Cuddle and show off your 3D foetus made from ultrasound scans

Foetus models (above) and a 3D printed foetus sculpture for the office desk.
Foetus models (above) and a 3D printed foetus sculpture for the office desk.PHOTO: YOUTUBE
Foetus models and a 3D printed foetus sculpture (above) for the office desk.
Foetus models and a 3D printed foetus sculpture (above) for the office desk.PHOTO: YOUTUBE

Pay $822 for a 3D model of "baby" made from ultrasound scans

LONDON • Everyone likes cuddling babies, but doing it before the baby is actually born is a bit weird.

We do not mean wrapping your arms around a pregnant woman's bulge - we mean cuddling a 3D model of a foetus, taken from an ultrasound scan and turned into an actual plastic object.

Yet, according to Britain's top video parenting website, Channel Mum, this will be the baby trend for this year. Expectant parents can pay about £400 (S$822) for a full eight-inch "baby" before the real thing is born.

If that is too much, a mere £170 will get you a small cast of your unborn child's head and shoulders, made with a 3D printer.

Which is cute, right? Just a little sawn-off sculpture of the head of your foetus to take to work? No?

Well, steel yourselves, because a quarter of British parents have apparently shown interest in getting their hands on one of these oddities, inspired by the United States trend for "gender-reveal parties".

Yes, just when you thought this was bad enough already, it links in with an American craze for gathering together everyone you know to announce that your baby is going to be one of two things. (You know, you're either having a boy or a girl, you're not going to give birth to a wardrobe.)

Anyway, there is no point asking if musician David Bowie died for this, because, before you know it, well-meaning bearded men will be swaddling these fake babies in slings and popping to the super- market with them strapped to their chests to get some practice in before the birth.

Just imagine - you might find yourself going round to a friend's house and being asked if you have ever held a newborn, before being handed a small perspex print-out of their zygotes.

In other parenting predictions for this year, Channel Mum has also discovered that a full 77 per cent of parents would consider giving their child a Star Wars-inspired name.

That makes you wonder if they did this survey while standing outside the local cinema the week before Christmas.

The most popular names this year are set to include Finn, Ezra and Rey, all characters in The Force Awakens. Then there is the trend for the Heartbeat Bear Kit, a £25 gadget that records the sound of your unborn baby's heartbeat as a pregnancy keepsake.

Meanwhile, 68 per cent of mothers say they would consider adopting a local pensioner as a granny stand-in, apparently inspired by the Man On The Moon Christmas advertisement for department store John Lewis, which has become a viral hit. (The advertisement is about a young girl trying to contact an old man spotted living alone on the moon).

This combats the loneliness of both old people and new mothers, with websites to link up interested parties on both sides.

Though it is a trend that will presumably last only until they invent a 3D printer to print out an OAP (Old Age Pensioner) of your very own instead.

THE GUARDIAN

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 19, 2016, with the headline 'Cuddle and show off your foetus'. Print Edition | Subscribe