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Woman Gives Birth in an MRI Machine 

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By Jill

A woman gave birth this week inside a magnetic-resonance imaging machine at Charité Hospital in Berlin. The Daily Mail reported that the experiment had been planned for two years and a special open scanner developed to allow room for the mother and midwives during the birth.

Image source: Daily Mail Online

More still images, including a frontal plane view, here.

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Reader Comments (24)

OMG! How is this amount of radio waves and magetic field safe for a teeny tiny baby? Why, why, why?!?!?1

This makes me want to ralph my breakfast.

December 9, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterVanessa Manz

I noticed they flipped the image so the woman was vertical (everyone else has the woman supine)- too bad it wasn't really vertical, as I think the mechanics of labor are probably a little different with gravity involved....

I should instigate this at my hospital...."Uh, anyone want to help me flip this MRI machine on its side?"

I would never sign up for this because of the possibility of unknown health risks to baby, and because it seems like an unfriendly location to labor and deliver, but I have to admit that I find the images cool.

December 9, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKK

Holy cow! The nerd in me thinks this is super cool. Kudos to the mom and midwives--that had to be kind of awkward regardless.

December 9, 2010 | Unregistered Commenteremjaybee

Chris, the version of the image that's been floating around has the woman face down, presumably because it's easier to the see the baby's face and Mars Attacks eyeballs that way.

December 9, 2010 | Registered CommenterJill

Vanessa, there's no evidence so far that MRI (as opposed to X-rays or CT scans) poses serious risks.


Newborns can go through an MRI to diagnose abnormalities; my son had to have one because he had a fused seam on his skull (he turned out fine).

Not to say that new risks won't be discovered, as with any procedure.

They did mention that they were worried about the loud noise, and put the mom in headphones to block it, and turned the machine off as soon as the the head was out to protect the baby's ears. And she didn't get in the machine until she was ready to push, basically.

December 9, 2010 | Unregistered Commenteremjaybee

I am on the fence about how I feel about this too. Something about making birth a science project makes my skin crawl...then of course there is the years of indoctrination that still nags in my brain, the advancement of science is good. Yes, it is..but at what costs?

December 9, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterpatrice

This bothers me in so many ways. When will stop trying to study the physiology of birth in settings that can completely screw it up?

December 9, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAshley

Like many others, this is very geek-cool. However, I worry what will be drawn from the few willing to participate in these experiments. I imagine that those willing to help are those who have short(er) labors with fewer difficulties with a minimum of movement. This would obviously not be helpful in extrapolating data to other women.

On the other hand, I wonder if it might be beneficial in expanding VBAC access if we could prove that it's still "normal." Then again, we don't really know what it looks like, just that it's safe, so it could conceivably lead to even more freakouts.

The eye, as in all imaging really, freaks me the mess out.

December 9, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterANaturalAdvocate

Facinatingly freaky

December 9, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterkathleen
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