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Let's Pretend to Deliver Babies!

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Obstetricians and midwives gotta practice their trade somehow. We just wish it wasn't this creeeeepy.

Remember when Prissy was freaking out in "Gone With the Wind" when Scarlet was about to pop and delivered that classic frantic line "I don't know nothin' 'bout birthin' babies!" Turns out Prissy would've been a prime candidate for practicing on a birth simulator -- a device that literally simulates the entire birthin' baby process. It's interesting that the simulator featured in this video from the Southmead Hospital in England doesn't come with a head -- because to be REALLY realistic there would need to be the voice of a woman screaming bloody murder for an epidural.

baby doll
Now of course, like everything, the birth simulation has become big business. Teachers of child birth can choose from bare bones versions like the one offered by Nasco which includes only the essentials of childbirth: "Two interchangeable heads, one full term flexible shaft to allow passage, in different positions, through the pelvic outlet." Oh yeah, child birth is sooo beautiful.

If you're willing to splurge on your training, the Gaumard Scientific Company has a life size mannequin that goes by the name of "Noelle" and costs about $35,000, with, according to her product info, comes with "four umbilical cords, four dilating cervices, two umbilical clamps and THREE vulvas." That's more than one person can handle!

baby doll

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15 comments so far | Post a comment now
Renae  April 9, 2009, 12:41 AM

I really don’t see anything creepy about this. It’s an educational tool, that’s it.

RD midwife April 9, 2009, 2:43 AM

Not nearly as creepy as practicing on cadavers as was the original obstetric teaching material. An interesting read: The Cry and the Covenent. “Ignatz Semmelweis, whose story this is, was a pioneer in medical prophylaxis, the innovator of hand-washing and antiseptic solutions for surgeons and obstetricians. Unbelievable as it seems, professors and their students in medical universities went from the dissecting room, where they demonstrated and practiced delivering babies from cadavers, to the Lying In rooms where they examined women about to give birth — all without washing or disinfecting their hands. A gratuitous rubbing of their bloody hands on their lab coats was considered ample readiness, and in fact the presence of bloody matter on their coats was deemed almost a badge of honor.” Quoted from review at

ashley April 9, 2009, 7:26 AM

I know it’s a mannequin, but it still looks painful!!!!!!!!!!

Gigohead  April 9, 2009, 10:24 AM

Hey, I don’t mind the new training equipment as long as it properly trains nurses and doctors.

Jen April 9, 2009, 12:41 PM

Why does mom logic find this so weird? It’s a tool for medical professionals. This site is so immature sometimes.

The Mother April 9, 2009, 1:15 PM

There have been obstetric teaching devices since LONG before there were obstetricians. RD Midwife is right—the earliest ones were cadavers, dissected to the appropriate point for utility.

And Ignaz Semmelweis died in an insane asylum. The docs had him committed, because the kept telling people that the DOCTORS were causing puerperal fever. Which they were.

Mother of Two April 9, 2009, 2:13 PM

What is creepy and should warn of graphic images is the story about eating placenta.

surprised April 10, 2009, 9:05 AM

This isn’t weird or creepy. You know what is, though? eating your own placenta for lunch! nasty!!!!!!!!!!

mom3 April 10, 2009, 9:08 AM

I think that’s awesome! verycool. how else do you think they learn? this is a safe way to learn! expensive but safer than learning on a real person the first time!

Carolyn April 16, 2009, 1:53 PM

I wanna know if it screams bloody murder during the process while decking “the dad” to the floor!

mature mom April 17, 2009, 1:58 PM

This is the first time I’ve been to your site, and definitely the last. Is this site for immature, pregnant teenagers? I’m confused. Professionalism goes a long way if you want to be a website that intends to inform readers.

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