Biomechanical Model of Fetal Head Moulding

I have studied this topic extensively for my PhD at the Department of Engineering, University of Cambridge. A copy in PDF format can be downloaded here: A Biomechanical model of Fetal Head Moulding (pdf 6 MB)

This work was also published in the Journal of Biomechanics, Fetal head moulding: finite element analysis of a fetal skull subjected to uterine pressures during the first stage of labour, (pdf 687 KB) of which you can download a reprint.

Snapshots of fetal head moulding are shown below, illustrating the change of shape of the fetal skull during the first stage of labour. Note that deformations are magnified with a factor 4. Fetal Head Moulding movie (wmv 21 KB): If you encounter problems opening the movie, save the file to your hard drive first and open with a media player.

       
 [1] Front view of undeformed fetal skull    [2] Front view of deformed fetal skull 
       
 [3] Lateral view of undeformed fetal skull   [4] Lateral view of deformed fetal skull 
       
 [5] Top view of undeformed fetal skull   [6] Top view of deformed fetal skull 
 

Forceps Simulation

A small project combining the methodologies to assess fetal head moulding and the augmented reality based surgical navigation resulted in this flawed but entertaining augmented reality forceps simulation (avi 5 MB).

The more scientifically justified (but less entertaining) part of this study, on the effect of the forceps on moulding can be found in a paper published in a satellite workshop of MICCAI 2004. Simulating obstetric delivery in an augmented environment (pdf 1 MB) 

Snapshots of the change of shape of the fetal skull from applying obstetric forceps are shown below (left is undeformed; right is deformed). Note that deformations are magnified with a factor 4.

       
 Undeformed fetal skull   Deformed fetal skull after forceps application 
 

Author: Dr. Rudy Lapeer