6 Eyebrow-Raising Innovations in Childbirth
Innovative ideas and inventions from around the world are in the works to safely and effectively aid in childbirth. And they are being created and developed by scientists, health professionals, engineers and...car mechanics. Yes, these innovations are unconventional and rather unexpected, but for the most part, they utilize simple and cost-effective, straight-forward strategies. Take a look at these 6 head-turning innovations, recently reported on by NPR, that could change the way we look at childbirth. And wine corks...
Photo Credit: Mike DelGaudio
Poppin' Your Baby Out Like a Wine Cork
The Odon Device was created by car mechanic, Jorge Odon, who was inspired by a YouTube video on how to extract a cork from inside an empty wine bottle. This device, as reported by NPR, is designed to use the same cork-removing method to save a baby stuck in the birth canal. With this device, a bag inside a lubricated plastic sleeve is guided around the baby’s head. Air is pumped between the two plastic layers to cushion and grip the baby’s head, and allow the baby to be pulled out. Mr. Odon built the prototype in his kitchen using a glass jar, a doll and a fabric bag. The World Health Organization has backed this device, and it is being developed by the global medical technology company BD which expects to make each one for less than $50. Try real hard not to draw the conclusion that sometimes good things can come out of drinking games.
But Can You Tie It Into an Animal?
A silicone balloon called the EPI-NO is to be used three weeks prior to your due date for 15 minutes a day to stretch out those pelvic floor muscles so they won’t tear during birth. You basically insert a balloon into your vajay and do Kegels against it, increasing the balloon in size every day with the possibility of expanding it to the size of a football. It says on the website, “As in sport, the muscles will be strengthened and stretched.” From the sounds of it, if you use this device, come delivery day, your pelvic floor should be able to pick up, do a bench press with and then hike your baby to the doctor.
Photo Credit: SCA Svenska Cellulosa Aktiebolaget
Keeping It Simple
A simple and effective condom tied to a catheter is used to stop postpartum hemorrhage with the uterine balloon kit. The condom in the uterus is filled with water from the catheter. The resulting pressure created from the condom works to stop the bleeding. Developed by a team at Mass General Hospital, this device has been tested successfully in South Sudan and Kenya and costs less than $5.
Photo Credit: Harry (Howard) Pott on Flikr
Keeping That Cervix in Check
In an effort to combat infant mortality caused by preterm labor, a team of engineers and a perinatologist created a cervical cap to monitor the changes in the collagen in a woman’s cervix and detect the signs of early labor. The cap can be inserted once a day without the help of a professional. That’s pretty cool, and it’s also kind of cute to picture your cervix wearing a cap.
Photo Credit: Earl McGehee
Stretching it Out
A device created by Materna Medical aims to make birth “gentler” on moms, after it stretches out your birth canal. This device mechanically expands or dilates the vaginal canal from its resting diameter of 2.6 centimeters to the 8 to 10 centimeters it needs to pass a baby. It’s used during early labor and stretches that narrow, little canal into the widest part of the Nile over the course of one to three hours. Damn, girl.
Photo Credit: Kevin Rushforth
Nothing But Net
Centrifugal force (as demonstrated above) is used to facilitate birth with the Blonsky Device. Here’s how it works: The pregnant (and probably terrified) woman is strapped to a table which proceeds to rotate at high speed until centrifugal force shoots the baby out into a net. It’s just that simple! This device was patented in 1965 by George and Charlotte Blonsky, who were posthumously awarded an Ig Nobel Prize for this invention in 1999.
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