Frequently Asked Questions

"Thanks so much for the great pictures of my little girl. We saw her smile, confused, yawning, and playing her toes during the screening. This definitely a precious moment for both my husband and myself before her birth! " -Yin-Shen

What is Realistic Vue™ (RV), 3D/4D ultrasound, and 2D ultrasound and how are they different?

Here is a view of the same moment taken in Realistic Vue™, in 3D and in 2D for comparison.

Feto Realistic View

Realistic Vue™

3D Ultrasound

3D Ultrasound

2D Ultrasound

2D Ultrasound

Baby Pictures Ultrasound™ offers Regular (2-Dimensional or 2D) Ultrasound Services which was introduced to the public in the 1970’s and provides amazing insight into the human body.

Finding your baby on a 2-Dimensional image, however, is often difficult; you have to squint or close one eye to figure out exactly where an arm or head is positioned.

The 4-Dimensional Ultrasound offers not only the opportunity to see the baby clearly in 3D, but also adds the 4th dimension of time which allows the incredible opportunity to see moving images of your unborn child.

With Realistic Vue™ (RV), a light source is assigned to each individual voxel creating better definition and a more natural appearance to the baby. We are able to alter the light source to bring out different features.  This makes your 4-Dimensional Ultrasound an even more detailed and realistic view of your baby.

Is it safe?
We hear about reports from the FDA warning us against “keepsake videos” during pregnancy which leads to the question of safety. Traditional 2D ultrasound has been around for more than 30 years and there have been no harmful bio-effects found with it’s use and 3D/4D ultrasound uses the same technology as traditional 2D Ultrasound.

The FDA has concern for non-necessary medical procedures when this complicated medical equipment is used in an uncontrolled environment without a consultation with a health care professional. The report states:

“Although there is a lack of evidence of any harm due to ultrasound imaging and heartbeat monitors, prudent use of these devices by trained health care providers is important.” (FDA Consumer Update – December 16, 2014)

Many ultrasound centers that offer these services do not have licensed sonographers. Our sonographer, Melissa Dachs, is RDMS (Registered Diagnostic Medical Sonographer) with more than 26 years ultrasound experience. Read more in the next question as to what it means to be a licensed or registered sonographer and why it is important.

Because this ultrasound is not intended to replace your diagnostic ultrasound or any other prenatal care, we require a note or verbal authorization from your doctor or midwife. It is important to know that you have had prenatal care and your doctor/midwife knows that you are coming.

At Baby Pictures, safety is our greatest concern. We take what we do and the health of your baby very seriously so that you can relax and enjoy the experience of meeting your baby, knowing that you are in good hands.

What does it mean to be a licensed or registered sonographer?

Ultrasound franchises open up around the country all the time that have people performing ultrasounds who are not licensed or registered sonographers. Why does this matter? It is so important to entrust your baby to a registered sonographer because a registered or licensed sonographer:

  • Goes through many years of medical training
  • Studies anatomy, physiology and physics and is required to pass National Boards in these areas
  • Attends continuing education every year to keep up credentials
  • Can have credentials verified at any time on the website of the licensing agency such as the American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography (ARDMS) or sometimes through the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT), which makes him/her accountable for staying up to date in the field.

We highly recommend that you check the credentials of any sonographer that you plan to visit at this very special time.

At Baby Pictures, all ultrasound sessions are performed by Melissa Dachs (RT, RDMS, RVT), founder and operator of Baby Pictures, who is a professional, licensed sonographer with more than 26 years of ultrasound experience and over 33 years of medical experience. Bring your baby to someone you can trust!

When is the optimum time in my pregnancy to come in to view my baby?

There is no guaranteed “perfect” time to see your baby, but we would recommend you come in for viewing at 28 weeks or more in your pregnancy for the 4D ultrasound and at least 20 weeks for 2D ultrasound or Gender Check ultrasound. Before about the 24th week of pregnancy, you are able to see more of your baby at one time, but the features are not as filled out. You will start to see more facial detail after about 28 weeks. If you are having twins, we recommend coming in before 28 weeks to get the best view of your babies.

** You must have had your 2nd trimester ultrasound with your physician before we can do a 4D ultrasound.

** At Baby Pictures we feel very strongly about giving you the best visit possible, therefore we will only do a 2D ultrasound or Gender Check ultrasound before 20 weeks under certain circumstances (call us for details regarding your special case) and we will not schedule an appointment before your 17th week of pregnancy. We do not feel that you will be able to get a clear enough view of your baby at this early stage to give you the full Baby Pictures experience.

What should I expect to see?

Your view of the baby depends on many factors including the gestational age, the position of the baby and placenta, and the amount of fluid. Given favorable conditions, we should get a very clear view of your baby’s face, hands and feet and also see the gender if you would like. Amazingly, you are often even able to get an idea of your little one’s personality.

What if I am not satisfied with the images?

Baby Pictures does not offer refunds, but has a reasonable policy about return visits for a very small fee and sometimes no fee depending on the circumstances.

Will you be able to tell the sex of the baby?

Yes. Baby Pictures Ultrasound can provide gender determination upon request.

If you would like to it to be a surprise, let us know and we will not even go near that area!

Do I need a referral from my doctor?

Yes. You will need a note or verbal authorization from your doctor or midwife. It is important to know that you have had prenatal care and your doctor/midwife knows that you are coming.

You may download an authorization form verifying your prenatal care from your doctor here in PDF format.

You must have had your 2nd trimester ultrasound with your physician before we can do a 4D ultrasound.

Is this covered by my insurance?

No. This is an elective procedure and therefore is not covered by insurance. We do accept cash, VISA, or MasterCard.

Can I bring family or friends with me?

There is plenty of room for family members to share in this experience with you. Baby Pictures has 3 very large flat screen TV’s so that all family and friends can comfortably watch.

Can I bring young children to my appointment?

Baby Pictures strongly feels that your experience here is to be shared with family – it is one of the main reasons we do what we do. Having said this, it is important to note that our office (which is full of expensive machinery) is not equipped to entertain small children. It has been our experience that children under the age of 3 do not typically get much out of the visit. If you have a busy child who needs focused attention, or entertaining, please make appropriate arrangements so you and other families who may be there at the same time can enjoy your session to the fullest extent and without distraction. If you have to reschedule your visit due to the needs of your toddler, we will unfortunately have to charge you for that session. Thank you for your understanding – we are committed to making this a worthwhile experience for all families while they are in our care.

What are your business hours

Baby Pictures is open:

9 am – 5 pm on Monday – Thursday (last appointment of the day starting no later than 4 pm)
9 am – 4 pm on Fridays and Saturdays (last appointment of the day starting no later than 3 pm)

Holidays are not regular working days for Baby Pictures, however with enough notice we do our best to honor special requests for these days whenever possible for a small fee. These spots fill up very quickly so please plan to make a holiday appointment far in advance. See rates page for special holiday pricing.

How does this differ from the ultrasound I get at my doctor’s office?

Baby Pictures does not do the standard ultrasound that the hospital or clinics will do for you. This is NOT intended to replace that ultrasound. Baby Pictures will do a limited OB study, but no report will be sent to your doctor.

What do I need to do to get ready for my appointment?

We recommend being very well hydrated for your appointment. Drink plenty of fluid for a few days before your appointment. The better hydrated you are, the clearer the pictures can be. You do not need a full bladder for the appointment, but we do recommend having a snack or something to drink about 15 to 20 minutes before your appointment. Sometimes sweet things work, sometimes spicy. If you are on a restricted diet, please do not eat something you are not supposed to eat just for this appointment. And lastly be sure you have the OK from your doctor.

Will I be able to take all materials home with me the same day?

Yes! All images, videos, CDs and DVDs which you have purchased will be available for you to take home at the completion of your appointment.

What is your hold and cancellation policy?

When booking your appointment at Baby Pictures, please have a credit card handy as we will ask for a credit card number in order to hold your appointment. This card will not be charged for the appointment at that time. You may still use a different VISA, MC debit card or cash to pay for your appointment. NO checks please.

If you need to cancel or reschedule your appointment, you must let Baby Pictures know at least 24 hours prior to your appointment. For a Monday appointment, you must notify us by the Friday prior to your appointment. For a Saturday appointment, you must notify us by the Wednesday prior to your appointment. If we have not heard from you within the specified time frame, your card we have on hold will be charged a $75 cancellation fee. Thank you for your consideration.

What makes Baby Pictures different than most other centers out there?

Have you ever wondered why a lot of the other ultrasound centers all have the same pictures on their websites and the same testimonials with just names and locations changed? Have you noticed most of the sites don’t tell you who will be doing the ultrasounds on your very precious unborn child? Some of these places reuse images on their websites from other centers! In many cases, these pictures are not even representative of the work that is done in their facility! Someone else may have taken those images! Does a testimonial mean the same if it is from a completely different center in another state?

The reason some of the centers don’t tell you who will be performing the ultrasound is that some of these centers don’t use qualified, registered sonographers. They tell you they are trained by “the company” or that they have been trained on the 3D/4D machines, but that means nothing. Sonographers go through many years of training. We learn anatomy, physiology, and physics. We take national boards in these areas. We have to attend continuing education every year to keep up our credentials. A doctor’s office or hospital couldn’t and wouldn’t allow these people to do any ultrasounds on their patients. Why would you allow them to do yours?

Make sure you go to an honest, reputable, and licensed facility to see your bundle of joy. Just because these other centers are part of a franchise machine, does not mean you should believe everything you see. This is a very personal time in your life that requires personal and qualified service. Make sure you go to the best. A place where what you see on our website has come directly from our own registered sonographer on our own state-of-the-art 4D ultrasound machine. Come to the center that has never compromised and has been in business since 1994. You want to come to Baby Pictures!