MamaNatalie: The Childbirth Simulator

Before I get to the news part of this post, let’s start with the led graph: from the CNet story:

In some glorious day in the future, babies will be born via artificial uterus. The technology exists in science fiction so it’s bound to become science fact. But until then, we’re stuck with the miracle of life au naturel.

I’m kind of on the fence about whether or not that’s intended as satire, but I get the impression that even if it is, it expresses that classic gnostic tendency toward body-hatred which we see among futurists and technophiles.

Whatever the case, the story is about a baby delivery teaching aid called MamaNatalie Birthing Simulator (from Laerdal of Norway) which comes with a uterus, placenta with umbilical cord, blood, and baby. The goal is to train midwives and childbirth instructors with more realistic tools to help save lives.

The Birthing Simulator is a wearable device that mimics a woman’s uterus and vagina. An instructor wears it while controlling simulated fetal heart sounds, the position of the Newborn Simulator mannequin baby before it emerges, the intensity of bleeding with up to 50 ounces of simulated blood, and delivery of the placenta, which is complete or partial.

It’s designed to help midwives in the control of postpartum hemorrhage, which can lead to maternal death during childbirth. The NeoNatalie Suction, meanwhile, is a silicone device that helps suction baby nostrils.

The MamaNatalie equipment is already being used to train midwives and other birth professionals in a variety of settings from the U.S. to Africa. The kits cost $750.


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Thomas L. McDonald writes about technology, theology, history, games, and shiny things. Details of his rather uneventful life as a professional writer and magazine editor can be found in the About tab.