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Materna Medical "Device"

Okay, before continuing to read, head on over to the company’s “Survey” and then come back; we’ll compare notes. 

(Ammendment: They took the survey down!!! Wahhhh! [3/17/11])

Done? Did you spew coffee or tea all over the screen? 

For those of you who didn’t follow the rules (you rebels, you), here’s the gist of the device. 

“Materna Medical is a new medical device company that has developed a device that may be able to decrease some of the damage that is often created to a mother during childbirth.” 

The device, as they obtusely describe it, would be inserted into the vagina during labor and slowly, over a couple of hours, “dilate” (open/stretch) the vagina… not the cervix, the vagina… to, hypothetically, limit tearing during the birth of the baby’s head. 

Not kidding. 

Looking at the device (surely, prototype), it’s hard to get a grasp on what will inflate and how. It does say the doctor or provider (cough) will have control over the inflation. Excuse me?! Oh, that’s right, they’re use to having control with their hands all crammed inside during second stage anyway, so why not attend to second stage while first stage is still going on? Expedite things, right? 

Sorry, couldn’t resist. 

Taking the survey was a hoot, but only if it’s not serious. They ask if we could pick the color, would that influence our using it. I’m not kidding. (And those who know advertising know this happens all the time.) I told them swirly purple and fuschia like my favorite dildo, that it might help me think of something positive instead of a “medical” device in my choo-chatch. 

What are your thoughts? (I know, they can’t be good.)

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Reader Comments (25)

Holy crap, really??!!! I tried to provide them with good honest feedback. Honestly, if this gave me like a 90% guarantee of not tearing and cost about the same as a paperback novel, yes, I'd probably consider it. Otherwise it seems like yet another case of meddling!!! Sigh...

March 17, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSusan

Susan: I did, too. And that was hilarious about when you would consider using it. *laughing*

March 17, 2011 | Registered CommenterNavelgazing Midwife

Thoughts: This was SURELY thought up and designed by a man.

All the investors are surely men.

And it looks to be about as useful a contraption as that thing they want you to tape to your butt-cheeks while you push to prevent hemorrhoids!

Laughable. Although, I would LOVE to see these dudes try to get financing on that show "Shark Tank!!!'

March 17, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJen B

I told them the truth--that they couldn't get me to step into a hospital if I knew that the hospital endorsed that device.

No thanks!

March 17, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLeslie

I put that it would basically have to 90-100% guarantee no tears. And even then...I'm assuming you couldn't move around with it in there very well, there goes upright/mobile laboring! Also, wouldn't holding the vagina open possibly make a fast-track for bacteria to enter? How about if the baby comes precipitously, will THIS thing cause tearing if forced out from an odd angle? How about adding to moms pain levels while she's laboring? Personally I have vaginismus and a lot of mental issues surrounding things being inserted that can make something like this extremely painful for me.

And that's all to say what if it DID work or was helpful. I am still all for "if it ain't broke" and cannot see myself ever, ever considering using something so ludicrous. (LOL at making it look like your favorite dildo! Love it!)

March 17, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterStassja

I answered that I thought it would be most useful if they add a "rapid shaking action" button and allow me to take it home to practice my stretching. Also, strawberry flavored!

March 17, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterZoie @ TouchstoneZ

Well you KNOW that a nurse/doctors hands and fingers can get soooo tired when a mom is pushing forever. All that work to stretch them out gets exhausting. It's nice to have a device to save their aching hands.

March 17, 2011 | Unregistered Commentermommymichael

Y'all are slaying me!!!

March 17, 2011 | Registered CommenterNavelgazing Midwife

What of a mom who has precipitous birth without being aware she will? I had that almost with many of mine...not by hospital definition, but I did have that "baby is high and floating" and then baby is out...caught by nurses or just the bed. What would this thing do to the head of a baby? Not a good thought.

I had laminaria to dilate for a D&E for IUFD, and it kind of hurt. Would this thing cause more pain/discomfort? Likely meant for a woman alreay having interventions....like an epidural. Why would anyone going "natural" without meds want this thing inside them? Infection risk? And immobility would be soooo annoying. And the risks to baby and mom with the immobility like decels????

March 17, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterDawn

Kind of like the Epi No:

It is easy to say now (having birthed an 8 pounder with only a skidmark) that this thing would have to be 99.99999% effective in preventing tears for me to want to use it. But I would imagine as a first time mom with fear of tearing, or one who has torn/been cut before, this might look veeeeerrry attractive even at a much lower efficacy rate.

Frankly, I can't imagine this. Vaginal exams are uncomfortable as it is during labor. I might punch someone who wanted to put that inside of me and expand it for 1-2 hours while I'm going through transition.

March 17, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLindsayLB

Had to blog it too. From that:

21) Based on the explanation of the device's features, do you have any questions or concerns about its usage? Please list below.

I answered: "Yes. One question. ARE WE ON THE SAME PLANET? Because the idea of laboring with a slowly expanding DILDO up my vagina is not something that makes any sense whatsoever. Your logic is not our Earth logic.

22) Do you have a color preference for the device?

I checked "Other", and suggested that it have Sarah Jessica Parker's face on it, since this product is much better suited to Sex & the City than a labor and delivery ward.

March 17, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterDou-la-la

Kristina: That was HEE-LAR-ious! I laughed so hard the dogs ran out of the room!!!

March 17, 2011 | Registered CommenterNavelgazing Midwife

i think its ridiculous and why would I want something down there stretching me for a few hours when i could just deliver baby in like 20 min... ( I have had 6 kids and all vaginal... pushed no longer than 30 min..) This is crazy..

March 17, 2011 | Unregistered Commenternicole

Actually, I think it makes a lot of sense, given that the vagina is a brittle, inflexible tube that cannot contract or expand to accommodate anything larger than a pinky finger.

March 17, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterDreamy

@ Lindsay ... I was cut with one, tore with the other, and I STILL wouldn't want this up me! Even at 99% effectiveness. The discomfort during labor would, for me, way outweigh the potential for not tearing.

March 17, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterchingona

It looks like they took the survey down. Too bad. I wanted to take it!

March 17, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLeah

Maybe we crashed it.

March 17, 2011 | Registered CommenterNavelgazing Midwife

I took it before they took it down! Oh I hope it was just a joke...I would hate to think that someone actually thinks that would work. aaaahhhhhh.

March 18, 2011 | Unregistered Commentersara

This actually reminds me of a modern version of a choke pear - a medieval torture implement. Somehow, I doubt the mechanics of this object are all that different from the original design.

March 18, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMaddy

I was reading a board on BabyCenter (why oh why do I do that to myself?) where this woman was worried about having a difficult delivery after a long bedrest. Not because she hadn't been active but because of not having sex. She thought because she hadn't been stretched out" in a while, she would tear. Because baby's head=penis. And if it does...damn.

Why don't we understand physiological pushing and the simple fact that down there stretches?

March 18, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterKaty

It appears to be uncircumscised.

March 18, 2011 | Unregistered Commentersheila stubbs

I have actually considered getting and using the EpiNo after an episiotomy that needed revision surgery, which has made itself known again recently as I'm progressing through my second pregnancy. BUT the difference is that it would be entirely my choice (with no institutional pressure), I'd use it at my own pace and according to my own comfort levels, and I'd use it before I was actually in labor.

When in labor, I think it's generally wise to keep foreign objects that travel in the opposite direction of the actual moving object out of the vagina.

March 19, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterVW

It's just another tragic example of man-logic trying to fix a woman's problem.

I try to honestly believe that they think they are doing something good, but things like this make me wonder whether they think at all.

April 8, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterNik

Oh the shame! *hangs head low* The survey is closed down now- but I recognized the website-- that is the university that I attend: University of Iowa.

Wow. I really hope that all your fabulous comments encouraged them to drop this thing from their research/development to-do list.

April 8, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAP

I WANT ONE OF THESE> I have severe vaginismus and the only thing that has worked is a newer model of this device that I tried in a study. They told me it was not on the market yet but I'd love to get one of these older ones.

October 4, 2015 | Unregistered Commenternancy

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