(BERLIN) — This is not your average video of a live birth. German researchers have used Magnetic Resonance Imaging to peer inside a woman’s body during labor, a medical first that sheds light on the birth process.
The researchers, from Charité University Hospital in Berlin, created the 30-second movie using cinematic MRI, a technique that strings together snapshots from deep inside the body.
“Knowledge about the mechanism of labor is based on assumptions and radiographic studies performed decades ago,” the researchers wrote about in their story published in the June issue of the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology.
The video shows the mother’s final push and her baby’s swift arrival in the world, providing anatomical clues that could help guide doctors during tricky deliveries.
“For the vast majority of women, letting nature take its course is a pretty good way to give birth,” said Dr. Marjorie Greenfield, division chief of general obstetrics and gynecology at University Hospitals Case Medical Center in Cleveland. “But it’s interesting to find ways to understand it better. And if this helps us learn ways to avoid Cesarean section and have babies come out vaginally, there could be some benefit.”
“It’s just so generous that she would be willing to support science by sharing something so personal and private,” Greenfield said. “I imagine she’d had lots of babies before she knew how she was going to handle it.”
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