Life-Size Doll SimMom Simulates Childbirth For Training Purposes, Is Very Useful Yet Creepy

SimMom even mimics the facial expressions of a woman in labor. Laerdal Medical on YouTube

Some dolls are appropriate for small children, while others are more collectors' items or meant for highly unusual purposes. But a new doll, known as SimMom, may be the strangest of the bunch — let's just say she's no Barbie.

Wetpaint reported SimMom was developed as "an advanced full-body birthing simulator for multi-professional training," claiming to combine computer technology with anatomy in order to create a realistic representation of childbirth. The doll is capable of simulating several potential childbirth complications, providing an opportunity to midwives-in-training to recognize and react to problematic labors before they must do so with an actual human patient. The doll is also capable of giving birth in various positions, and can even mimic the breathing and facial expressions of a woman in labor.

"Certainly in the UK, up to 50 percent of poor outcomes after labor are thought to be avoidable with the best possible care," said Tim Draycott, a consulting obstetrician. "There seem to be common themes for all errors."

Draycott notes a failure to recognize a problem, and failure to respond appropriately to a problem were among the most common challenges medical professionals dealt with while dealing with a woman in labor. Simulation is one of the only ways for learning clinicians to actually practice taking care of emergencies during birth.

Take a look at the video to watch SimMom in action — it's NSFW and involves blood, so consider yourself warned.