Victoria's only imaging centre Open 24/7

Victoria's only imaging centre Open 24/7


3D & 4D Ultrasounds: Find Out What Your 2D Ultrasound isn’t Telling You

Getting to hear you and your partner are going to be parents is perhaps one of the most exhilarating announcements. This is especially true in the case of first-time pregnancies. The dream of having one’s own family soon starts to take shape and suddenly, everything centers around the pregnancy schedule, mother’s health routines, and the baby’s development.

Children are a delight, that most people are longing to embrace, which makes the 9-month wait for the baby that much more exciting, adventurous and full of surprises.

Are you at the start or somewhere in the middle of that journey to meet your baby? You must also have a lot of questions on how to care for the baby as it depends on you a lot more while inside the womb.

Whether you’re a mother or a father, you’re bound to be taking precautions and going the extra mile to keep the baby in the pink of health. That said, you must also have curiosity on the gender of your baby, what his/her features will look like, and suddenly 9 months can seem like too long a wait.

Well, traditional methods and baby scans may not have been able to offer much excitement except of course for a black and white, blurry image with an astonishingly powerful heartbeat. But that’s where 3D and 4D can be a game-changer.

What’s the Difference?

Now you may be wondering what’s so different about the 3D and 4D ultrasounds. To answer that, let’s start with defining 2D ultrasound. As its name suggests, 2D ultrasound introduces you to your baby in 2-dimension form.

Going back to the reference above of ‘black and white + blurry with a rather fast heartbeat’ – this statement categorizes as a 2d ultrasound. To sum things up, it gives you proof of the life living inside of you while containing the surprise. But, since today’s generation is all about instant-gratification, even pregnancy and parenting questions are sought-after with an expectation of wanting answers in real-time.

If you’re reading this, thinking yes, I’d rather know whether we’re expecting a girl or boy so I can plan the baby’s room and wardrobe better, this is exactly what we’re referring to.  And 3D/4D Ultrasound is the way to satisfy that curiosity.

Although it makes use of the same technology called sound waves, and it is carried out in the same manner as 2D scanning (i.e. by placing the device over the belly), 3D crafts an image of the baby’s details. Yes, it is possible to see your baby’s features and particular physical characteristics while yet in the womb.

Now, a 4D Ultrasound scan takes this even one step further, allowing you to view the baby as it moves or turns. For some extra fortunate parents-to-be, it may even include a glimpse of their baby yawning, stretching, or smiling.

We attended the ultrasound 4d scan today. The experience was eye opening. It gave us an insight on how our unborn child will look like. Also the staff member doing the ultra sound was very nice.

Eric and Ella

4D imaging is what we did for my first and now second child. David is very welcoming and anytime called will give you an appointment right away. We did this on Sunday which was a long weekend. Also the images and clips were transferred to our phones on the spot. Very pleased.

Hadi Zadeh

My husband and I went in for a 3D/4D ultrasound at my 30 weeks pregnancy. David Portnoy was such a nice person, very welcoming and made us feel so comfortable! I recommend Early Image to everyone. I’ll for sure go back in the future! – Thank you David!


The Success Quotient – Professional Training

Like you’ve read above, 3D and 4D ultrasound offer the unmistaken advantage of giving you the ability to connect with your baby, much earlier than planned.

However, experts will constantly remind you that this is entirely dependent on how skilled the technician is at his/her job and the technology being used. This brings us to the important thing to keep in mind to avoid a disappointing experience.

Do remember to check whether they practice using safe technology, have a comfortable and hygienic environment and have certified staff.

Additionally, you can speak to them as to when is the best time to attempt getting clear, high definition images.

And finally, don’t forget to check out our website, services, and testimonials from other clients to help you decide whether you should proceed with them.

24:7 Pregnancy Scans to Alleviate Your Stress

“It is important to understand” says Julia after her scan “These ultrasound scans aren’t standard medical scans –  not equivalent to that in a medical ultrasound clinic – for example, internal scans aren’t possible, no films are provided, no medical advice is given”.

Whilst being pregnant is a joy for most, for some, it can also be a time of high anxiety, worry and stress.  Early Image is the only facility in Melbourne that offers 24/7, around the clock, reassurance  scans for pregnancy.

It is a scan designed solely to relieve stress, high anxiety or worry. As such, we measure your baby’s heartbeat , check the baby’s growth and record your baby’s movement only. We can only scan using a probe on the tummy and we can’t scan anyone less than 6 weeks pregnant.

Early Image provides expecting parents with the opportunity to have a scan 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and you don’t even need a doctor’s referral.  There are no long queues out in the waiting room meaning that we can have you in and out quickly to alleviate your fears and minimise unnecessary stress.

Such a God send to have a 24/7, professional, late night ultrasound place to go to. My husband and I having been trying for 4 years to get pregnant, we were just about to start IVF, and I found out we conceived naturally. I have been constantly stressing about every little thing due to being 6 weeks along. The ultrasound found the sac immediately, tonight has made me feel at ease” said Rachy.

Aleisha’s review on Google said, “When I walked into Early Image I was in a bad place. The 20-week scan I had at 1pm earlier that day did not go to plan. I didn’t see my baby or the heartbeat and was told to just lay back and not to ask any questions. After this I was left sobbing in the car so I decided to I made make a phone call to Early Image and was told I could come in at 3pm that day. After their scan I was so happy, we were having a boy I had seen my baby and his heartbeat! I will be going back to have a 3D scan done there too.

Often Emergency Departments have long wait period and may even turn you away until the next day if they don’t believe the patient’s symptoms are life threatening. Whilst Early Image technicians are not doctors if they do detect an issue with your baby’s heartbeat or movement they inform you and recommend you speak to your GP or attend an Emergency Department immediately.

If you are stressed about your baby please feel free to give us a call on 03 9529 7433 and we will make ourselves available anytime, any day of the week to provide you with the assurance every expectant mother needs and deserves.

What to Pack in Your Hospital Bags

If you’re here, it means its nearly time for you to pack your hospital bags.

Its time to gather together all the essentials you’ll need during labour and birth and for after your baby is born. Some people start packing as soon as they find out, others may like to leave it until when they start maternity leave. Just remember you may need to go in unexpectedly, so try to have a bag packed by the time you are about 36 weeks pregnant (earlier for twins)

Hospitals vary in their policies about what you are allowed to bring with you when you have your baby. You may want to take a few items from home, such as your own pillows, to make yourself comfortable or some music for during labour. But be aware that hospitals can be short on space.

If you want, pack two bags: one for labour and the hours immediately after your baby is born, and another for a stay in the post natal ward. It always helps to be prepared.

If you’re driving to hospital, you could leave the second bag in the car. If you have a straightforward birth, you may leave hospital on the same day and not need the second bag at all.

So what to pack? If we’ve missed anything please let us know in the comments!

Labour bag

  • Birth plan
  • Dressing gown, slippers and socks
  • Old nightie to wear during labour
  • New pj’s you’d be happy to be seen in by visitors
  • Birth ball
  • Snacks and drinks
  • Lip balm, hair ties
  • Books, music, magazines to pass the time
  • Pillows
  • Swimwear for partner (in case of water birth)
  • Mobile phone charger
  • Digital Camera

For after the birth

  • Going home outfit
  • Nursing bras (hint: break them in beforehand and test them out with your going home outfit!)
  • Breast pads
  • Maternity pads (multiple packs)
  • Toiletries
  • Old cheap comfy knickers
  • Eye mask and earplugs

For the baby

  • Multiple sleepsuits and vests
  • A couple of baby blankets
  • NAPPIES – so many nappies
  • Socks, booties and mittens
  • Hat
  • Trip home outfit

Easy Mocktails Recipes for Pregnant Mums

You’re expecting and excited about it. Yes, but you absolutely miss having a margarita as you lounge by the pool on your last staycation. Think you can’t do this anymore? Think again. There are many ways you can still enjoy that mojito even with a pregnant belly.

Check These Mocktail Recipes You can Make for Yourself.

1. Mama Sunrise

Want the view of the dawn right at your fingertips? Just grab 2 dashes of grenadine, orange or mango juice (whichever strikes your fancy) and crushed ice and you’re ready for the next step. Half fill your highball glass with crushed ice, add the orange or mango juice, then the grenadine. The grenadine will gradually sink to the bottom mixing with the juice to create the beautiful sunrise effect.

2. Fruity Sangria

Want something more fancy for your pregnancy mocktail? You may want to try the fruity sangria. You’ll just need a litre of pomegranate, 1 cup of mango, 1 sliced orange, and 1 sliced pear. Next, mix the ingredients together in a jug with the fruit slices. Then either chill and serve in a lowball glass or immediately serve with ice.

3. Moscow Mule

Nope, you can’t have vodka, but you can still have some Russian mocktails. The moscow mule is easy to prepare, but hard to forget. Here’s the recipe. ½ cup of club soda, ¼ cup of ginger ale, and 3 tbsp of fresh lime juice. Mix all these in a cool mug with crushed ice and garnish with a lemon wedge. Then, sit by the pool, while sipping your pregnant summer away.

4. Pink Pomegranate Sparkler

Itching to take the champagne flutes out? Why not? This sparkler lets you enjoy your flutes, but without the alcohol. Just get ¾ cup of pink sparkling lemonade, a splash pomegranate juice, and 1tbsp of pomegranate seeds. Pour the seeds into a flute, add the lemonade and juice, and voila! Your baby-safe champagne is ready to enjoy.

5. Safe Sex on the Beach

Who said you can’t have it while you’re expecting? Of course, you can and here’s how. Get ½ cup of sparkling water, ¼ cup of cranberry juice, ¼ cup of grapefruit juice, and ¼ cup of peach nectar. Mix all of them together, and enjoy.

So, when they say you can’t have alcohol while you’re pregnant, they didn’t mean you have to give up your usual summer drinks. Just get into mocktail recipes to keep both mum and bub happy.

10 Things No Pregnant Woman Wants to Hear!

Do you ever feel that now you are pregnant it seems everybody has the right to invade your privacy, give you unsolicited advice and touch you without asking? And I am not just talking about family members or friends, as obtrusive as they maybe, but people you have never even met before!

Here are the 10 things every pregnant woman hopes that she will never have to hear from her family and friends, acquaintances and strangers alike!

1. Can I touch your tummy?

Why is it, just because you’re pregnant, people think that they can touch or stroke any protruding belly whenever they feel like! If a woman has a nice bum or great pair do people come up out of nowhere for a feel – No they don’t – Keep your hands to yourself!

2. You look tired!

Of course she looks tired! Walking around carrying extra weight, always wanting to pee all the time, hormones all over the place, only topic of conversation is babies; having babies or raising babies, never being able to find a comfortable position to sleep in, being kicked all through the night… If she wasn’t tired she would be a walking miracle.

3. Are you going to breast feed?

Breast feeding is a personal choice. There is no right or wrong here. Babies are not disadvantaged in any way or do not develop differently if they are bottle fed or not. Some women can breastfeed and some can’t, some babies take to the breast easily others don’t and it can be very frustrating and even painful for those mums that struggle.

As long as the baby is developing as it should, growing as it should and putting on weight as it should either method is fine. Don’t let anyone tell you, you are not a good mother because you feed your baby from a bottle .

4. My word you are huge!

People can be so insensitive sometimes. Pregnant women, on the whole, feel bloated and big anyway, even when they are not. They certainly don’t need to be told over and over how big they are getting. Your tummy gets as big as it needs to correctly incubate your baby so it is born happy and healthy, after all isn’t that what pregnancy is all about.

5. You’re not very big!

Babies come in all sizes and women that do not have big tummies are worried enough about whether everything is going the way it should .

One of the women in a our prenatal class was very slight and hardly looked pregnant at all and she was asked so many times if there was anything wrong that she became obsessive and depressed and for no good reason, she gave birth to a beautiful and healthy baby.

6. What are you going to call it?

Naming my baby was a personal thing between the two of us. We kept the names we liked very close to our chest and were not interested in hearing other people’s opinions. We like our kids names and they like them too! That’s all that matters.

7. My labour took 24 hours with no pain relief!

No pregnant women ever needs to hear about long labour, complications through pregnancy, pain, 36 weeks of morning sickness etc… If you are going to discuss your own pregnancy with someone going through it, highlight the good times. Your glowing skin, how thick your hair became, the way you both talked to the baby every morning, how reassuring and wonderful your midwife or obstetrician was. Keep your horror stories to yourself!

8. Are you getting the new 4 wheel drive pram with built in change table and bottle warmer!

By the time you have your third child you realize very quickly a pram is a pram is a pram. You really don’t need to spend $1000 just because your friend has one. After all, all the only thing you will ever use it for is getting your baby from A to B. And it is not just prams! Before you go and mortgage the house getting all the things you need for baby do your research and get only what you really need at a price you can afford.

9. Are you having a boy or a girl?

Why is that the first question anyone asks? What business is it of theirs? Why does everyone think they have the foolproof way of telling if it is a boy or girl. You are carrying high must be a boy, Your wedding ring swings clockwise, must be a girl. You crave sweet not savory, your pee is orange… the list is endless. Basically the only way to find out is by Ultrasound, NIPS, CVS or Amnio. Everything else is just a punt at best!

10. Have you read the latest research about..?

Pregnant women, especially first time pregnant women, constantly worry that they are not reading enough, researching enough, giving up enough or doing enough, that they are responsible for not giving their unborn baby every opportunity. But the constant barrage of information of what worked or did not work for someone’s sister’s brother-in-law’s first wife is enough to drive any sane person to drink. Please, keep your opinions to yourself!

10 Things To Love About Being Pregnant

Pregnancy is like a rollercoaster; there are always plenty of ups and downs.

Aside from the miserable side effects like morning sickness, uncomfortable sleepless nights and body pains, there just so happens to be some great things about being pregnant. Shocker, right?

Here are a Few Things to Love about being Pregnant!

  • Excuses

With a growing bump, you’ve got the perfect excuse for almost anything, even for getting out of the housework. You can say goodbye to the housework and chores with a simple “I don’t feel up to it” – you will no longer have to put the bins out. It’s also the best excuse to give yourself some extra pampering. Say hello to long scented baths and relaxing massages!

  • Attention & love

For the next nine months you are guaranteed to be getting a lot more attention from those around you. You’ll be taken care of by your family, friends and partner and they will help make this journey go by smoother for you.

  •  VIP treatment

Not only will you be given attention from those around you, the outside world will take plenty of notice too. Look forward to plenty of smiles and kind gestures from total strangers. From people holding the door for you, offering their seats to you and carrying heavy things for you – you’ll be feeling very special in no time.

  • Good hair & nails

Pregnancy hormones can result in a fabulous head of hair and fingernails during your pregnancy. Many people notice a change in the health of their hair, which makes it stronger and glossier than ever before! 

  • Boobs!

Did we mention cleavage? In the early stages of pregnancy, your breasts tend to grow bigger as blood flow increases, breast tissue changes and milk ducts form. That’s why it’s common for breasts to go up by a cup size or two during pregnancy. For those who were born with smaller boobs, it’s your chance to flaunt them and see how the other half live!

  • Food, food and more food.

Once the morning sickness subsides and the cravings kick in – you’ll be loving life! Although you do not have to eat for two, you can indulge in your cravings with little guilt or worry!

  • Naps

These are practically a requirement for all pregnant women. You no longer have to feel guilty about sneaking in a few refreshing naps during the daytime!

  • First moments

You’ll never forget those first few moments. From those first little kicks and squirms, a hiccup or seeing them on an ultrasound scan – there will never be a dull moment when it comes to the new life inside of you.

  • Shopping

Who doesn’t love shopping? You’ll have plenty of time to help choose some adorable little baby clothes, new furniture and decorate the nursery in time for the arrival of the little one.

  • Anticipation

The anticipation keeps it exciting. From the beginning to the end, there are plenty of fun and nervous moments. From keeping it a secret, the look of excitement and surprise when you tell your family, finding out the gender, and picking out a name – there are endless joyful moments during a pregnancy.

What did/do you love about being pregnant?

Pregnancy Myths – True or False?

We have all heard a wives tale or two about pregnancy, but there are SO many! How do you know what ones are actually accurate? We did a bit of research and took a closer look at some common myths:

  • Myth #1 – Pregnant women should avoid exercise

Not true folks! This issue has been rather topical recently with Michelle Bridges in the media. A number of health experts have come out in support of Michelle Bridges and have stated that it is perfectly okay to exercise during pregnancy. It really is a matter of how much.

Michelle Bridges is an exceptionally fit person so what may look like a lot for us really isn’t for others. We suggest cutting back to 70% of your normal routine while pregnant. So if you normally jog 10kms there is nothing wrong with a jog, but why not strip it back and not go over 7kms?

  • Myth #2 – You are eating for two

This is an old one that strangely still gets thrown around. According to Time, carrying a baby actually requires 300 extra calories a day. This means you should be eating for about one and a fifth. So keep the overeating to a minimum – it’s actually better for the baby’s health too. Nutritious foods are the way to go mums-to-be!

  • Myth #3 – You can’t drink coffee

You CAN! Good news for all the caffeine addicts out there! While it has been deemed as safe for pregnant women to drink coffee it is important to not go overboard.

A small cup of coffee a day is usually fine, however it is worth checking this with your own doctor to make sure any underlying health conditions will not be impacted.

What’s the weirdest pregnancy myth you have heard?

Ultrasound in Pregnancy

Ultrasound in pregnancy (also known as ‘sonograms’ or ‘scans’) can be performed for a variety of reasons. Medical ultrasounds in pregnancy work on the same principle as sonar (used in oceanography to map the sea bed). The technician uses a hand-held ultrasound probe (or ‘transducer’) to generate and receive high frequency sound waves that cannot be heard by the human ear.

Hundreds of sound waves are emitted from the transducer during each scan. These waves are absorbed and bounced back from human tissues, bones and body fluids (all with different densities) to create black and white ultrasound images that look similar to a photographic negative, with black areas indicating liquid mediums (such as amniotic fluid) and grey or white areas indicating denser materials such as tissues and bones.

The sound frequency of ultrasound is measured in megahertz (or MHz). Frequencies used for pregnancy ultrasounds can range from 1.6 to 10 MHz, but are more commonly between 3 and 7.5 MHz.

Generally the lower the frequency, the further (or deeper) the sound waves can penetrate the body’s tissues. Ultrasound waves that create images for visual examination are intermittently ‘pulsed’ to reduce the heating of the body’s tissues (unlike continuous ultrasound therapies that may be used to treat injured muscles and tissues). ‘Diagnostic ultrasounds’ (that create images) tend to require lower intensities than Doppler ultrasound, used to assess blood flow through the cord and placenta and to listen to the baby’s heartbeat.

Ultrasound does not use radiation (like x-rays) and is seen by many caregivers as a non-invasive way to view the unborn baby, uterus and placenta during pregnancy.

The physical effects and research into the safety of ultrasounds are looked at in Ultrasounds in pregnancy are performed by a qualified Sonographer (technologist) or a Sonologist (specialist doctor). In a hospital environment usually the Sonographer performs the examination and the Sonologist in charge of the department interprets the images and writes up the final report.

Types of ultrasounds in Pregnancy

There are many different ways ultrasound in pregnancy, for various reasons. We perform the following:

Listening to the baby’s heartbeat

Ultrasound technology is often used to listen to an unborn baby’s heartbeat (after 12 weeks of pregnancy). Caregivers can use a hand-held portable doppler (or ‘sonocaid’) that emits sound waves of about 2 MHz of frequency to detect changes in blood flow through the baby’s heart to produce an audible sound. CTG monitors also use ultrasound to continuously record the baby’s heart rate during pregnancy and labour.

3D and 4D Ultrasounds in Pregnancy

Most ultrasounds are conventional 2D (or two-dimensional) images. 2D ultrasound images are made up of a series of thin image ‘slices’, with only one slice being visible at any one time to create a ‘flat’ looking picture.

During the late 1990’s, 3D or ‘three-dimensional’ ultrasounds (also known as ‘ultrasound holographs’) started to become available in some ultrasound centers. However, 3D ultrasound machines are extremely expensive and are not widely accessible at this stage.

3D ultrasounds work by taking thousands of images ‘slices’ in a series (called a ‘volume of echoes’). The volumes are then digitally stored and shaded to produce 3 dimensional images of the baby that look more life-like. 4D (or ‘four-dimensional’ images) just means the images can be seen to move in ‘real time’ so the activity of the baby can be studied.

Most 3D ultrasound machines require the operator to hold the transducer steady, while the internal workings of the transducer move at the correct speed to capture each ‘volume’. Other machines can involve the operator manually moving the transducer over the area to capture the volume. However, this requires a good deal of skill and practice so the transducer is kept perfectly steady and images are obtained at the proper rate and angle.

From a medical perspective, 3D/4D ultrasounds are not essential and generally, all the information your caregiver needs can be obtained through a conventional 2D ultrasound. However, the claimed benefits for using 3D/4D machines can include:

Seeing some parts of the baby more clearly and at any angle. For example, better visualising abnormalities such as a heart defect, cleft lip or neural tube defects such as spina bifida. This may help make better plans for the baby’s treatments and care soon after birth. Sometimes an additional 3D ultrasound will be ordered to have a better look at an abnormality that may have been detected with a routine 2D ultrasound.

Gender Scans

It’s become increasingly common to find out the gender of your baby before it’s born. It sure takes the guesswork out of knowing what you need before the baby arrives! But how does a gender scan actually work?

At a gender scan, an ultrasound machine (sonogram) transmits high-frequency sound waves through your uterus. The sound waves bounce off your baby and are translated by a computer into an image on a screen, showing your baby’s position and movements.

The first chance you have for a scan is at around 11-13 weeks. The main purpose of this scan is not to determine gender, but to check the likelihood of your baby having Down Syndrome.

This scan will give you the first glimpse of your baby and if the baby is lying on its back, in a profile position, surrounded by amniotic fluid and with its legs wide open it may be possible to get a result from the gender scan.

It is important to understand that the result of a gender scan at 11-13 weeks is usually no more than an “informed guess” by the sonographer (the person carrying out the scan) as at that age the penis and an enlarged clitoris can look the same. In many cases during this early gender scan the penis can be tucked in behind the bottom, which gives the appearance of a girl.

Most women wait for their second scan, an anomaly scan or baby health check scan as an opportunity for a gender scan. This scan is carried out at around 18-21 weeks.

If you want to know the sex of your baby, you should ask your sonographer during the scan to do a gender scan for you. It is best to ask them at the beginning of the scan so that they are aware that they need to check.

It is important to be aware that it is not possible for your sonographer to be 100% certain about your baby’s sex. For example, if your baby is lying in an awkward position, it may be difficult, or impossible, to tell whether your baby is male or female.

If you can’t wait until your 20 week scan, but are over 16 weeks, call us at Early Image where gender scans are our specialty. Our sonographers will take all the time they need to make sure that baby is in exactly the right position before making any determination.