But a groundbreaking new scanning technology is allowing mothers and fathers to meet their unborn children in three dimensional virtual reality for the very first time, the Telegraph reports.
The technique works by merging ultrasound imagery with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), which scans segments of the womb and foetus to build a 3D model which can be brought to life by using a virtual reality headset.
Not only does it give the best ever view of a baby in the womb, but it can also help doctors pick up problems early, because it maps the entire internal structure of the foetus - not just the outside - meaning specialists can see how vital organs are developing.
British experts said it could also help parents bond with their children earlier. It is even possible to 3D print a model of the baby.
"We believe that these images will bring a new experience for parents when following the development of their unborn child,” said study co-author Dr Heron Werner Jr. from the Clínica de Diagnóstico por Imagem, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.