Childbirth simulator provides hands-on training

Specialties Ob/Gyn


14:57 06 October 04 news service A device that simulates childbirth has been developed to enable obstetricians to learn how to perform the procedure for the first time.

Designed by a team of researchers from Institut National des Sciences Appliquées and the Hôpital de la Croix Rousse, both in Lyon, France, the device simulates the delivery of an infant using a hydraulic system which simulates the movement of a baby through its mother's pelvis.

Called BirthSIM, the system simulates a pelvis and a newborn baby's head. It uses a pneumatic drive, attached to a computer, to imitate contractions and the mother's pushing.

Sensors connected to the pneumatic system and the model of the baby's head can determine whether a student is applying too much pressure in encouraging the baby through the pelvis, or applying excessive pressure to its head.

Current models

Various forms of simple models are currently used to train midwives, doctors and obstetricians. But these lack flexibility and cannot offer novices a realistic simulation of delivery, the researchers say.

"These simulators do not help students to practice the gestures they should safely use to help the newborn in normal and at-risk situations of delivery," write Maurice Bétemps and colleagues in a paper presented at the IROS 2004 conference in Sendai, Japan on Saturday.

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Now what I want to know is does it also simulate the screaming, swearing and other shenanigans that real life deliveries also entail.


20,964 Posts

Specializes in Specializes in L/D, newborn, GYN, LTC, Dialysis.


but I say, nothing could ever duplicate the real and powerful feeling of delivering a baby into your hands in real life. It's electric and it's amazing; nothing can simulate that.

It does remind us tho, that dystocia drilling and discussing needs always be at the forefront of our minds. Cause that is one thing that can really get us in trouble.


829 Posts

Hmmm. Sounds kinda creepy.

allnurses Guide

Spidey's mom, ADN, BSN, RN

11,302 Posts

Hmmm. Sounds kinda creepy.

That is what I was thinking . . sorta like a Stephen King short story.

Remembering the one where a woman just left her Lamaze class only to be hit by a car and beheaded .. she went into labor there on the sidewalk and the head part was doing Lamaze breathing in order to deliver the baby safely . . . or something to that effect. It has been 21 years since I read it while preggers with my 1st and one of the reasons I stopped reading SK.




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Specializes in Specializes in L/D, newborn, GYN, LTC, Dialysis.

oh good grief, Steph. that is horrible.


534 Posts

Specializes in private duty/home health, med/surg.

Oooh, I remember that one, stevielynn. I didn't remember that it was a Stephen King story. It wasn't a Lamaze class--her doctor had supposedly invented this Lamaze-style breathing method (hence, the name of the story -- "The Breathing Method"). Very creepy.

I don't see how any simulator, no matter how sophisticated, could possibly come close to the real thing.


1,987 Posts

Wow... that is incredible. As fergus says, there's no way to simulate the actual event. The sense of power from the woman, the actual life coming into being, etc. But it is good to have a way for docs to get as close as possible to simulate emergencies.

I've been simulators like those in Childbirth Graphics which are used in midwifery schools. They typically one $600 for one device and there are many to choose from.

I wonder how much the one in France costs? I bet that one comes with a hefty sum...

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