In Utero 3D, a company based in Poland, is breaking down barriers by allowing blind mothers to hold their babies before they are born. Through their project, “Waiting Without Barriers,” the company makes 3D models of unborn babies out of 3D ultrasounds.
Using a 3D printer, the company creates a bas-relief of the unborn child in a process that takes about 8-10 hours. In Utero 3D aims to show accurate representations of the unborn baby and does not manipulate or idealize the models.
“The bas-relief is a true three dimensional representation of baby and environment in the mother’s womb,” their website states. “We maintain all proportions, spatial relations and actual dimensions of [the] unborn child.”
In order to qualify for the program, mothers must tell their doctor prior to the ultrasound and provide documentation of disability. For about 25 cents USD, mothers can obtain a bas-relief of their unborn baby, allowing them to visualize the child through touch.
The models are making a difference for blind parents who want to connect with their unborn children. One blind father described the experience of holding a model of his unborn child, Johnny, as “a revelation and amazing feeling.”
“I can touch and palpate every detail of the face of my little Johnny. I feel the nose, mouth, eyes — all the details are very clear. Now I can perceive how our baby looks like in 1:1 scale,” he said.
In Utero 3D plans to create the bas-relief models for sighted parents for a cost of around $98 USD.