Scientists Use MRI to Record Human Childbirth

Scientists Use MRI to Record Human Childbirth Picture

For the first time ever, a live birth was observed with a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) machine as part of a study of how the mother’s pelvis interacts with the fetus during birth; and although this birth took place in 2010, the video was recently made public. Berlin researchers recorded “the active second stage of labor, when the mother starts performing expulsive efforts with the valsalva maneuver.”

I found the video to be educational; however, I’ve decided that this “valsalva maneuver” looks much too easy when displayed in radio-waved, magnetic mode. You can see two visible pushes, first at the 4-second mark and then the final, victorious push at the 22-second mark.

I would give my left boob for a two-push childbirth experience. I was in active labor for over 24 hours with my daughter, 3 of which were spent valsalva-maneuvered style.

There is a grand possibility that the woman in this study spent many additional hours in childbirth and only the final seconds were released to the public. I’m just amazed this study documented the final “downward gliding of the fetal head,” which only happened at the very last second.

Childbirth, from this perspective, looks simple, natural, and painless. You don’t know if she tore, you don’t know if she is screaming in pain, and her body doesn’t look like it’s withering with the get-it-out-of-me-now-or-I-will-turn-into-a-purple-people-eater syndrome.

The human body is capable of amazing feats – this video proves it. Here’s to conception, nine months of incubation and creation, childbirth, and everything else we women are capable of.

Simple. Natural. Painless. Bring it on. 

What did you think of the video?

What do you think?

Scientists Use MRI to Record Human Childbirth

Kimberly Shannon is a wife, a mother, an editor, a writer ... She is always working to find the perfect balance¹! After Kimberly received her bachelor’s degree in Journalism, she worked on two master’s degree programs (Creative Writing, and Marriage and Family Therapy). At various times in her life she has signed up to study Naturopathy, only to back out at the last minute, and humored the idea of returning full-time to the world of dance. Kimberly has also started 10 different children ... More

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  1. Profile photo of nanakayser nanakayser says:

    it was great up until I had to watch the "AD" that was strategically placed in the middle of the video.

  2. Profile photo of meredith meredith says:

    Wow. So interesting to see it from a different perspective.

  3. Profile photo of sukismom sukismom says:

    No where in the actual article does it say she did it all natural, and I can definitely tell she is panting. But whatever helps you sleep at night lol

  4. Profile photo of kmahamud kmahamud says:

    Next baby I have I will have to do a smaller version of an MRI to make sure my baby will be ok.

  5. Profile photo of Sara McTigue, CLCEditor Sara McTigue, CLC says:

    It’s pretty amazing, but like you said – my labor was a bit more… extended. And ouch. It still blows my mind that giving birth is actually possible, though. Pretty spectacular.


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