Women who give up the idea of having babies following 'dirty nappy and sleepless night' nightmares have been given a "new lease of life", courtesy lifelike baby dolls.
The makers of these "reborn" baby dolls, also called 'rebirthers', paint the doll in such a way that it gives a translucent newborn effect, and then thousands of individual strands of mohair or angora goat hair are micro-rooted in the doll's head.
AdvertisementTheir body is packed with cotton batting and clear pellets.
These dolls also have heat packs that provide a realistic warm baby sensation, fat packs that replicate soft baby fat, while others have magnetically attached "umbilical cords".
They also have battery-powered heartbeat simulators or a device that makes the chest rise and fall to simulate breathing, something, which makes it feel like a real baby.
These lifelike dolls can also be used in some nursing homes where they are used to calm and comfort confused or anxious patients.
Rachel Tams, 22, of Rachel's Reborns in Stoke on Trent, has made more than 500 dolls since she first discovered them four years ago.
She once had a customer whose baby girl had died aged three months. She kept her 'reborn', modelled on a photo of her child, in her baby's cot.
"It really helped the mother. She sends me thank-you letters and gifts," the Daily Express quoted Rachel as saying.
"She wanted something three-dimensional rather than just photos," she added.
Gail Tomarchio, a counsellor from Pennsylvania, also agrees that the 'reborn' could have been helpful.
"The mother saw it as a transitional object and it can work with bereavement or miscarriage," said Tomarchio.
"As long as she didn't treat it as a baby and saw the doll for what it is, it's not a problem. If she just needed something to fill the crib to help her through the grieving process, that's fine," Tomarchio added.
Diana Mosquera, owner of Diana's Birthing Room in South Florida, runs courses on childcare and infant nursing.
During the course, these dolls are used to demonstrate birthing and nursing techniques to mums-to-be.
"I was always in search of a better doll. I found reborns and decided to make one of my own. It was my hobby but it's become my new business," she said.
She also makes some reborns with open mouths, which are later used to help new mothers to practice breast-feeding.
"Pregnant women practise breast-feeding on the dolls. The realism of these reborns allows them to latch the babies on correctly."