Thanks to some incredible new technology, parents-to-be might soon be able to meet their little ones via virtual reality, rather than “just” a 3D sonogram.

The Radiological Society of North America just announced a new technology that transforms MRI and ultrasound data into a 3-D virtual reality model of a fetus—allowing you to see your baby inside your womb while pregnant. It also can allow you a deep (virtual) dive inside your little one, a technique that is already helping doctors better diagnose and treat any medical conditions your baby may have, even before she’s born!

Meet baby via VR: A virtual reality rendering of your unborn baby from Motherly on Vimeo.

Using a VR headset, (did Santa bring you one this year?), you can hear your baby’s heartbeat and, by moving your head, study the baby’s anatomy—examining whether your little one has your eyes, dad’s lips, or grandma’s cute nose.

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Here’s how the RSNA describes the technology’s capabilities—

Researchers in Brazil created virtual reality 3-D models based on fetal MRI results. Sequentially-mounted MRI slices are used to begin construction of the model. A segmentation process follows in which the physician selects the body parts to be reconstructed in 3-D. Once an accurate 3-D model is created—including the womb, umbilical cord, placenta and fetus—the virtual reality device can be programmed to incorporate the model.

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In other words, once the images of your baby are scanned, you can use the VR headset to explore every adorable angle of your baby’s growing body.

We think this kind of technology is incredibly powerful and exciting—allowing pregnant women to feel a deeper sense of connection to their babies during this powerful moment in their lives. And to see that some of the world’s most innovative technology being used to empower pregnant women, babies and doctors? That’s a trend that Motherly just loves. ?