The Robot Mother

When looking for pictures for my blog one day I inadvertently ran across these.  They are pictures of medical students in Korea learning how to deliver a baby using a robot mom and baby rather than live ones because of the low birth rates currently in that country.

Though they had a good reason to do this the pictures simply struck a chord.  Is this scarily transferable to our current obstetric situation?  How many women are treated like nothing more than a vessel to be delivered of its cargo with the least amount of fuss and noise?

How many women after a typical hospital birth are left with a feeling of emptiness?  How many of them miss the experience that they could have because they are treated more like a robot than a woman?  How many of them when they dare to question their feelings of dissatisfaction are less than gently told to "get over it".

 In my current childbirth class one of the students asked why her midwife was negative towards The Bradley Method (TM)?  The midwife and others at the hospital had basically said it was "all right, but difficult to actually do".

I had somebody in the past inform me that when they asked their doctor about taking my classes, he informed her that Bradley students were "not allowed" to birth at their hospital.  Is the medical establishment (even some midwives) so petrified that somebody will question them that they actually discourage people from educating themselves and learning what happens in a normal and natural labor and delivery?  The evidence is clear on this subject.

"Good patients" don't ask questions.  Sadly, the good patient often has a bad birth.  You are not a robot.  Don't act like one.

Comments

I can't believe no one commented on this one...I didn't see it until today, just saw the video of the robot mama last week...maybe the video is more immediate, I don't know. I don't want to dislike the whole robot thing, because it's just too kneejerk that I should cringe at that. On the other hand, put into the context of Bradley training, esp. the way they expose most hospital birth training classes as "obedience classes" makes it more objectionable. How weird that even now we have to re-fight so many battles for women's status in society...some of it seems so Victorian...don't pay any attention to her, she's just hysterical...
Of course, with the sense of humor that permeates my house, we've been joking about fit names for the robot, since we used to know a family that sold "RecusiAnnie" for CPR training...unfortunately, most of the names we've considered are probably not fit for print, lol.
emarmy said…
Med schools in America do this as well. I am in medical school and we have a male robot, child robot, and birthing mother robot. I don't find it disturbing at all, I think it is great that we are given the opportunity to interact and react to situations we will face in the future before we get there with real patients. How is extra practice a bad thing? These robots are responsive to medicines administered and can be programmed to have increase/decrease heart rate, blood pressure and many other health issues that we need practice diagnosing so we will be competent when we see real patients. Med schools, at least my school, stresses patient interaction greatly and we have patients every block that grade us on our humanism in practice (while acting as their doctor). Schools realize patients want more humanism, honesty, and compassion from their doctors and they are changing the setup of teaching to stress this, but to say using robots leads to teaching doctor to treat their patients like items isn't fair. We use cadavers to explore the body so we know where the anatomy is when we diagnose or do surgery, it's the same concept. Practice helps and that is the basis for these robots.
AmandaRuth said…
I think what is distrubing is that when an obgyn is faced with the question "how many natural, drug free birthes have you witness?" - Many can count them on one hand or they look at you like you just called their child ugly.