Goodbye ultrasound pictures: Hello 3D models of unborn fetus

Some parents-to-be are so excited about their unborn children, they can barely contain themselves — sonogram pictures are tweeted and posted on Facebook, teensy heartbeats are recorded, and expensive 3D ultrasound pictures are shown off to friends who drop by for dinner.

But now a Japanese collaboration may be a game-changer in the ever-expanding baby product market.

"The Japanese engineering firm Fasotec is teaming up with Tokyo's Parkside Hiroo Ladies Clinic to offer expecting mothers 3D-printed models of their gestating bundles of joy," reports io9.

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Say what?

Yes, a 3D model. Expectant mothers will have their entire pelvic region scanned by an MRI machine. The scan is then 3D printed, using clear resin for the mother's body and white resin for the fetus, reports Wired magazine.

The result? A 90 x 60 x 40mm resin model of the unborn baby's precise position in the womb when the MRI was taken. And because of the clear resin surrounding the fetus, is appears as if the baby is peacefully floating in amniotic fluid. The floating baby is then packaged in what appears to be a felt-lined gift box.

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The company is calling the service "Shape of an Angel" and will cost parents-to-be the equivalent of $1280 Cnd.

For Canadian women looking for a similar experience, 3D ultrasounds seem to be the way to go and will run you anywhere from $100 to $300, depending on the package you choose. Sure, you won't get a plasticized version of your baby, packaged in a jewellery box, but you will have photos you can terrorize your kids with for years to come.

Watch the video below with answers to some common breastfeeding questions.