New water-birth mirror for safer deliveries

London: Water births will now be safer and also convenient for midwives.

Scientists at Loughborough University in Britain have invented an illuminated, adjustable mirror that can be used under water when a baby is being born.

Experts say that giving birth in a water pool is an effective form of pain relief and helps many women feel in control during labour.

"We hope the device will help the midwives carry out their work in more comfortable conditions, and for future mothers-to-be to benefit from this device that allows them to experience a more dignifying labour," said Carmen Torres, senior lecturer at Loughborough's school of mechanical and manufacturing engineering.

The mirror, which has lights around its frame, is mounted securely on a flexible pole.

Its design makes it easier for midwives to see when a baby's head crowns.

Midwives currently have to bend over the side of a pool and with one hand hold a mirror under the water to look for the baby's head crowning, while shining a torch above with the other hand.

The new device could make having a water birth more pleasant and dignified for women, a university press release said.