Friday, August 16, 2013

Childbirth Ed Kit

I'm a birth nerd. Since college. You can thank the Reproductive Rights conference, and my roommate, Maggie, for first telling me what a Doula is. I'm been obsessed every since.

At the beginning on this year, I finally registered and started my training to be a Childbirth Ed instructor. It's been so awesome, and I'm so excited to start teaching.

And with every new life project comes one inevitable question ... What can I make myself? There are great instructional baby dolls and pelvises, but they're pretty expensive.

Childbirth Model Set
This kit costs nearly $200. blah. A little much when I'm just starting out.

And what do I say for everything?  .... I CAN JUST MAKE THAT!!! So I'm designing my own!


The correct proportions.



Newborn 5-10lbs
Chest  18"
Waist 18"
Hip 19"
Back Waist Length 6 1/8"
Across Back 7 1/4"
Shoulder (neck edge to shoulder point)  2"
Neck (width) 3 1/4"
Sleeve Length to Underarm 6"
Armhole Depth 3 1/4"
Upper Arm Circ. 6 1/2"
Wrist Circ. 5"
Head 15"

Average Newborn Stats:

Weight - 7 pounds
Height - 19 inches
Neck to shoulder - 2 inches
Arm Length - 6.7 inches
Top leg - 3.5 inches
Bottom Leg - 3.5 inches
Head Circumference - 13-15 inches
Chest Circ. - 18 inches
Hip Circ, - 18-19 inches
Upper Arm Circ - 6.5 inches
Lower Arm circ. - 5 inches
Upper leg Circ - 7.25 inches
Lower leg circ - 5 inches

The correct weight and feel.

You may have seen these "Reborn" baby dolls, dolls painted to look exactly like a newborn (sometimes a specific baby, alive or not). They can be creepily real, and part of the big draw is that FEEL like real babies -- the weight is real and they're properly floppy. There are a few videos online about how the doll-makers create the weight in their dolls. Many use glass beads, sand, or even fish tank gravel (may be a cheap option for my first try - since no one is buying these).

However, I still can't find and to this question: I know a newborn's head is 1/4 of its body (in size). But is it 1/4 of its body WEIGHT too? (as in for a 7 lb baby, 1.75 lbs is his head, and 5.25 lbs is the rest of his body?) I guess I'll just have to play around and see.

Babies are very bendy when newborns, which works to my advantage using yarn and stuffing. However they also tend to be very tightly packed in the uterus, so when they first are born they still hold their arms in tightly and their knees bent with their feet in the air. So my challenge is to keep the arms tight but flexible.
(Fun fact, breech babies tend to still keep their legs up in the air or near their heads. It's freaking adorable.)
Breech baby

All the "Accessories"

Umbilical cord
Cords have two arteries and one vein.

They're spirally and colored (where these is still blood in there). I'm thinking spiraling i-cords in different colors, maybe inside a stocking. There's a special way to make an icord where it spirals on its own.

And attach at the baby by a belly "button" or a magnet or snap.


There are two sides of a placenta: the rough side lying against the uterus is made up of small lobes; the side facing the fetus is smooth.

Love this one. Especially the color.

and the spirals on this one.

The smooth side will be easy. The rough side, maybe bobbles?

Maybe Velcro-ed to the inside of the Uterus.


There are tons of knitted uteri out there, mostly because they're pretty simple and appropriately stretchy.

I'm trying to decide if I should should the different muscle layers. There are the muscles that go around, go up and down, and spiral around.

I'm thinking overlapping cables?

That may be a little much for the first go, but maybe for a later version.

Stay tuned for the results and possibly the patterns!