Legally Blind Couple Gets 3D Ultrasound to Feel Their Baby

Ana Paula Silveira and Alvaro Zermiani from São Paulo, Brazil, are legally blind. Sad thing was, they can’t see their baby on the ultrasound monitor unless someone would describe what their baby looks like.

My major concern was not only not being able to see on the ultrasound, but I also didn’t know if someone else would really be able to describe to me what my baby looked like,” Silveira told


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Silveira and Termini have been offered to have a ultrasound be printed in 3D through GE Healthcare’s technology, an institute in Rio De Janeiro.

The ultrasound machine was called Voluson E10; it is the first ultrasound system in the OB/GYN field with built-in 3D-printing capability. With the use of this technology, the doctors can help the parents with visual deficiency understand the congenital defects such as cleft lips, abnormal extremities or abdominal wall defects.

This type of service has been provided free of charge to blind pregnant women by Dr. Heron Wener, a Brazilian obstetrician, and gynecologist. They started providing the free service in 2012.

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“With the 3D printing I didn’t have to rely on someone’s description. I could have something that was real and I could see in the way I am familiar with,” Silveira said.

“I wasn’t pregnant yet at the time, but my husband and I kept the idea in mind for when it happened. One year later when we found out we were pregnant; we managed to get in touch with Dr. Werner who agreed to follow me through my pregnancy stages.”

Silveira was provided three ultrasounds for each trimester of pregnancy that the couple was able to take home with them.

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The couple’s son, Davi Lucas Zermiani, is now 3 years old. They often show him the 3-D Ultrasound of himself.

“He knows it’s a model of him, and we explained to him why it was made,” Ana said. “He’s proud of it and he shows it to his friends.”