Berlin’s Charité Hospital has achieved a world-first by creating MRI images of a baby being born in order to provide extraordinary insights into the birthing process.
A team comprised of obstetricians, radiologists and engineers have built an “open” MRI scanner that allows a mother-to-be to fit fully into the machine and give birth there, the hospital announced on Tuesday.
The MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) scanner has already taken unique images of the body of a mother and the movement of her baby through the birth canal to the point where its head emerges into the world. The birth that took place in the scanner went smoothly and both mother and baby were in good health, a hospital spokeswoman said.
The birth was the culmination of a two-year project by the research team. MRI uses powerful magnets to magnetise some atoms in the body which makes them detectable to radio waves. Importantly, it can make cross-section images of a subject, showing intricate detail of soft tissue and bones in the body.