Forget grainy black and white ultrasounds; the newest way to see your unborn baby is a 3-D 'doll' of your foetus.
Would you want a 'doll' version of your unborn child? Several companies around the world offer expectant parents a 3D model of the foetus to "ooh" and "aah" over.
Japanese company FASOTEC was the first to offer the service in 2012. For about $NZ1,250 expectant parents could buy a nine centimetre resin model of the foetus, called the "Shape of an Angel", encased in a transparent block in the shape of the mother's body, and fashioned by a 3D printer after an MRI scan.
Meanwhile American couple Gerard and Katie Bessette's business, 3D Babies, offers foetuses in two sizes: life-size (40 cm, reflecting the actual size of a foetus at eight to nine months, which is the recommended time of performing a 3D ultrasound), and half-size, 20cm.
And in Lancashire, England, Katie Kermode set up 3D and 4D baby scanning clinic Baby:Boo after she suffered two miscarriages. Each 3D printed baby cost parents about $NZ340, and can be mounted and framed or simply loose in a box so parents can hold their baby before it is born.
"People do think it’s a little odd but it’s similar to creating casts of babies’ feet or hands, Kermode told UK newspaper the Daily Mail.
"It’s actually a really lovely keepsake to cherish. The 3D figurines
are a really unique way to share the excitement ofyour new baby with family and friends – there will be no need to look at scan pictures any more, they can almost see the real thing."
AFP PHOTO / Yoshikazu TSUNO