MRI of Childbirth

  • Photograph of the open MRI scanner with the patient and the health care personnel before delivery
  • MRI, magnetic resonance imaging.
  • Bamberg. Birth in real-time MRI. Am J Obstet Gynecol 2012.
I just read an article about the first MRI of a woman giving birth. The 24 year old woman entered the open style MRI machine during the second stage of birth, the pushing stage and she remained there for 45 minutes while she pushed her baby out. The machine was turned off as soon as the head was out to protect the baby's ears from the loud machine. It seems to me that the loud sound would negatively impact the baby way before she/he is out of the birth canal. A hearing test was conducted after birth which showed completely normal results.

Here is a link to the actual medical article published in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology:

The article cites that the type of MRI used is "preferable in pregnant women." and that a number of studies have shown no increase in fetal harm. 

Mom showed up in labor, spent the first stage of labor birthing in bed, was given an epidural and then transferred to the open MRI where she pushed the baby out.

What was the goal of this you ask?
"Our main goal was to describe the relationship between fetal movements and position as the fetus passage through the birth canal, using an open MRI scanner."

After watching the video, using my (untrained) eyes, it does not seem to me to give much more information than an ultrasound could. As the article mentions, "Today the cardinal movements can be studied with sonography."

But it is pretty neat to see!