Digital Birth: Improving Perinatal Outcomes for Under-Served Californians through Game-Based Learning

Research suggests that interactive childbirth education sessions are likely to reduce anxiety among expectant parents and help with pain management during childbirth. However, young mothers, women living in poverty, and racial or ethnic minority populations are most likely to give birth without prior prenatal education. In addition, many nursing students do not receive training in non-medical labor interventions before they begin work in a maternity clinical rotation.

The overarching aim of this project is to provide interactive education about labor support, which can potentially decrease the cost of maternity care while simultaneously improving perinatal outcomes. This translates into two main goals, one technical and one scientific.

The technical goal is to develop a mobile childbirth simulation through a design methodology called participatory design, where expectant mothers, birth partners, nurses and computer scientists work together to develop the system. The scientific goals is to investigate a new modality, a serious game, for teaching expectant parents and nursing students how to provide labor support, to dispel myths about childbirth, and enable the mother and her partner to experience less stress and more confidence during the experience.

Watch Sri Kurniawan’s CITRIS talk on “Fun Interactive Systems for Health and Healthy Living”

Read the CITRIS Signal Newsletter story on this project: Birthing Games: Assistive Technology Lab Delivers Serious Perinatal Games