A hospital in the UK has been trialing the use of virtual reality headsets during labor and getting positive results.
On the one hand, childbirth and labor is the most natural thing in the world. Something most women go through and ends with one of the most magical moments in their lives. On the other hand, however, the process is a terrifying one. Years of reinforcement, portrayal in the media, and stories from other moms make us fear the pain and potential issues that may come when giving birth.
There are a number of options that moms-to-be have at their disposal when they go into labor, depending on what they need, what they can have, and where they will be giving birth. Waterbirths are incredibly popular, some women opt for an epidural so they feel as little pain as possible, while others choose to have a completely natural birth barring any complications.
The University Hospital of Wales in Cardiff, UK has been trialing a very different method to take a laboring woman's mind off of the pain and task at hand, reports BBC. Virtual reality headsets. When most people hear the term virtual reality, they likely think of the gaming world. However, the tech is being used more and more in the medical world for therapies and yes, childbirth.
Hannah Lelii, who is currently pregnant, gave the VR headset a whirl and was a big fan. "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," she told BBC. One of the main aims of the VR route will be to ease the fears of moms who have had a previously traumatic birth. Being transported somewhere that doesn't remind them of what happened to them previously will hopefully help them feel relaxed.
Midwife Suzanne Hardacre explained that the VR gives them and moms giving birth the chance to take them out of the moment. That will hopefully lead to a reduction in both pain and stress levels. So far, the trials of the headsets have been a success, and the hope is that they will be rolled out to hospitals throughout Wales in the near future. Who knows? Maybe VR will be commonplace during labor in years to come.