WORKFORCE: A new birthing simulator teaching aid is to be introduced at Worthing Hospital.

A dummy baby – called “Natalie” – is placed within a fake pregnancy “bump” which is simply strapped onto the stomach.

The dummy is filled with air or water and can be positioned to reproduce a normal or a breech birth, and the pack can simulate a woman’s waters breaking, or heavy bleeding. The baby can be given a pulse, and so staff can also practice resuscitating a new born.

The teaching aid will initially be used in the high-tech Worthing Hospital simulation suite, alongside the fully-grown dummy patient there, but because it is completely mobile staff will be able to practice their skills anywhere in an effort to mock-up real-life situations.

Labour ward consultant Ruth Mason said: “This ‘baby’ will really improve the preparation we are able to give staff, which in turn will benefit our expectant mothers.”

The simulators cost £450 each.