my third baby Kian after I saw an article in a magazine about them. The pictures they used were so clear I thought it would be amazing to see my baby in so much detail, despite only just being into my third trimester. I contacted a company who advertised in the magazine and booked an appointment.
"I went along for Kian's scan with my partner, Paul, my best friend Gill, who was also pregnant and Maxim and Todd, my older sons who were 10 and five at the time.
We went to a studio and I settled on the bed while the others sat on a sofa. The scan lasted an hour, and it was projected onto a big screen in front of us, which was incredible to see. The detail was out of this world.
They started with Kian's feet, which just looked amazing, so small but so remarkably clear, and then worked up around his body and face. We came away with a framed picture from the scan and a couple of other prints, and huge excitement about Kian arriving.
"When I got pregnant with my twins, Nathaniel and Finley, I knew right away I wanted a 4D scan.
Kian's had been amazing, and I thought it would be even better, and very different with two babies.
"It was £60 for Kian's scan, which was quite cheap at the time. It had gone up to £120 when I went with my twins, Nathaniel and Finlay, three years later, but I figured it was technically just double the price of one which sounded about right!
"Of course it does depend on your baby's position and co-operation levels as to what you can see! I waited until 32 weeks with Kian, but they suggest having one a little earlier with twins, while there is more room inside the womb for them to move around - so it was a second trimester treat at 28 weeks.
"I would recommend a 4D scan to anyone. You come away with lots of memories and photos and a film recording to watch again and again.
"Some companies give you a CD with all the pictures on, not just prints, so you can choose to do more with them, like putting them on mugs, key rings or anything you like really. Some scan companies offer these items to buy then and there, but they can be very expensive."If I had another baby, I wouldn't think twice about having another 4D scan. The memories and excitement of that day stay with you forever."
What's the difference between 3D and 4D scans?
There can be confusion about the differences between a 3D and 4D scan. Both show your baby in three dimensions and in much more detail and colour than the standard black and white 2D hospital scans, but 3D scans just show static images of your baby.
4D scans show movement and time, so you can see your baby in clear detail, moving around in real-time.
3D scans tend to be cheaper, as you won't be offered a DVD of your baby moving around in your womb, just a disc with static pictures.
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