Modelling the Second Stage of Labour Event as iCalendar


31 October 2017

4 - 5pm

Venue: Ground floor seminar room (G10)

Location: 70 Symonds St, Auckland Central

Portrait of Xiani Yan

A Bioengineering PhD completion seminar by Xiani Yan, Auckland Bioengineering Institute


Childbirth-induced pelvic floor muscle injury is one of the leading factors contributing to pelvic floor disorders, including stress urinary incontinence and pelvic organ prolapse. During a vaginal delivery, the pelvic floor muscles initially resist descent of the fetal head and then undergo extreme stretch to allow passage of the fetal head through the birth canal. If the stresses are too high, muscle damage may occur. Preventive strategies are considered high priority research, because surgical correction is not always effective. Developing a better understanding of the mechanics of childbirth and the mechanisms involved in the development of pelvic floor disorders is one of the main focuses for female pelvic floor research.

This talk presents a finite element biomechanical modelling framework to quantitatively analyse the mechanics of the second stage of labour. This childbirth model was used to investigate the roles of the pelvic floor organs and the effects of the mechanical properties of pelvic floor structures on the second stage of labour, so as to identify potential risk factors that are associated with a difficult labour and levator ani muscle injuries. The modelling framework was also applied to explore the effects of shape variations in the pelvic floor and fetal head on the maximum force required by delivery. Statistical regression models were constructed to demonstrate the feasibility of generating approximations of childbirth simulations using fetal head geometries as input. With further development, such models could take both the pelvic floor and fetal head geometries as input and could be implemented in a clinical setting as a predictive model for childbirth planning.