The Birth Project:Using the Arts to Explore Birth

Author(s):*Listed Alphabetically
Hogan S

Year of Publication:

University of Derby

Publication Type:


The aim of this study was to use the arts to interrogate birth discourses, to challenge embedded assumptions, and in this process, to stimulate mutual recovery between all those who experience and are affected by birth.

The research questions were:

What role might arts engagement have to play in ante-natal and post-natal care?

To what extent are hospital practices, that are iatrogenic in nature, implicated in post-natal distress?

To what extent is ‘mutual recovery’ possible through engagement with the arts, and if so, to establish what form this may take?

What, in particular, does an arts-based approach offer in exploring birth experiences and the transition to motherhood?

Findings from a preliminary analysis based on both groups with mothers would appear to support existing research that it is the quality of care and the nature of the relationship between the care provider and the women which is of crucial importance for her birthing experience, no matter where the birth takes place. It would also seem art groups are a valuable resource for women to make sense of, and understand their birthing experiences, as they potentially build self-awareness and self-confidence through the sharing of experience in the process of art making. Well-being scales showed significant results.

Main Focus: Wellbeing / Quality of life

Research Purpose: Process Evaluation

Context: Hospital

Art Forms: Multi-Arts

Access Type: Free Download

APA Citation:

Hogan, S. (2016) 'The Birth Project: Using the Arts to explore birth. Interim report'. UK: University of Derby.