Video: As 4D baby scans reach Norfolk, are we finding out too much about our unborn child?
Latest technology now means we can meet our baby long before they are born but with the popularity of 4D scans on the rise, reporter DONNA-LOUISE BISHOP asks if we are losing focus on the real reason for having them?
It is one of life's landmark moments - the first time you see your baby.
Now, with advancing technology, a growing number of women are choosing to have that moment weeks before their due date.
And it is all thanks to the 4D scan which is allowing proud parents to see a moving film of their baby in the womb from 16 weeks.
But with this leap in medical science, are we losing sight of the real reason for having a scan in the first place?
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Dave Cheese, owner of the Norwich branch of Window to the Womb, on Timberhill, in the city centre, said a 4D scan was not about ignoring the medical aspect, but instead offering soon-to-be-parents a once in a lifetime experience.
'It's a complete broad range of people who come in, from people finding out the gender to people just wanting to meet their baby earlier,' he said. 'Lots of other family members like to come to the scan too as for some people, such as grandparents, they might not have seen a scan before.
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'I think a 4D scan is a way of enjoying your baby and seeing your little one before it's born, in a nice environment.'
Research is still on-going to find out if extra scans are a danger to unborn babies.
Mr Cheese explained that at Window to the Womb they have adopted the 'as low as reasonably achievable' protocol when scanning, which means the scanners are set at the lowest levels that will allow images.
He also put the rise in popularity down to social media, and said websites such as Facebook and Twitter helped to fuel the excitement as people could share their photos and videos online.
So with more and more choosing to have 4D scans, what exactly are the incentives?
Lead midwife for education at the University of East Anglia's School of Nursing Science, Kenda Crozier, explained why routine scans were done.
'The 12-week scan is a dating scan to help make decisions about when screening should take place for fetal anomalies.
'Then at the 20-week scan those can be checked and that involves looking at all the visible structures of the fetus.'
And although some have claimed that a 4D scan is an unnecessary luxury Dr Crozier said research in America had shown evidence to support maternal and parental bonding with the baby.
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