Midwifery educators and researchers from CMMPH Dr Jen Leamon and Dr Jenny Hall, with help from Shelly Anne Stringer RDO, spent the day in an empty space engaging creatively with shoppers in the Sovereign Shopping centre in Boscombe. As part of BU Festival of Learning this is an ongoing project to consider the social history and contexts around people’s stories of birth. The childbirth process has in the last 60 years moved from being a private event shared by woman, their partner and the midwife to become a public one shared via many formats
The day was spent encouraging members of the local community to contribute to a visual timeline of personal experiences of receiving or providing midwifery care, over the last sixty years.
The aim had been to engage local people in order to interrogate the local history of birth in the area. However on the day we gathered a wealth of stories from mothers, partners, grandparents and children with tales from the 1960’s to the present day but with a very international flavour!
We are very grateful to all those who sat and took the time to share their personal stories and were willing to add to the timeline. The stories were both moving and unexpected- that’s how research goes sometimes! More will develop on this project over time. We are also grateful to the team at the Sovereign centre who were so accommodating.