Creative Practice as Mutual Recovery Film

Resource authors: Susan Hogan
Project: Creative practice as mutual recovery: connecting communities for mental health and well-being

Births can be traumatising for all involved; obstetricians and midwives are subject to very different stresses to the women they serve. Yet all those witnessing the birth (and death) of babies may also be traumatised – both professionals and birth-partners. Furthermore, hospital protocols, coupled with the unpredictability of birthing itself, can override what women want and expect in terms of a birth experience, leaving some women frankly in shock, which then can have a a knock-on effect on infant development. The arts will be used to interrogate this complex topic.

Obstetricians, midwives, doulas, birth-partners and new mothers will be given the opportunity to explore their experiences of compassion fatigue, stress, birth suffering and post-natal readjustments using the arts: phototherapy, photo-diaries and art elicitation in groups, which will then join together in ‘mutual recovery’ events in which perspectives will be shared, primarily through elucidation of the art works produced.

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