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Ipswich Hospital offers 3D and 4D scans for mums-to-be to see their babies at 28 weeks

PUBLISHED: 10:33 01 February 2017 | UPDATED: 11:52 01 February 2017

Consultant obstetrician Dr Nishigandh Deole and parents-to-be Kate and Chris Higginbottom, using the 4D scan technology at Ipswich Hospital

Consultant obstetrician Dr Nishigandh Deole and parents-to-be Kate and Chris Higginbottom, using the 4D scan technology at Ipswich Hospital

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Ipswich Hospital has become the first hospital in Suffolk and Norfolk to offer 3D and 4D imaging for babies in the womb - giving parents the most realistic views of their babies' features yet.

Left to right: Consultant obstetrician Dr Nishigandh Deole, operational lead for women’s services Heather Arkle, interim associate director of midwifery Alison Littler and Chris and Kate Higginbottom. The 4D scan allows parents to see their child in more detail at Ipswich Hospital than a regular ultrasound.Left to right: Consultant obstetrician Dr Nishigandh Deole, operational lead for women’s services Heather Arkle, interim associate director of midwifery Alison Littler and Chris and Kate Higginbottom. The 4D scan allows parents to see their child in more detail at Ipswich Hospital than a regular ultrasound.

The detailed scans allow parents to see facial features and movements such as smiling and yawning in much more detail than traditional 2D ultrasound scans.

The 3D scan provides a clearer image of facial features, while the 4D element captures the movements of the baby.

The scans take place at around 28 weeks and take around 40 minutes by a consultant obstetrician.

Heather Arkle, operational lead for women’s services at the hospital, said: “We are really pleased to be able to offer this new service to parents-to-be who are keen to see images of their baby in more detail.

Consultant obstetrician Dr Nishigandh Deole with mum-to-be Kate Higginbottom, using the 4D baby scan technology at Ipswich HospitalConsultant obstetrician Dr Nishigandh Deole with mum-to-be Kate Higginbottom, using the 4D baby scan technology at Ipswich Hospital

“They should be able to see their baby’s features clearly, and if they are lucky might see them smile or yawn.

“The scans will be carried out by one of our consultant obstetricians, who will be able to explain to the parents exactly what they are seeing and answer any questions they may have.”

In the case of any problems that are detected, the consultant can organise further tests if needed.

No GP or midwife referral is needed to have one of the scans.

Left to right: Consultant obstetrician Dr Nishigandh Deole with Chris and Kate Higginbottom using the 4D scan technology at Ipswich HospitalLeft to right: Consultant obstetrician Dr Nishigandh Deole with Chris and Kate Higginbottom using the 4D scan technology at Ipswich Hospital

While the scans are an addition to routine maternity care and therefore have to be paid for by the parents, the service allows them to take away a USB stick with video and images of their baby moving in the womb to share with family and friends.

Weekly slots have already been allocated, with the scope for more if the service proves popular.

Ms Arkle added: “The service we are offering is unique in this region and we hope it will be well received by women who would like something extra to the scans they receive on the NHS.

“We are also able to offer the opportunity for other family members or friends to be present during the scan.”

Alongside the 4D scans, the hospital also offers reassurance scans any time from six weeks onwards for parents who want to know that all is as expected with their child’s progress.

The 4D scans cost £150, while a reassurance scan costs £125.

For more information about the service see here.

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