3-D Technology Helps Expecting Mothers Discover Their Unborn Children
By Mimi Rohr/ Gamma
Expecting mothers now have yet another option to add to their prenatal rituals. Studios offering 3D ultrasound imagery have sprung up around the United States.
These ultrasounds are not required by medical practitioners, have no medical value, or even performed in doctor's offices and clinics, but in privately owned studios
Unlike the classic 2D ultrasound performed by obstetricians to verify the absence of abnormalities, the 3D ultrasounds offers expecting parents a glimpse of what their developing child might look like.
"I didn't know what to expect said Rosh Patel, who had a 3DS scan done at Prenatal Peek in Northern California's San Francisco Bay when she was 29 weeks pregnant. "I saw her smiling and crossing her legs. I felt more connected, more excited and closer to my baby," she continued.
Erinne Deisinger, - the owner of Prenatal Peek's Marin County in Northern California's location - saw a golden opportunity to get in on the ground floor of a growing industry.
"The atmosphere was relaxing and very comfortable. I got beautiful color photos. It was an amazing experience to see my baby smile," said Patel.
A glimpse of expecting families little ones a prenatal peek offers clients a chance to bond with their unborn babies in a relaxed environment.
Relaxing in recliners, with soft music playing in the background, mothers and their families have a chance to meet their babies and walk out with a video or DVD of their experience as well as color photographs.
"You really don't get that in a doctor's office, where you are in and out," said Deisinger.
Although individually owned, Prenatal Peek has studios in Northern and Southern California, as well as North and South Carolina.
All ultrasound technicians must be licensed and client's obstetricians are notified in advance that their patient has elected to undergo a 3D ultrasound.
Members of the medical community have questioned the wisdom of using ultrasound technology for entertainment purposes, citing possible unknown side effects of the repeated usage of ultrasound on the fetus.
Deisinger said that the amount of ultrasound energy used on 3D ultrasounds is identical to that used in a 2D ultrasound and approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
"I've done the research and I feel it's safe," said Deisinger, who points out that ultrasound technology has been used for 30 years without any known side-effects.
"We are doing exactly what the doctor's are doing, but we are spending less time," as no diagnostic analysis is being performed. "Ultimately, I feel it's the mother's decision," said Deisinger.
It was Kelly Mitchell's ultra-sound technician that told her about Prenatal Peek. Pregnant with her second child, Mitchell wanted "to find out as much as possible" about her future baby.
Mitchell's Prenatal Peek gave her a "visual image" of her child. "you spend so much time counting how many fingers and toes your child has when they are born, "said Mitchell.
"This made me a lot calmer," said Mitchell. "It's just not a bubbly bouncy thing anymore. It's a human being. I think I know what I want to name her," said Mitchell. "This was an amazing window into her world."

Mimi Rohr

Prenatal Peek website is at http://www.prenatalpeek.com