Frequently Asked Questions

The following are common questions asked by our clients.

If you have a question that is not covered here, or if you are unclear on an answer,
please feel free to call or e-mail us and we would be happy to assist you.

Is there any risk of a 3D or 4D ultrasound?

3D ultrasound uses sound waves to create images the same as in (regular) 2D ultrasound. Ultrasound has been around since the 1950s and there have been no reported short or long-term risks to unborn babies. Indeed, routine ultrasound exam in pregnancy is accepted all over the world today, as is 3D for high risk and multiples. Our machine is similar to the ones used at the local hospitals.  Plus, ultrasound sessions have strict recommendations for how strong and how long we can scan any mother and baby.  All of our sessions fall well below this safety limit.

What are the benefits of a 3D/4D ultrasound?

Although there is no direct medical benefit of receiving an elective 3D ultrasound, there may be many indirect benefits on the individual level, a pregnant woman may have any of the following benefits for herself personally:
- Makes motherhood "more real"
- Better able to visualize the baby
- May help reduce post-partum depression
- Able to share pictures with family and friends
- Keepsake record, pictures for the baby album
- May improve bonding between mother and child
- May help reduce harmful health behaviors (such as smoking/drinking)
- May improve bonding with the father, encourage greater involvement from the father
- Ability to determine the gender, which helps with planning for the baby and helps increase bonding

Because the 3D pictures and 4D videos are more life-like, there is better and stronger bonding between parents, siblings, and the baby. Increased bonding has been shown to improve the mother's care of herself and therefore of her baby. 

***Please note that none of the above statements has been documented or proven medically or meant to replace the advice of your doctor.

What is 2D, 3D, and 4D, what is the difference?

- 2D is the traditional black and white, where it looks like a flat image of the baby, from a single point.
- 3D is adding depth to a 2D image. This is done in the same manner as your eyes, where it is taken at two points a short distance apart. The machine also adds a sepia color to the images to bring out the contrast and detail. [CD of pictures is 3D]
- 4D is adding real-time to a 2D or 3D image. This is when you see the baby moving on the screen. [DVD of movement is 4D]

Why is gender not guaranteed for 3D viewing, and listed as 2D?

Our main reason for listing gender as a 2D session is because finding gender in 2D is more easily obtainable than finding gender in 3D, especially if the baby is still very early in weeks of pregnancy.

- With 2D ultrasound, we view the baby in planes (or layers). We can visually remove these layers if needed (for example: in diagnostic ultrasound, they have to look beyond the baby's skin to see if the organs are developing normally).
- With 3D ultrasound, we view the baby only from the surface (called surface rendering). Therefore, if the legs or the cord are by the gender then it would be in the way because it would be seen as part of the same surface.

What this means is that when looking for the gender, unless the baby is in a perfect position with nothing in the way, we will not be able to see the gender in 3D. With our 3D/4D packages, because we are looking at the baby for a longer period of time, there is a fair chance that the baby will move into position and show us their gender. However, we will still check and confirm gender in 2D, so that we can provide you with the most accurate reading possible.

When are the ultrasounds done, and when is the best time?

All of our 2D/3D/4D ultrasound imaging sessions are done between 20 and 33 weeks of pregnancy.
20-25 weeks the baby is very small and skeletal, you can see lots of movement and acrobatics.
25-30 weeks the baby has baby fat on and is more developed and filled out, good for seeing facial detail.
30-33 weeks the baby gets very large very quickly, both in size and in chubbiness.
28-30 weeks is the best or most preferred time to come in, as the baby has lots of facial detail but isn't yet squished. In circumstances where the mother's body habitus (shape) is thicker around the middle, we recommend coming in around 30/31 weeks so that the baby will be larger and easier to view in the ultrasound.

Gender can be determined successfully anytime after 16 weeks.
Every week over 30 weeks there is a decrease in the success chance of the ultrasound session.
Please see "what happens if I cannot get good pictures of the baby or the gender" below for more specific details.
With twins, triplets, etc., we like to do the ultrasound session before 25 weeks, as multiple babies get squished fast.

How many guests can I bring with me?

We have 5 extra seats in the room for your family and friends to join you.

How much time does 3D/4D ultrasound need?

It depends on the package you book.  The 20-minute sessions we book you for 30 minutes and gender only/heartbeat for 15 minutes. All bookings are longer than the appointment length itself.  This is so the expecting parents are not rushed when filling out paperwork and if the baby is being uncooperative the mother has time to walk around or eat something sweet.

Can 3D ultrasound always give good pictures of the baby's face?

Please see: "What happens if you cannot get good pictures or gender of the baby?" below for a detailed explanation of factors that affect clear images, and what happens in those cases.

How many pictures would I get on the CD?

It mostly depends on the baby's cooperation. With 20 minute packages we are able to get a minimum of 12 pictures, but usually, results are around 40-80 within the time frame we reserve for you. Every baby and pregnancy is different, and this number is just an estimation.

Can one find out the sex of the baby during the 3D ultrasound?

Absolutely. However, 2D ultrasound is more easily obtainable for finding gender then a 3D ultrasound.  We always check gender in 2D first and try to confirm in 3D. 3D viewing of gender may not always be possible, as it mostly depends on how the baby is positioned. Please see 'Why is gender not guaranteed for 3D viewing, and listed as 2D' for more detailed information.

What happens if I don't want to know the sex of the baby?

There are a couple of ways that we can still do the ultrasound session, and leave the surprise of the baby's gender for birth.
Option 1, during the session we avoid the gender area of the baby, focusing more on the face, hands, and feet of the baby.
Option 2, during the session the technician does not confirm nor deny the gender of the baby, if you happen to see something it is completely left to your interpretation.

Do I have to have a full bladder?

The best part of having a 3D ultrasound is that there is no need to have a full bladder. The reason being in early pregnancy ultrasound technicians use the full bladder to move the uterus into a more favorable position for viewing the baby. When our clients come into our office for a 3D ultrasound they are far enough along that the baby is already stretching and moving the uterus into the position that we require.

Keep in mind that we DO recommend drinking 1-cup fruit juice 15 minutes BEFORE you arrive. This trick works to wake up most babies but there is no guaranteed way to wake up the little one!

Who is performing the 3D ultrasound session?

Precious Peeks only uses a registered and experienced ultrasound technician who has obtained extra 3D training.

Do I need an appointment and doctor's referral?

Our clients do not need a doctor's referral. This is because ALL of our ultrasound sessions are strictly non-diagnostic.  We do not create reports for doctors and no personal information regarding your session is given out for any reason. Our clinic is not covered by OHIP as we are "in addition to" your regular diagnostic ultrasounds ordered by your doctor pertaining to the baby's health.

We accept all of our clients on an appointment basis. We are usually booking appointments for our full packages about 2-3 weeks in advance. For Saturdays, it can be as far as 4-6 weeks in advance as they more preferred.  Gender/2D Only/Heartbeat we are usually booking a few days to 2 weeks in advance.

What happens if you cannot get good pictures or gender of the baby?

For reasons beyond our control, it is not always possible to obtain good facial pictures or to provide 100% sex determination due to a number of factors. These factors include; the baby's position and movements, the mother's size and condition, the position of the placenta, the gestation period, and the amount of amniotic fluid around the baby. These factors also determine the quality, quantity, variety, and clarity of all images viewed and/or printed.

If any of the aforementioned factors lead to a scan that reveals no discernible images of the baby, we would end the first session and you would have the option to return another day and retry the rest of your session.

[In situations where the mother is 30-34 weeks, we would bring everyone into the room and show what we can see of the baby and listen to the heartbeat. Due to the gestation stage, as well as the aforementioned factors, the retry session may not be offered in these specific cases.]

[All retries must be done within three weeks, if a retry is done after this time frame it will be charged as a new session.]

Do I need to arrive early?

We do our best to schedule and run our office on time, therefore you do not need to arrive more than five minutes early.
Please feel free to take advantage of the plentiful free parking in front of our office when you come for your session.

What happens if I am late?

Please let us know ASAP if you are going to be late for your appointment. We try our best to keep our office running on time and we appreciate you letting us know. Depending on how late you are, we may have to reschedule your appointment [at no charge].

What is your cancellation policy?

We ask that if you cannot make your appointment that you let us know at least 24 hours in advance (or as early as possible) by phone or e-mail so that we can keep our office running smoothly and in a timely fashion. Please note that there is NO CHARGE to cancel or reschedule any appointment.

Do I need to supply my own CD/DVD?

All CD/DVD for the session are provided for you.  We are unable to provide USB for the sessions during this time.

How is the payment made?

Payment is made at the time of your 3D ultrasound. There is no fee to book, reschedule, or cancel any session.
We accept cash only. Unfortunately, we do not accept any cheques.

Did you know that "elective ultrasound" may be covered under your extended health care provider [ex: work benefits]?
Check with your extended health care provider to see if they cover elective 3D/4D ultrasound, and how to receive reimbursement for your session. Please note that Precious Peeks does not do direct billing of any kind.

Do you offer live broadcasting?

Precious Peeks does not offer live broadcasting at this time. You are welcome to Facetime your family and friends during your session.

Can I copy and share my DVD/CD/photos?

Absolutely! Customers sign a consent form when they enter the office that Precious Peeks can use their images and/or video in our various media, as long as personal information is not be released along with them. However, Precious Peeks does not claim any copyright on any of the images and/or video, and you may copy it as many times as you like.

For customers who are not able to copy them at home, or would prefer the CD/DVD with our labels, or like our high-quality photos; we can replicate any of the media within the seven business days listed under the defective section. Unfortunately, we cannot do this after the seven business days as it is automatically cleared from our system for new sessions.

It is our policy to store recorded ultrasound sessions in our backup system for SEVEN BUSINESS DAYS ONLY. Customers are responsible to check their DVD/CD and notify the receptionist if they are defective within this time frame. Defective DVD/CD's will be subject to inspection in the office, and we will trade you for a new copy if it is found to be defective. We cannot guarantee them after the seven days, nor will any credits/discounts/refunds or monies be given for them after this time.