by Sunny Layne
WATERLOO (KWWL) -- Sometimes it's hard for expectant moms to believe they really have a baby growing inside, but technology is making pregnancy more real, and in turn, increasing the bond between mom and baby.
KWWL anchor and new mom Sunny Layne gives us an inside look at the 4D ultrasound.
"I felt that."
First-time mom-to-be Ashley Boquist has had ultrasounds before.
"I've had already. I love even at four weeks, seeing how much he's grown," she said.
But she's never seen her unborn son quite like this.
"Even though it was four weeks ago I saw him in ultrasound and he's so different now," she said. "You can just see how much he's developed. I can't wait to hold him."
At Waterloo's Partners in Obstetrics and Gynecology, Boquist and her husband requested a 4D ultrasound.
Ultrasound has existed for 40 years, 3D ultrasound for ten years, and within the past five years, the 4D ultrasound has come into play. It incorporates live action of the baby in real time.
"The pictures with 3D and 4D are so lifelike that you start to see features that look like mom's nose or dad's ears and really increases bonding experience because you feel like you recognize what you're seeing," Dr. Susan Wing said.
Doctor Susan Wing says studies have shown there is a greater sense of maternal bonding when mom can see such real-life images. Doctors can even diagnose conditions like cleft palate and spina bifeta more easily.
Doctors say weeks 28-30 are optimal for 4D ultrasound, because the baby is significantly developed, yet it still has room to move around.
Physicians say the 4D ultrasound is safe. There could be a potential risk if the baby had prolonged exposure, but machines are set and technicians are trained so that that doesn't happen.
"I just loved it," Boquist said. "It's exciting every time."
A beaming Boquist describes her ultrasound experience as priceless.
"In the beginning you don't feel the heartbeat for a while or movement, now it's to the point where he's in there and wiggling around and it's awesome," she said.
Boquist says it's the closest thing to holding the baby in her arms. Something she can't wait to do.
Join sunny next Monday as she explores a more serious topic and one that all parents need to know about: reducing the risks of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, or SIDS.
Reporter: Sunny Layne