3D Simulator shows what is Happening During Birth

by Rachel Baker on December 8, 2013

This story was originally reported by LiveScience, but the Huffington Post had a better layout.

The simulator is the first of its kind to take into account factors such as the shape of the mother’s body, and the shape and position of the baby. It could help doctors and midwives prepare for unusual or dangerous births, according to the researchers in England who developed it.

… Hospitals have used models to simulate the birthing process since the 1800s, Lapeer told LiveScience. But whereas most current simulators are based on known scenarios, the new simulator models the physics of childbirth — the basic forces exerted by the cervix, abdominal muscles and the doctor or midwife — so it can simulate an unfamiliar birth scenario.

The simulator is also designed to be patient-specific. Doctors can scan a pregnant woman, and then adapt the simulator to her anatomy. They can run through a number of scenarios based on previous births.

For example, in macrosomia, in which a baby weighs significantly more than average, doctors could use the simulator to determine whether the baby could be delivered vaginally or would require a cesarian section to prevent shoulder dystocia (when a shoulder gets stuck in the birth canal), for instance.


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