Skip To Content
  • Viral badge

Medical Professionals Are Showing What Childbirth Actually Looks Like Using Dummies And You Won't Be Able To Look Away

I'm seeing things I never wanted to see.

Warning! This post contains realistic-looking dummies who "give birth" to train healthcare professionals. So if unfiltered images of the human anatomy (via dolls) make you woozy, leave now.

Warner Bros.

OK, let's learn some stuff about how people train for babies to enter the world!

NBC

There's been a trend among healthcare professionals on TikTok — they are sharing how delivering babies is taught using these realistic-looking dummies:

The dummies are also used to show post-birthing procedures, such as stitching up a woman after vaginal childbirth if she tears:

And almost all of these childbirth doll videos go mega viral — like this one by @niwandson — that has over 70 million views:

To get some insight as to what these dummies exactly do and what the learning process for childbirth looks like, BuzzFeed spoke to Virginia-based registered nurse Ione Lennox-Hottle. Ione has been a labor and delivery/postpartum/nursery nurse for two years.

Ione has had several behind-the-scenes childbirth TikToks go viral. She told BuzzFeed that staff members and students use the childbirth dolls to practice responding to maternal emergencies, such as postpartum hemorrhage, shoulder dystocia, code situations, and more.

"We also have the baby dummies for neonatal resuscitation practice. It’s sad but it happens, and we want to be educated and ready to make the best outcome," she added.

Ione said the dolls are very neat to work with. "She is plugged into an outlet for power, as well as connected to Bluetooth so we can control her vital signs, voice, and different situations on a tablet," she explained.

@ionelennox / tiktok.com

"TikTok is clearly an app aimed at the younger generation, so I think the childbirth doll videos go viral because it’s just something they’ve never really been exposed to or seen before. Childbirth is super interesting and awesome; it’s different for everyone experiencing it, yet so natural and similar at the same time," she said. 

Ione is happy her birthing TikToks are getting attention, but she says the real thing is much messier. "If people are freaked out by this super clean, smooth delivery with our doll, then they do not want to be in a real delivery room when it’s really going down!"

@ionelennox / tiktok.com

Ione said many commenters thought the placenta shown above (the baby's source of nutrients and oxygen, which is the afterbirth coming out of the doll's vagina), was the liver — it is not! You can read more about the placenta here.

"I’ve noticed most of my commenters have no idea about where babies come from, or more so how they come out," explained Ione, stating how she plans to do more educational TikToks surrounding childbirth.

If you want to see more maternal-related healthcare content, be sure to follow Ione on Instagram and TikTok!

Ione Lennox-Hottle