Bupa is backing a campaign to discourage teenage girls from getting pregnant that uses bawling baby dolls.

Fourteen life-like dolls, which cry day or night when they need attention or are mishandled in any way, have been donated to Bupa by Salford Community Healthcare NHS Trust.

The only way to stop them crying is to treat them like a real baby and give them appropriate care.

“They are the closest thing you can have to a real baby and will be of invaluable assistance in our work,” said Barbara Jackson, project co-ordinator.

A doll can be programmed for up to 24 hours, being given an easy, normal or cranky temperament. It cannot be switched off.

To stop the crying, a plastic care key must be inserted into the back of the doll and held in place for up to 30 minutes until the baby coos. A control box in the doll monitors how well the baby is cared for.