If you're a parent, or know someone who is, you've probably seen the so-called "first" baby pictures through an ultrasound or sonogram photo.
Well, things have changed! The static pictures we're used to seeing have revolved into pictures so good; you can tell what your baby looks like.
High-resolution ultrasound and more powerful computing allows doctors to see the baby in what they call 4-D, the usual three dimension plus the fourth time.
Watching the baby move gives doctors valuable information.
Doctors say they can detect any cranio-facial abnormalities, any neurological problems that may impair the baby's movement, etc. Plus, they say you can see the baby's movement in real time.
External abnormalities are easily seen with this system, anything from cleft lip or other facial deformities to spinal problems like spina bifida.
The pictures can even be saved and e-mailed to experts for second opinions. Doctors say it's especially important for moms who have already had a baby with a problem, and even moms with perfectly normal babies benefit.
While the machine that takes these photos costs more, doctors say that the scans should be reimbursed by health insurance when there is a valid medical reason for taking the more detailed look at the baby.
GE is the manufacturer of the 4-D machine, which is also the parent company of NBC.