For the last 15 years at MODEL-med we have concentrated on providing our clients with the most realistic Obstetric and Gynecological Simulators possible. Over that period of time we have learnt a lot about the training needs of Midwives, Obstetricians, and Gynecologists. When we asked them about simulation of the birth process they told us that the single most common need they have is a realistic simulation of the situations they are likely to encounter in real life. These situations are commonly shoulder dystocia, cephalic birth, breech birth and post-partum haemorrhage
When we originally designed the Sophie and Sophie’s Mum Birth Simulator we based the design around the need for Sophie’s Mum to birth the Sophie fetus. If the vagina of the Mother could realistically birth the baby without tearing the perineum we considered our design a success.
We were wrong!
What we learned was that in a birth such as a shoulder dystocia the vagina would have to accommodate the fetus and the hand and part of the forearm of the attending physician if it was to be realistic. We realised that the design of our simulator would have to allow for this. If it did not do this then we could consider our design as not realistic enough.
Many conversations with physicians over the years convinced us that it was vital that this part of the birth be accurately simulated. Otherwise the simulation was not providing them with the experience needed to face real-life situations. They needed the sensation of tightness, the slipperiness, the tangle of limbs. We needed to give them this experience and, at the same time, make a simulator that would survive the rigors of repeated use.
So when you are scoping out a new birth simulator check to see if the birth canal will take both the fetus and a hand plus some forearm! Does it feel realistic? And will the simulator withstand repeated simulations like this? If the person demonstrating a simulator doesn’t want you to do this you are entitled to ask “Why?”
All of these issues are worth considering before you make your final decision.