Grandma showers, 3D baby models, and more: the latest pregnancy trends

Party time ... Will the new American trend of grandma showers catch on in Australia too?
Party time ... Will the new American trend of grandma showers catch on in Australia too? 

Once upon a time, pregnant women hid their bellies under tent-like pastel frocks featuring over-sized bows and were advised to drink a pint of beer each night to help boost iron levels.

Thankfully pregnancy trends have come a long way, but are the newest ideas always the best? 

Here we share five of the latest trends for mums-to-be in 2014 so you can judge whether they are brilliant or baffling.

3D Babies come in three different sizes and skin colours.
3D Babies come in three different sizes and skin colours. 

3D models of your unborn baby

Gone are the days of squinting at a fuzzy white image on an ultrasound screen with your head tilted sideways as you try to determine whether you are looking at baby's arm or leg. Now it's possible to hold your baby - well, a life-sized model of it anyway - before the bundle of joy has even been born.

US company 3D Babies use the latest printing technology, together with ultrasound photos of your baby, to create a life-size (US$600), half-size (US$400) or mini (US$200) figurine. Parents can choose from three skin tones and two poses for their model, which the company says will be a "treasured family remembrance" and are "a great way to share the excitement of your new baby with family and friends".

Social media pregnancy announcements

How did a woman's extended family, friends, colleagues, acquaintances and old high-school boyfriends find out she was pregnant before the advent of social media? Who knows.

But what we do know is that many mums-to-be and their partners now spend hours deciding the right way to announce their pregnancy via social media. Whether it's a single carefully crafted sentence, a fun video or a sentimental photo, the key is originality.

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So ladies as soon as those two pink lines appear it's time to get thinking about how you are going to break the news to your 435 Facebook friends, because updating your status to "I'm up the duff" just doesn't cut it anymore. A range of apps and websites can help you do it - it seems it's just now the modern way. 

Getting fit with Barre

Yoga, swimming and maybe a long walk every now and then have been the generally accepted ways to keep fit during pregnancy. But there's now a new kid on the prenatal fitness block thanks to the growing popularity of Barre classes.

As the name suggests, these fitness classes include elements of ballet and utilise the barre along the wall of a dance studio. But they also provide a low impact, full-body workout which is perfect for mums-to-be.

Barre Body has studios in Melbourne and Sydney and, according to its website, classes are perfect for women throughout their pregnancy. "Classes are a fantastic way to prepare for labour and keep your body toned, making it much easier to regain your shape after bub is born," the website reads.

Grandma showers

She's not suffering morning sickness, hasn't had to give up wine and coffee for nine months and won't be the one labouring and giving birth to the newest member of her family. But that doesn't stop some grandmothers-to-be from being the centre of attention at their very own 'grandma shower' when their daughter or daughter-in-law is expecting.

The American trend appears to come in two different genres: there's the champagne-swilling, go-out-on-the-town type grandma shower, and there's the come-over-and-talk-about-changing-nappies-type shower.

Etiquette expert Jodi R. R. Smith says grandma showers are growing in popularity for a number of reasons.

"Families are more geographically disparate these days, and grandmas who are far away can’t always make it back for the [baby] showers. Also, Baby Boomers are trying to reclaim grandparenthood as hip and cool, and what better way to do that than a party?” she told Babble.com.

Some showers also involve guests bringing gifts to help set up a nursery, ready for when the grandmother babysits the new baby.

There seems to be only one rule when it comes this new concept: the party can't be organised by grandmother herself, or the mother-to-be, as it has to be organised by the grandmother's friends. Other than that, anything Grandma wants, she gets.

Placenta prints

Placenta printing is a unique way to remember how your baby was nourished for the nine months they spent growing inside you, and is particularly popular among the home birth community.

It involves placing the placenta between two pieces of absorbent paper to make a print from the blood remaining within it after birth. Different effects are created by using different coloured paper or by painting the placenta before placing it between the paper.

Sure, it's not for everyone, but if you don't mind getting your hands dirty, this would definitely provide you with a piece of art that would be a talking a piece for years to come.

Kits can be found on Etsy - or you can hire someone to do it all for you. 

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