The Birth Project - Research - University of Derby

The Birth Project

Birth Project The Birth Project uses the arts to explore the impact of birth

Brief Rationale

Birth Project logo‌Births 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. 

See related documentation - 


Project Contact

This project is being directed by Professor Susan Hogan

Professor Susan Hogan

In the news

14 November 2014

Health professionals involved in pregnancy and birth are invited to take part in a research project at the University of Derby to see if the arts can help them better express feelings about their work - good or bad.

5 September 2014

Feelings about birth could create powerful artworks New parents and people who've attended births will be able to express their feelings about their experience.

Project supporter

Arts and Humanities Research Council logo  
Project supporter of the Birth Project programme