Title Mothers reborn: The surprising benefits of lifelike dolls – 100 Women, BBC World Service

Year 2021

Client BBC World Service


In Poland, where fertility rates are among the lowest in the world, a group of women are taking control and becoming mothers to fake babies. Reborn dolls are hyper-realistic dummies, treated like real children, given a birthing ceremony and even a heartbeat.

Yet they serve a deeper purpose, helping women through infertility, miscarriage and loss of a child, and hitting reset on the gender imbalance that often goes hand in hand with motherhood. Polish artist Barbara Smolińska, who creates the dolls, features on this year’s BBC 100 Women list.

Produced and filmed by Claire Tailyour-Hayes.