British Soccer Star Has Ultrasound Party
For most, childbirth and everything leading up to it is a private affair. For others, it's a public display of affection.
Wayne and Coleen Rooney, a famous British couple (Wayne plays soccer for England and Manchester United), took the grainy ultrasound scan of their unborn baby to another level by hiring someone to come to their home and perform a 4D ultrasound for family and friends, according to the Daily Mail.
In other words, they entered... The Fourth Dimension. (Cue spooky music.)
What is a 4D ultrasound? Technically the procedure is a 3D ultrasound where the images are produced quickly enough to simulate video. (The fourth dimension is time, so the 4D refers to the images being produced in real time.)
The regular ultrasounds that most of us have experienced are sound waves bouncing back to the machine. Since the baby is moving, the image will have a blurriness similar to the what you get when taking low-resolution cell phone video of anything moving.
So a 4D ultrasound offers what some feel is a more accurate image of what is happening in the womb.
Since the 4D version of the scan does not give doctors and parents any more information about the fetus than the traditional 2D ultrasound, this is an elective procedure. The Rooneys reportedly paid £300, or about $500, to rent a sonographer and the necessary equipment. Had they done it in a doctor's office, they might have saved a few bucks. One provider of 4D ultrasounds offers packages that range from $99 to $199, depending on what you want to know and how far along you are in the pregnancy.
There are some risks involved. The fetus is being exposed to sound waves for a longer period of time with the 3D/4D ultrasound than they would with a 2D scan, and a 2006 study on mice showed some neurological changes with prolonged exposure to sound waves. Doctors generally feel that ultrasounds are safe as long as the scan lasts no longer than 30 minutes.
So what's next? 5D, of course. According to Wikipedia, "In 5D ultrasound, tissue density is the 5th dimension, and 5D ultrasounds may provide clearer pictures, more accurate images, and finer detail."
The Fifth Dimension is also the band that sang "Aquarius/Let the Sun Shine In." Maybe they can cut a deal for the commercials.
Here is a video of a 4D ultrasound.
Would you have this procedure? And would you invite your friends and family over to see it?
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.