Moms-to-be often love to see their babies on ultrasound. The technology keeps getting better. Now, CHI Health Clinic Women's Health at Lakeside is offering 3D/4D ultrasounds to moms and giving them a chance to buy 3-dimensional printed mold of their baby's face in a shadow box.
Kristy Fleming received a print of her son Theodore before he was born. "Just having that picture on his shelf, I would look at it all the time--knowing that's the baby that's inside me."
Dr. John Coté noticed moms seem to react differently to these prints than they do simply by seeing a 2D ultrasound image. He is now researching if these prints might help with maternal/fetal attachment and bonding. If it does, he says that could impact the health of both mom and baby.
Dr. Coté said, "if a mother has an improved attachment or bonding with her fetus before they're born that impacts after they're born as well--decreasing depression potentially, increasing the chances they'll be more healthy in the pregnancy, reducing smoking, decreasing alcohol consumption. In general, if we can improve attachment or bonding, potentially we can make outcomes better in the long run after the baby is born."
He recently saw that the print helped a family who had a baby with a cleft lip and palate understand what the child would look like. He published that case in the Journal of 3D Printing in Medicine.
A few years ago, a commercial showed a blind woman in Brazil being able to feel her son's facial features before he was born.
But again, Dr. Coté believes this technology could potentially benefit all moms and babies. Dr. Coté says ultrasounds are considered quite safe especially if you are getting them in the clinic setting, however, if you have any questions, it's best to talk to your physician.
For more information on the ultrasounds and prices for a print, click here. They are available to purchase for patients at CHI Health Clinic Women's Health at Lakeside. The cost of an ultrasound and 3D print in a shadow box is $200.