13/01/2012 15:16 GMT | Updated 22/05/2015 10:12 BST

'Foetus Parties' Slammed For Commercialisation Of Pregnancy By Royal College Of Midwives

Traditional scan PA

Planning a baby shower for your forthcoming arrival? Forget it - they are so last season. The latest must-throw bash for mums-to-be is a 'foetus party' where awe-struck guests assemble to watch you undergo an ultrasound scan in 3 or 4D of your unborn baby...

The parties are currently gaining in popularity in the US, and with it only being a matter of time before they become the next big thing in the UK, some medics are critical of the 'commercialisation' of pregnancy that they represent.

Writing for the BBC's Scrubbing Up column, Prof Cathy Warwick, chief executive of the Royal College of Midwives, shares her worries about the "commercialisation and the commodification of pregnancy and childbirth."

She says the "trend in foetus parties can add to the burden and can increase the expectation for mothers which midwives then have to deal with."

Prof Warwick also asks whether diagnostic scans should be used for entertainment, and questions companies which provide gift items featuring foetuses, such as fridge magnets and teddy bears. She writes that one company even provides a "champagne celebration scan package for £165 and a VIP scan package for £185". This, she says, is a "far cry from the original purpose of ultrasound."

Did you have a 3D or 4D scan? Did you take family and friends?
Is it just an extra reassurance and joy for those who can afford it?
Or is it indeed a 'far cry from what diagnostic scans should be used for'?

Read our reader Claire's experience of 'amazing' 4D scans here.

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