Blind Parents Are Able To Feel Unborn Baby’s Face Thanks To New 3D Technology
Aug 14, 2020 by apost team
The anatomy scan of your unborn baby is one of the most exciting moments of your pregnancy. It is the first connection that the mother makes with the baby. Unfortunately, blind mothers cannot see their babies because of being visually impaired. However, things are changing because of advancements made in technology. Blind parents can now get access to 3D models of their babies. With the 3D models, the mother can touch the face of her unborn child.
Pregnant women usually go to their ultrasound appointments at around 18 to 22 weeks. The anatomy scan is one of the most exciting moments for mothers. The purpose of the scan is to make sure the fetus is developing correctly. It is also a good time for the parents to find out the sex of their unborn child. The anatomy scan gives parents the first snapshot of the visual features of their baby.
It is an enjoyable experience that some blind parents do not get to enjoy. Without vision, they miss out on connecting with their unborn baby on this level. On the other hand, an anatomy scan is not a requirement of pregnancy, but it makes the parents feel closer to the baby. Thankfully, technology has changed the outlook for visually impaired parents. Instead of visual photos, they can obtain access to 3D models of their babies. Blind parents can strengthen their bond even more because of being able to feel what the baby’s face looks like.
A woman named Taylor Ellis, who lives in Cockeysville, Maryland, interviewed for the Washington Post. Taylor Ellis is blind and is 26 years old. She received a package in the mail that contained the 3D model. This experience was incredibly emotional for Ellis. The use of 3D technology came from Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, according to the Washington Post.
The idea came about when the hospital was performing a scientific procedure on fetuses with spina bifida. Jena Miller, who is an obstetrician and a surgeon, used 3D technology to get a more precise look at the spines of fetuses who had it. She felt this approach was more effective at determining who would need surgery. Printers create a real-world prototype based on 3D design. These devices assemble the 3D model in layers. For example, furniture, tools, and toys have been crafted in the same manner with the use of 3D printers.istockphotos.com/Estradaanton
The automotive industry now depends on 3D printers to make auto parts. Architects also use the printers to restore fragile artifacts, according to PCMag. It means that people are starting to use 3D technology to learn more about the world. However, this technology is not new to hospitals and researchers like Johns Hopkins Hospital. They have been using 3D technology for years.
It helps with making surgeries as minimally invasive as possible. However, this technology is in the beginning stages of helping blind parents to see their unborn baby. Presently, the focus is on the face of the fetuses. It is difficult to scan the entire body and get a clear picture, but you never know how technology will advance in the future. One day, it may be possible for all expecting parents to get a 3D model of their unborn baby.
Taylor Ellis and her husband, Jeremy Ellis, are both visually impaired. This pregnancy is not the first one for the couple. They already have two children. However, Taylor was not visually impaired during the birth of her other two children. After the birth of the older children, her glaucoma became worse. That makes things different for this pregnancy.
Taylor is still young, which means the vision loss was even more devastating. However, technological advancements allow Taylor to have similar experiences as her first pregnancy. Taylor also said the models seem strangely realistic. “It feels super-real when you can feel it,” she said. Each 3D model takes around three and a half hours to make, according to the Washington Post. If this option is available to everyone, then it can take a lot of time. This option is available to parents who are unable to see their unborn baby for the first time. Taylor said the model made her feel the same way as her previous pregnancies when her vision was intact.
Melissa Riccobono, the president of the Maryland Parents of Blind Children, is excited about this opportunity. Melissa and her husband are both blind. They also have three children, and two of the children are visually impaired, as well. The 3D model was not available during Melissa’s ultrasounds. She received photos with the images slightly raised, which allowed for touching the image. However, it was not as realistic.
Blind parents are more common then you may think, which makes services like this advantageous. Stacy Cervenka wrote a personal account of her own experience for the U.S. News & World Report. “Blindness is considered a low incidence disability,” Stacy wrote. “While most estimates show that there are around 10 million blind people in the United States and we are generally active in our communities, our numbers pale in comparison to people with more common disabilities, such as autism and learning disabilities.”
However, Stacey Cervenka hopes this information will dispel any myths people have about vision-impaired parents. These things are not true. It is a disability but does not take away from them being good parents. Taylor lost her visual gradually but did not allow it to stop her from living. She did not think her vision should stop her from having another child despite knowing this pregnancy would be different.
The 3D models allow blind parents to enjoy the experience of their first ultrasound. Everyone should have the opportunity to enjoy the same experiences. It could take time before hospitals and health centers start using 3D printing on a regular basis. However, it is still a game-changer knowing this technology is available.
Let’s create awareness and help more families to bond with their unborn babies, pass this along!