New Haven High School’s Child Development class got some new equipment this year. They got RealCare Pregnancy Profile Simulators. The pregnancy simulators replicate the third trimester of pregnancy. By using this learning tool, the class can have discussions on the physical, emotional, and social impacts of pregnancy, life goals, finances, relationships, and more.
Child Development teacher Jamie Miller stated, “The reason I am having my students wear the pregnancy vest is for them to experience the challenges of pregnancy. Anytime I can make an experience hands-on for a student, I feel the most learning takes place. I am very interested to see the reaction of the student body to my Child Development student wearing the pregnancy simulator.”
Each one-size-fits-most vest includes a water bladder to simulate elevated body temperature and fetal movement, a rib constrictor belt to simulate pressure from fetal limbs and difficulty breathing, and a weight bag to simulate bladder pressure. The combined vest simulates 25- to 30-pound weight gains, with shortness of breath, changes in body image, increased fatigue, and difficulty walking, bending over, and sitting down.
A student in the class, Brooklyn Covington, pronounced, “I am really excited to wear the pregnancy simulator, because I know it will prepare me for when I actually have a real baby in my stomach. From this experience, it will solidify that I do not want to get pregnant at a very young age and that I want to start a career before starting a family.”
There are currently eight students in the Child Development class. In the class, you learn that child development is a pattern of change that occurs during the lifespan from birth to adolescence. The study of child development goes through how, when, why, and in what order changes take place during the growth process. Developmental changes occur in a pretty predictable manner, but the rate of the changes is unique to individuals.
Senior Brooke Reed, stated, “I am excited to wear the pregnancy simulator. It is very difficult to understand what it feels like to be 9 months pregnant and I feel as though this would help me understand that feeling. The belly does not look like anything that I was anticipating; however, I think that it will be a good learning experience for those that wish to someday bear a child.”
Each student will have to wear the simulator for an entire school day, and everyone in the class is expected to participate. Following the use of the pregnancy simulators, the class will then move on to using the pregnancy simulator babies.
They will start using the simulators during the first week of October, after they have a parent-signed permission slip.
Good luck, Child Development!