Maternal-fetal attachment describes the emotional bond that typically develops between a pregnant woman and her unborn child. The strength of this bond is likely associated with the health or behavior of the mother and the well-being of the child, with higher levels of attachment generally resulting in greater degrees of postnatal bonding, noted Dr. John Coté and colleagues from Creighton University School of Medicine.
Ultrasound exams are routinely performed during maternity care and showing these scans to mothers has been associated with increased maternal-fetal attachment, the authors continued. Preliminary studies have also suggested that the use of more advanced modalities could further increase attachment levels.
To explore this possibility, Coté and colleagues conducted a randomized controlled trial in which they assessed maternal-fetal attachment levels in 96 pregnant women. All the women underwent an ultrasound exam during the third trimester of pregnancy.
To create the 3D-printed models, the researchers extracted and processed ultrasound scans of the fetuses, converted the files into virtual 3D models, and then sent the 3D models to a 3D printer. The resulting fetal figurines served as representations of the fetus based on the ultrasound data and were not exact replicas.
Above: PepsiCo food, snack, and beverage product line-up/Source: PepsiCo PepsiCo turned to tooling with 3D printing...