Saturday, April 4, 2009

Waterbirth in Second Life

I have to admit I don't get the whole 'having a baby' in Second Life as a fun activity. But I really enjoyed this video which shows the 'birth' of Jacob Cleo Khandr. What I love is that the birth is a natural one in water - mum spends a lot of time on a birthing ball before she gets in the pool. No sign of any medical equipment or procedures.

Role of the virtual midwife
I know this is 'make believe' but I would dearly like to know if this virtual birth is acting out what actually happened to mum, or if it is what she would like to happen in 'real life'? I would also like to know more about the midwives at the Rock A Bye Babies Maternity Clinic - are they 'real midwives? Do they get paid? What sort of business do they offer - how do 'real' midwives feel about it? What are the implications for 'real life' maternity/midwifery care?

What do you think? Should virtual midwives be regulated in a similar way to 'real' midwives? What if virtual midwives give 'poor' midwifery care? What are the implications for me - could I set myself to be a virtual midwife?


Pam said...

I just wondered what sort of regulation do other professions follow in second life and does it mirror them in real life? said...

Sarah I am not sure that I share your enthusiasm about the benifit of this waterbirth however the priniciple of the virtual world is that it mirrors life as we choose, which means does mean rules, principles and regulations. Therefore I think there should be a virtual Nurses and Midwives Board and the nurses and midwives should follow regulation. Now, if you decide to pursue this idea, I wouldn't mind being part of the venture, even look at a project to setting it up. Not that I have any spare time.

Sarah Stewart said...

Thanks, @Pam and @infomidwife for your replies.

1. I have not desire to regulate midwives or anyone else in SL, but I am interested in the quality of information etc that is touted in SL by virtual health professionals - definitely something I would like to investigate - is it something to be concerned about in this context? After all, we have enough trouble ensuring quality of care in real life, without having to worry about it in virtual worlds?

2. As for the waterbirth, it is not that I am enthusiastic about - on one level I feel very uneasy about 'birth' in SL. But on the other hand, if it going to be portrayed in virtual worlds, I would rather it was portrayed as a natural event, rather than highly medicalised, like in many TV programs & films. Could this video not be used to 'advertise' waterbirth in real life?

InfoMidwife said...

yes Sarah, counldn't agree with you more it is all about the quality of the information portrayed, however the other argument is that it is a virtual world and therefore not real!