This is Victoria, the doll who gives birth. Yes, really. Blinking, breathing, bleeding, she is the new silicone sensation created to teach trainee medics to deliver babies safely. Oh, and her baby has an umbilical cord and actually cries.
Victoria speaks while she’s in labour. ‘Please help me, the baby is coming’ , ‘I need something for the pain’ and ‘I think I’m going to be sick’ are just a few of her phrases.
And that’s not all: Victoria has an anatomically correct birth canal and a dilating cervix, and her baby dips and rotates on the way down the canal just like a real baby would. Victoria expels her own placenta and she can even be filled with 1,000cc of fake blood for exercises in the recognition and repair of postpartum haemorrhage.
Victoria, very kindly, allows medical trainees to practise doing epidurals and episiotomies (she has a, what for it, special ‘vaginal insert with tears’). She’ll also gamely allow at all sorts of delivery techniques, including a C-section and a breech birth. And, astonishingly (and maybe a bit jaw-droppingly) the baby’s head will glow with a yellow or red light if a trainee uses too much force when trying out a forceps or ventouse delivery.
While Victoria is pricey – she costs around $65,000 – we do see how invaluable she will be in ensuring as many babies as possible are delivered safely.
“The whole purpose here is to minimise the likelihood of real-life complications,” says Dr Mario de las Cuevas, a director at Gaumard, which makes the dolls, “by exposing health practitioners to unpredictable or different things they may encounter.”
What do you think?
We have to say we team found Victoria a bit creepy, with her blinking eyes and constantly open mouth – though we totally see how she’s an amazing asset to medical teaching.
And she’s a lot more polite than we were in labour, too. No swears at all, Victoria? We’re impressed!