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Better Birth through Games: The Design of the Prepared Partner and Digital Birth

Alexandra Holloway
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Alexandra Holloway: University of California, Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz, CA, USA

International Journal of Gaming and Computer-Mediated Simulations (IJGCMS), 2013, vol. 5, issue 3, 43-71

Abstract: Childbirth is a complex and multidimensional experience for the mother, riddled with unforgettable emotions and sensations. In today’s cultural climate in California, a mother’s primary attendant for social support throughout labor is usually her partner. Preparing the partner is an integral step to making sure that the mother is well-supported in her birth. Because the mother’s experience is influenced by the support she receives, and because birth partners need more support than is recognized, the author targets birth partners with a learning intervention. The author investigates video games as a vehicle for knowledge transfer to the birth partner, both as currently available and as a positive learning tool. To address the problem of limited access to childbirth preparation methods, especially for under-served Californians, the author investigated, designed, created, and evaluated two tools: The Prepared Partner and Digital Birth. The Prepared Partner is an online Flash game, and Digital Birth is a free iPhone application that is still undergoing revision and testing. Both games allow the user to practice various supportive actions in the realm of childbirth support for a mother in labor. The author found that players met the learning goals due to The Prepared Partner, and answered positively on the survey questions about their enjoyment of the game.

Date: 2013
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