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3D scans show for the first time how a baby's head changes during birth



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By Erika Edwards

It is a question many have noticed, if not all in all, of pregnant women before undergoing a vaginal delivery – how does it fit with the Size of a cantaloupe through an opening the size of a lemon?

This lemon, of course, is the birth canal, which is known to expand in size to accommodate a baby's head. And anyone who has seen a newborn baby fresh from a vaginal delivery knows that the baby's head is shifting into what is best described as a cone before it returns to its normal shape – until now.

A woman gives birth to an MRI machine so doctors can take pictures of how her baby's head changes during childbirth. Courtesy of Dr. Clermont-Ferrand, France, recorded MRI images of seven babies in 3D on their way through the birth canal. This meant that seven brave women had to give birth on an MRI.

The pictures show exactly how parts of the infant's skulls overlap so that the heads can be delivered vaginally. It also compresses the brain.

The doctors were surprised at how severely the brain was affected. "When we showed that the head of the fetus was changing, we found that we had underestimated much of the brain compression during birth," Dr. Olivier Ami, who led the new study. it is. Babies have been born successfully in this way since the dawn of humanity. In most cases, infants can easily endure this type of trauma.

Dr. Olivier Ami (left) and his team review a baby's MRI images during labor. Their hope is to identify babies who will have birth problems before the onset of labor. Courtesy of Dr. Olivier Ami

But rarely do problems arise. That's exactly what the French obstetrics team focused on. "Sometimes there are cerebral hemorrhages, and we do not know where they're from," Ami said.

"When this happens, the baby may have long-term brain development problems, such as cerebral palsy." Dr. Hany Aly, chairman of the Department of Neonatology at the Cleveland Clinic Children's.

The question is which babies' heads have problems molding when they leave the uterus and enter the birth canal.

"We have no idea delivery," said Aly. "We do not know who will have this problem, we do not know how to avoid it."

Doctors regularly monitor the fetal heartbeat for signs of suffering during a woman's labor and, if necessary, perform caesarean sections. [19659006] However, the goal of the French research team is to develop software imaging that predicts which babies are more susceptible to these complications prior to onset of labor. Then doctors could plan a caesarean section in advance to avoid the problem altogether.

"This study seeks to reach a very small number of babies – one in a thousand or less who may have a problem," said Aly.


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