I was wondering if hospitals let you take pictures of any ultrasound home? Also if so how large or small are they-what are the sizes of the prints? ?

6 Answers 6


It definitely varies by hospital. We went to a ultra-modern Chicago downtown hospital, and didn't receive any sort of video recording (nor did we have the option of such). What we received was printouts on tape (very high resolution version of cash register tape, the kind that is printed on with heat imagery). Black and white pictures (which is consistent with a regular ultrasound), nice looking, but not video. 10cm square sounds about right.

We did two ultrasounds (as do most people nowadays), one at 12 weeks to confirm it wasn't ectopic, and one at 20 weeks for various diagnostic purposes. We got some pictures during both appointments. During the second one they take quite a few pictures, and if you have a friendly tech you should get several good looking pictures there (including the 'boy or girl' picture at that appointment).

I recommend asking your OB/GYN during your 8 week appointment about what you should bring, if anything; if you don't have another appointment prior to your ultrasound, call your OB/GYN's receptionist, she/he can likely tell you.


For both of ours, we took home a DVD recording and some hard copy prints, roughly 10cm x 10cm. This was a while ago, so there might be new stuff now. I know you can get 3D ultrasounds, I not think it serves any diagnostic purpose - they just look pretty.

  • The 3D ultrasounds are generally not performed by the hospital, but by third parties (often at malls or similar locations). They are somewhat controversial, as to whether they may pose some risk to the fetus for no diagnostic gain.
    – Joe
    Aug 25, 2014 at 15:17
  • 1
    Some UK hospitals offer the 3D ultrasound images in addition to the traditional 2D ones. In Scotland, I think it is only the private hospitals that do this, but I know of a couple of NHS hospitals in England that have the facilities.
    – Rory Alsop
    Aug 25, 2014 at 17:11
  • Actually we had to do a 3D ultrasound because the placenta had an extra 'lobe' and they needed to see if there were any cord connecting them, and where it was relative to the cervix and the baby, and if the placenta fed the baby and not each other or something. So some anomaly make them want to do a 3D one - we didn't need or have one for baby 2. Btw the 3D pics we got were - umm, really odd looking.
    – Ida
    Aug 25, 2014 at 17:19
  • Yes, @Ida is right. The 3D pics are not, in my opinion worth it (they were ridiculously expensive if I remember correctly, and that was only 2.5 years ago.) we got to see a few 3D images...they have me nightmares. A 20 week old fetus is not exactly, uh, cute. There's a reason a pregnant woman's tummy isn't transparent like a fishbowl. Something's should remain a mystery!
    – Jax
    Aug 26, 2014 at 1:46
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    In Austria, we got 3D ultrasounds as well. At no extra cost. Aug 26, 2014 at 9:38

Every hospital has different equipment, so call ahead and ask them. I had to bring a VCR tape (that was 15 years ago, so I'm sure it's something else now). The last thing you want is to guess, get there, and find you were wrong.


Our gyn gave us printouts. Our hospital gave us printouts as well as a CD with JPG images. At no cost.

The printouts were roughly postcard-sized, and I scanned them into the computer when we got home.


As others have said, the printouts are small black and white squares. Most places will let you take a few home. Once, I only got three, another time, I got close to a dozen. 5" square (if you aren't into cm's) approximately. Here's a warning (which is is probably common sense but I'll make no assumptions): these need to be protected from heat and light. I had a few that got ruined within an hour in the car on a warm spring day (heat) And another has not stood the test of time -a decade- on my mom's fridge under normal conditions (light being the culprit here. Or, the noxious fumes from her cooking... ;-P )

Hey, if the tech turns out to be ultra stingy, you might try snapping some photos with your mobile phone's camera (paparazzi style). The quality will be about the same.


Our gave us printouts in an A4 page, with all the evaluation for each exam (done almost monthly). And we could have the whole exam recorded in a DVD for $10. The 3d one was a must have!

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