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Fertility rates in Poland are among the lowest in the world. In this context, the artist Barbara Smolińska created a company of reborn babies, which are hyper-realistic dolls.
The dolls have many characteristics of a real newborn and many of their customers treat them as such.: they change their clothes every day, they hug them and they lull them. Some families even give them a birthing ceremony.
Smolińska says they are commissioned for many purposes: midwifery schools, emergency rooms, training doctors and nurses, doll collectors … But also for its therapeutic benefits.
For example, some women who suffered miscarriages or who suffer from anxiety or depression have found comfort in them.
“I think that a doll can be a good way to process trauma,” says clinical psychologist Elżbieta Sobolewska, then warns: “On one condition: that these dolls do not replace real life.”
Other women They have helped them overcome infertility and even the loss of a child.
Olga is one of them. Shortly before her marriage, she became pregnant and had a miscarriage six weeks later. The doll, he says, helped him overcome it.
“It aroused many different emotions, not always positive,” he relates. For a time, he maintained habitual routines with the doll, such as dressing and caring for it, but suddenly he stopped feeling that need and sold it to help other people in the same situation.
Smolińska, creator of the dolls, is featured on this year’s BBC 100 Women list. “I would like people to be more empathetic, more open and tolerant of what is different, as is the case with Reborn doll therapy, which can help many women.”
Video produced and filmed by Claire Tailyour-Hayes.
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