The midwife gave birth with a camera on her head

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After a VR experience, midwife Ebba Lagercrantz Hedblad was struck by how real the experience felt. Now she is making a VR film of her own birth – to help women with fear of childbirth. Ebba Lagercrantz Hedblad works as a midwife and meets women who are expecting a baby every day. Often the women are tense and full of anticipation before their birth, but many also describe being scared. And even though there is good support and help available in Sweden, there is still quite a bit of research on various interventions for fear of childbirth, despite the fact that around 15-20 percent of all pregnant women express a higher degree of anxiety. – Many people have some form of anxiety, which is understandable, it is a big deal to give birth. But there is a lot that needs extra support to deal with it, says Ebba. And in the work with women afraid of childbirth, Ebba came up with an idea. After she tried VR in a video game context, she was struck by how real the experience was. And by then investigating how VR has been used in therapy, among other things to help people with different kinds of fears such as spider phobia or fear of squares, the initiative came into place: she would make a VR film about a birth. -Imagine if you could film a birth from the forehead of a woman giving birth so that you can follow what she experiences during a birth – and then create a film so that women can take part in it and maybe be helped with their fear, says Ebba. Not she who would give birth The idea was not from the beginning that it was she herself who would give birth in the film. But when she got pregnant, it was obvious that it would be like that, she says. – I thought that now I’m going to find a woman who can imagine having this camera in her forehead, but then, appropriately enough, I got pregnant myself two months later and thought, perfect! Now I can film my own birth. Seven weeks ago, when little Vera came into the world, everything was therefore filmed. Ebba gave birth with a camera on her head throughout the process. And now the VR film, which is expected to be ready this autumn, is to be used in research – with the aim of helping women who struggle with great anxiety before their birth. – I hope that the women who are motivated to give birth vaginally and see what an uncomplicated birth can look like can see this as part of a treatment against fear of childbirth, says Ebba. Watch when Filip gets to “try to give birth” in the player above.