The tech-geek blog Gizmodo has posted Japanese medical instructional video (watch it after the jump) in which a robot gives birth in a variety of different positions. The Gizmodo blogger thinks the robotic vagina makes birth look more “disturbing than ever.” And in some ways I agree. Not because it’s graphic or gory. Or even particularly painful looking. In fact, the robot makes birth look very fast, hairless and dry. It’s kind of like blow-up doll porn birth.
It’s actually the sound the robotic vagina makes that is most disturbing. I cannot for the life of me figure out what they’d add those freaky sound effects. Are they meant to be the robot version of sounds a laboring woman makes? She sounds like a malfunctioning alarm in a nuclear power plant. It actually makes the video kind of hysterical. Especially when terms like FORCE MONITORING come up on the screen. It’s totally sci-fi.
I’m putting it here partly because it’s kind of an ice-breaker for anyone who might actually see a birth one day. But mostly because it does show the many ways a woman can push a baby out. Several comments on the Gizmodo boards– from young men who have clearly never been near a birth (and perhaps even a vagina)– reveal a concern about women giving birth “doggy style.” As if this is so crazy and either downright wrong or just not possible. Well, it’s actually very possible. And even preferable to many non-medicated laboring women. Studies have shown that if a woman is left to do whatever she wants when the pushing stage begins, she’ll get into some kind of squat or on all fours.
It’s easier to get the baby out in one of these positions. Lying on your back, while the most common position for birth and one that obviously works, does require pushing the baby uphill. It also puts more pressure on the lower part of the perineum, leading to an increase risk of tearing.
OK enough with the childbirth ed. Here’s the video in all it’s goreless glory. If you turn the sound down you might actually learn something. But with the sound up, it’s just, well, disturbing.