A Car Mechanic’s Crazy Device Might Just Revolutionise Childbirth

It may look like a simple sink plunger, but this invention could change second stage labour beyond recognition.

This is the Odon Birthing Device.


It was invented by Jorge Odon, an Argentinian car mechanic.

In 2005, staff in his garage showed him a YouTube video which showed how to extract a loose cork from inside an empty bottle. The method involved tilting the bottle, blowing into the bag (which inflated around the cork), then pulling both out.

Jorge, a father of five, thought about this…


Then he and a friend began experimenting with his daughter’s dolls and some jam jars. As he says:

Two men in the toilet, with my daughters’ toys, taking them out of a jar, with Vaseline. Our colleagues could see us and obviously they thought we were a little bit mad,

But they eventually came up with this device. First, it fits over the baby’s head…


Then it’s inflated…


And with any luck, the baby is produced.

Via youtube.com

Traditional birthing devices like forceps can damage a baby’s scalp. And it’s really no wonder. The design hasn’t changed much in hundreds of years.


Jorge’s device reduces the risk of harm to the baby.

It’s also cheap to produce, so it has potential for wide application in poor countries. It has won a “Saving Lives at Birth: A Grand Challenge for Development” Award for its ”potential to save the lives of mothers and newborns at the time of birth”.

It is currently being trialled on 100 women in Argentina, and if all goes well, could be in clinical use in two to three years’ time.

Watch the device in action here.

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Alan White is a news editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.
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