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Pregnant women having been using the popular Pokémon-Go app to help bring on labour, a new study from parenting site ChannelMum.com has revealed.
More than 50 per cent of pregnant women said they plan to use the augmented reality game to help kick-start birth, with one in 20 new mums claiming the game had helped to start their labours.
The game has taken the world by storm and sees players walk for up to six miles at a time to catch Pokémon and hatch their eggs and has led to a surge in the number of women claiming it has helped to start off labour.
One mother who says she used the app to bring on her labour is Amber Wilde from London. Amber was overdue with twin girls when she decided to start playing the game before going into labour a few hours later.
She said: “Never mind hatching a Pokémon character, I’m hatching two real babies of my own thanks to the app.
“I’m proud to be a ‘Poke-Mum’ as it worked really well to make me go into labour. I’d only just hit on the idea and started walking and monster hunting for a few miles when my waters broke and the twins were on their way.”
Walking is thought to stimulate the release of pregnancy hormone oxytocin, which is known to trigger contractions and is one of the main methods recommended by midwives to bring on labour, though often mothers don’t manage to walk very far due to the discomfort experienced during the late stages of pregnancy.
Research conducted by ChannelMum.com revealed that 58 per cent of more than 1,000 mums surveyed claimed that playing the virtual game helps with pain relief by keeping them occupied, while 53 per cent said it helped them to walk further by having fun. A further 14 per cent said the excitement of finding new Pokémon raised their heartbeat helping labour to start.
The app is so far proving to be more popular than more traditional methods of bring on labour with just 42 per cent of mums planning to eat spicy foods and 46 per cent eating ripe pineapple or having sex to bring on the birthing process.
Midwives have called the new craze 'Poke-Mums’ and are preparing themselves for an influx of women wanting to use the app to help start their labours as 57 per cent of young mums are regular Pokémon-Go players.
An estimated 50 million people are playing the game globally each day with millions more joining as the game is introduced in more countries worldwide. The game was released less than one month ago and has led to its creator Nintendo to more than double in value to be worth £32.4b4bn.
ChannelMum.com founder Siobhan Freegard said: “Maybe it should be renamed Pokémon Go-Into-Labour. Mums love to find the most effective way to start their births and the app seems to be highly effective. A combination of fun, exercise and taking your mind off the pain and the wait will be a boost to pregnant women everywhere.”