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Life-like babies offering hope to grieving mothers

These re-born babies have hair made of mohair. Even the plastic limbs, which are filled with beads, closely resemble human flesh.

Meet Abby, an 11 pounds newborn dressed in pink with neatly combed hair and chubby cheeks. Wondering who the girl is? Well, she is not a baby, but a perfect replica of a newborn adopted by Eve Hasty, a grieving mom, who lost her child years ago.

Abby is just one of the many life-like 'reborn babies' created by Nikki Hunn, the artist behind Hunnybear Nursery.

Adopted by doll-lovers as well as grieving women who have lost infants, these reborns are becoming popular in the United States, Britain, and Australia.

Though a majority of Hunn's customers are simply doll collectors, the 35-year-old reborn artist has created more than half a dozen of dolls for moms who have lost their child.

While some psychologists claim that these substitutes can add problems than solve some, other claim that these dolls can be used as physical tool by people “to mourn the one that they have lost.”

Abby brings back lost happiness
Hasty, a 57-year-old American women, who bought Abby in 2009 for around $300 in Britain, was quoted by AFP as saying, “She reminds me of my daughter as an infant.”

Hasty lost her daughter to leukemia when she was 7-year-old. Though she has a son who has provided her with 8-year-old granddaughter, Hasty finds Abby more comforting.

So much is she attached to Abby, that Hasty has bought her new outfits, including a pair of Nike trainers, which she didn't afford to give her children when they were young, according to AFP.

Thanking Hunn for happiness she has added to her life, Hasting's message on Hunnybear Nursery's site reads, “Dear Nikki, I Just wanted to update you on my precious "Abby". She has met some of the family & friends and even the men have fallen for her!

“The most significant thing is that she arrived on the anniversary of my daughter's death and turned what is always a terrible day into something amazing! Thank you from the bottom of my heart!”

Mothers thank Hunn for reborn babies
Well, the 57-year-old is not the only one to appreciate Hunn's creations. In fact, there are many customers who have expressed their gratitude.

For instance, another mother named Lisa wrote to Hunn, saying, Erin is a fabulous baby. “I just can't believe it... She not only looks so real but she feels and smells real also. To be honest she is by far my favourite reborn.”

Likewise, a customer named Julie thanked the artist for baby Scarlet. She even narrated an incident that when she took Scarlet to school, where she works, “every one was amazed.”

“Jo one of the staff took her on a tour of the staff round the whole school, she caused quite a stir, our nursery manager couldnt believe she wasnt real until she touched her,” Julie added.

What makes these dolls look realistic?
Creating these life-like babies is not easy, but the praise they are garnering is worth the pain taken.

These re-born babies have hair made of mohair. Even the plastic limbs, which are filled with beads, closely resemble human flesh.

They have nails drawn on tiny fingers, and even touch of saliva at the end of the mouth. These features give these dolls realistic looks.

Life-like dolls: beneficial or harmful?
Though these life-like reborn babies are gaining popularity, psychologists are divided over the benefits of such dolls.

While some psychologists claim that these substitutes can add problems than solve some, other claim that these dolls can be used as physical tool by people “to mourn the one that they have lost.”

These dolls should not create much of a problem, as majority of the buyers are those who simply love to collect dolls.