The Birth Project Interim Report


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 knock-on effect on infant development. The Birth Project uses the arts to explore this complex and emotive field. Throughout the course of the research, parents and birth workers have been given the opportunity to explore their experiences of compassion fatigue, stress, birth suffering and post-natal readjustments using the arts: drawing and painting, photography, photodiaries and art elicitation in participatory arts community workshops, primarily through art making and elucidation of the art works produced. A major component of the research is that it is filmed by Sheffield Vision and that the films are then being edited in such a way as to address the research questions.

View the report here: the-birth-project