Birthing simulators used to train both lay people and medical professionals to become regional instructors

Since 2010, the MamaNatalie™ birthing simulator has been used in many underdeveloped countries where people have little access to trained medical professionals. MamaNatalie, a washable abdomen, comes with NeoNatalie®, a term-size baby used to teach and practice resuscitation techniques. Instructors move the baby through an attachable birth canal using a variety of realistic scenarios (contractions, blood discharge, baby positions, etc.).

“Of the 47 regional educators trained in Colombia in August, 70% were doctors and 30% nurses. People were amazed and fascinated with the presentations and offered many ovations,” said Juan Carlos Alonso,Territory Manager Andean, Laerdal Medical. Twenty-five MamaNatalie and 25 NeoNatalie simulators were contributed for training and subsequent in-community use; the team also utilized Simply NRP™ Kits and a hi-fi scenario using the SimNewB® neonatal simulator. Organizers requested that Lemley return in September 2011 to train 79 regional educators at the National Nursing Conference. In spring 2012, she will train rural birthing assistants (similar to US lay and nursing midwives, i.e., with no formal medical training).

Regional trainings help to establish a support system to disseminate knowledge

Lemley places pins on a map to track completed trainings. “I’d like to offer educational sessions all over the country, giving all neonatal nurses and neonatologists in Colombia an opportunity to learn more. If you teach a class and do not provide learners with the credentialing to teach others, the education dies with the class. If you train learners to become instructors, knowledge grows by multitudes and a support system is created to continue the work,” said Lemley. To illustrate the multiplying effect,she noted that if 25 educators instruct ten people each month for a year, 3,000 people will be trained. If each of those trainees sees just ten babies, trained staff will touch 360,000 babies. Enthusiasm for the educational program is very high. “When we told them they could keep and use the equipment, they cried and said, ‘Thank you so much for caring about our babies when you have so many of your own’. Now that they have the
equipment to use, they have trained 427 in one month,” said Lemley, who stays in touch via email and monthly monitoring to ensure trainee numbers remain strong.

US medical teams find clear advantages in using MamaNatalie™ birthing simulators

It is anticipated that the MamaNatalieTM units will also be well received by US hospitals, nursing staff and residency teams,especially in rural and multicultural communities. The birthing simulator gives birth to the NeoNatalie baby, and is available in white and dark brown skin models. The affordable compact simulator has no electrical components and it is immersible, making it very effective for water birth trainings, areas without electricity (Amish/Mennonite communities), and for smaller medical facilities. “Community hospitals that deliver only a few babies a month need simulation training as much as, or more than, bigger hospitals,” said Lemley. “Using MamaNatalie and NeoNatalie, medical workers can learn how to give newborns the start they need in life.”