FAQ

The questions listed below are the most frequently asked questions about our elective 3D/4D and gender determination ultrasound packages. Should you have any questions that are not answered below, please contact us.

What is an elective prenatal ultrasound?

We offer elective 3D & 4D prenatal ultrasounds to provide a positive bonding experience for the mother, father and family members with the unborn baby. We feel that realistic surface images provide a connection between the parents and baby that can be beneficial to the whole family. We make no claims that 3-D as used in this examination is performed to better assess the baby for abnormalities. A routine ultrasound examination should have already been performed to assess the gestational age of the fetus and to evaluate for fetal anomalies as well as the basic components of fetal anatomy recommended for screening.

Does this take the place of an ultrasound at my doctor's office?

ABSOLUTELY NOT! Women seeking an elective prenatal ultrasound with My First Peekaboo must already be receiving treatment with a healthcare provider for prenatal care and may only rely on a medical, diagnostic ultrasound ordered by their provider to confirm their due date, screen for fetal anomalies, and to look for any other pregnancy related issues. The issues that we are evaluating in the elective prenatal ultrasound session include a limited diagnostic scan to confirm heartbeat, the number of babies in the pregnancy, the position of the baby, and the placental location. Please note, at no time is this exam to be used in place of a complete diagnostic ultrasound.

How is this different than the ultrasound performed/ordered by my Doctor?

Many women have a diagnostic ultrasound performed at 18-20 weeks. In some cases, your doctor or sonographer may even take some pictures and video of your baby in 3D/4D but this is a very different experience than an elective ultrasound at our facility. A medical ultrasound is focused on looking for abnormalities and performing diagnostic measurements. While fascinating, we feel this focus detracts from the relaxed environment and interactive bonding experience we provide and with the lengthy, unhurried session we schedule you for. In addition, the best pictures of your baby will be captured later in your pregnancy when the baby is bigger and more developed.

Is it safe? Are there any risks to me, or my baby?

Extensive studies over 30 years have found that ultrasound has not been shown to cause any harm to mother or baby. Routine scanning of all pregnancies is now normal throughout the United States. In 3D/4D scanning exactly the same type and intensity of ultrasound is used as with conventional 2D scanning. 3D and 4D Ultrasound both utilize sound waves to look inside the body. The technology is similar to radar. A probe placed on the body emits sound waves into the body, listens for the return echo and generates an image. 4D ultrasound will be similar to a conventional scan in terms of exposure.

Do I need an appointment?

Yes, appointments are necessary for all of our services.

How long does the 3D/4D ultrasound take?

We schedule a full hour for all of our 3D/4D ultrasound sessions and the ultrasound itself will last between 25-30 minutes. The second half hour will be used to choose the pictures of your baby you would like to print.

How far along should I be before I have a 3D/4D ultrasound?

If you plan on having only one 3D/4D ultrasound, we would recommend scheduling your appointment to take place between the 26th and 34th week of the pregnancy. However, excellent images of your baby can be obtained anytime after about 22 weeks of pregnancy and up until your baby's birth. Many mothers choose to have more than one 3D/4D ultrasound and have images to enjoy from their second and third trimesters.

Will I always get a beautiful picture of my baby?

Usually, but not always. Sometimes if the baby is persistently looking face down, i.e. towards your spine it may be difficult to see the baby's face. If this happens, a repeat scan will usually succeed because the baby has turned to a favorable position. We make no promises that the images will be similar to those you might have seen elsewhere or even from our clinic, or that we can always meet everyone's expectations. Every baby scans differently, depending on its gestational age, position, amount of fluid, and mother's condition. We promise to make every effort to obtain the best possible images of whatever parts of the baby that can be seen.

How can I help get the best possible pictures of my baby?

First, pay attention to when your baby is most active during the day and try to schedule your appointment during that time. Second, pay attention to whether eating and drinking impact your baby's energy levels and try to eat or not eat right before your ultrasound. Many babies seem to perk up after Mommy drinks cold and/or fruity beverages so we recommend having a fruit smoothy on your way to your appointment. It is important not to get dehydrated right before your appointment because this may negatively impact your level of amniotic fluid and your pictures. Finally, many times, the best pictures of your baby will be obtained when he or she has turned head downward so if you know that your baby is breach, you may want to post-pone your appointment a week or two to increase the chance of your baby turning before your appointment.

Can I bring my family and friends?

Yes. In fact, we encourage our clients to invite family and friends to attend the elective 3D/4D ultrasound session. This is a joyous and wonderful experience, one that can be shared with your family and loved ones. We can accommodate up to 5 guests seated and many more standing. Currently our record attendance is 23 guests!

Are you able to tell the sex of the baby?

Yes, in most cases we can provide an indication of the gender of the baby. We can't however guarantee that the baby will cooperate during your session. Certain factors such as body tissue content, developmental stage and fetal position all affect the ability to determine gender. If we are unable to determine this, we will bring you back at no charge to try again.

Is the 3D/4D ultrasound covered by my Medical Insurance?

At this point, insurance does not cover the costs of our ultrasounds. Since this is an elective procedure and is not intended to be a replacement for your doctor ordered ultrasound, you will need to pay the cost of this ultrasound as an out of pocket expense. We accept cash, Visa, MasterCard, and Discover cards.

What communities do you serve?

Most of our clients live in the following communities: Santa Barbara, Goleta, Carpinteria, Ojai, Oxnard, Ventura, Camarillo, Thousand Oaks, Simi Valley, Moorepark, Woodland Hills, Buellton, Santa Ynez, Lompoc, Santa Maria, Arroyo Grande, San Luis Obispo, and Paso Robles.

What kind of ultrasound equipment do you use to perform the 3D/4D ultrasounds?

We use the state of the art GE Voluson 730 Expert to complete all ultrasound examinations. The GE Voluson 730 Expert has been seen in GE television commercials and many printed articles from around the world. This machine is the best 2D, 3D and 4D ultrasound machine available. Please note, many organizations claim to use "state-of-the-art" equipment, when in fact they use older or inferior technology.

How much does it cost?

We have packages to fit just about anyone's budget. Visit the page for the location nearest you for packages and pricing.

What kind of DNA Test is this?

This early gender DNA detection test is called SneakPeek Clinical® and is provided by a 3rd party company at our offices in conjunction with our ultrasound services so that we may better serve our clients and our community.

What is SneakPeek® Clinical?

SneakPeek Clinical® is an early gender DNA detection test offered to women starting at 9 weeks into pregnancy. The genetic test is designed to work in conjunction with an ultrasound scan for expecting mothers. An on-site phlebotomist draws a blood sample in the comfort of the ultrasound studio, and then returns the sample to SneakPeek Labs for processing. The laboratories offer the fastest turnaround times in the industry, with a choice of receiving your result the same day the sample reaches the SneakPeek Lab. The concierge style of service even includes a personal phone call from the technician to report your result. The test is packaged with follow up ultrasound sessions to view your baby and provide images that you can take home.

How does SneakPeek® work?

SneakPeek utilizes the natural process of shared fetal DNA circulating inside the mother's bloodstream. Our PCR technology has the ability to detect the presence or absence of male Y chromosome in the blood sample provided starting at 9 weeks into pregnancy. If it is detected then the baby's gender is male and if it is not detected then the baby's gender is female.