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New technology for soon-to-be mothers

The days of expectant mothers squinting at the sonogram machine, trying to identify which shape on the screen is their baby, may be gone thanks to new ultrasound technology.

Miracle View Ultrasound, in Phoenix, offers 3D and 4D ultrasounds to their customers, giving them a more vivid image of their child.

3D ultrasounds use special probes in order to generate 3D still images of the baby, while 4D includes the element of motion, making it look like a video, stated Miracle View’s website. This facility also offers HD Live, which is a 4D ultrasound with new rendering and lighting software to create a more realistic image.

Miracle View provides a live streaming service, so family members can view the ultrasound live from anywhere in the world.

Shelly Anderson heard about Miracle View through an advertisement in a baby magazine and decided to purchase a gift certificate for her daughter, Rachel, who was expecting her first baby.

Miracle View allows up to seven guests to be in the room with the mother for the viewing, making this an experience for the whole family.

“I think the mother-to-be naturally bonds with the baby during pregnancy,” Shelly Anderson said. “This lets the family bond too.”

Rachel Anderson said she was apprehensive about the procedure beforehand.

“I’ve seen some that were pretty scary looking,” she said. “But once we were in there and I saw my daughter’s face, it was a different story. I could see her expressions and she had so much personality.

“It was truly incredible.”

Shelly Anderson also said it was a good experience.

“I got a bit weepy and I am not the weepy type,” she said. “The science of it all just fascinates me. I was seeing my grandchild in real time, not a photo. Hearing her heartbeat and seeing it beating just humbled me.”

Keith Holman is co-owner of Miracle View along with its founder, Melissa Stiles. Stiles started the business 10 years ago after this technology came out because she wanted to take ultrasounds to another level, Holman said.

Miracle View’s procedures are strictly elective, Holman said. They allow expectant families to see pictures and videos of their baby, along with determining the gender.

However, women seeking an ultrasound at Miracle View must already be receiving prenatal care from a doctor and have done a medical ultrasound beforehand, as state on its website. Mothers also must be at least 15 weeks pregnant in order to have the procedure done.

Holman said the scanning is exactly the same process as 2D ultrasounds, and poses no extra risk. It is simply a “better” way to see the baby, he said.

Included in the ultrasound packages are a DVD recording of the session set to music of the customer’s choice, printed black and white and color images and a bag of sample baby products, among other things.

Both Rachel — who gave birth to a baby girl on Sept. 18 — and Shelly Anderson recommended Miracle View to other families.

“It was a relaxing atmosphere and an experience to have before the baby arrives,” Rachel Anderson said.

Shelly Anderson said, “Technology gets a bum rap a lot of the time. Here is an example of how truly great it is to live in the 21st century.”