Woman in labour uses virtual reality to cope with childbirth pain

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University Hospital in Cardiff carried out a trial that might see widespread implication if successful. Technology is offering an alternative to manage pain says Midwife Suzanne Hardacre.

Soon to be mother Hannah Lelii got a taste of the simulator aka virtual reality and she liked the idea and concept. She says, “It’s genuinely 360 degrees, so when I turn, I’ve got the view that would be behind me or to the side of me. It helps to get me in a state of relaxation.”

The health board is planning a session for feedback in coming times to measure the success and response of the subjects testing the VR sets, in this case expecting mothers

Midwifery Head for health board in Vale and Cardiff, Ms Hardacre says, “It provides us with an opportunity to do something really different, something innovative, something that’s not being used elsewhere. There’s a great opportunity particularly to use this with women in early labour, to try and help them with some breathing and relaxation and take them out of the moment.”

Ms Lelii, who tested the headset, first became a big fan of it. She said, “It might not be for everyone, it might not be for all stages of labor, but I think it’s another alternative,” she added.

According to  Glenn Hapgood, co-founder of Developers Rescape, the headset is leaving the gaming world and is entering the medical sector. At present the firm is charging £4,000 for each headset every year.

Ms. Hardacre briefed, this technology carries the capability to ease the fright in women who have had traumatic experiences giving birth. The headset is offered to women appearing for induction. The kit’s use served best when women are in their initial stages of labor as it provides more control to these women.

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