Baby traveling down birth canalCharité Hospital in Berlin has taken the very first MRI images of a baby being born, reports The Local.
The full set of images, which show the baby traveling down the birth canal, crowning, and then the placenta and afterbirth, are a culmination of a two-year collaboration between doctors and scientists, who built a special "open" MRI scanner big enough to fit a laboring woman in it. The idea is that by understanding the birth process better, they will also be able to understand why certain complications arise, and specifically, why 15% of pregnant women need Caesarian sections due to problems that arise in the passage through the birth canal.
For those who are curious, the baby who made this journey was apparently not harmed in any way by the MRI. Unlike x-rays, which use ionizing radiation to obtain images, Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) uses a really strong magnetic field and radio waves, and is generally thought of as a low risk way to obtain an image. Apparently the scanner was also turned off as soon as the amniotic sack opened. Both mother and baby are in good health, a spokesperson for the hospital told reporters.