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.Go to resource