Making Mothers: Project design session

Making Mothers: Project design session

A research project partnership

with Birmingham City University School of Midwifery

A group of 5 women sit around a table, concentrated. Some are embroidering baby muslins.

Working together at the project design session.

Community Project
Birmingham
2019

Making Mothers is a research partnership, developed by Craftspace together with Birmingham City University School of Midwifery.  A successful bid to the Community University partnership Initiative allowed us to invite maker Deirdre Nelson to facilitate a group session of making and conversation.  Attendees included health service providers young female parents and others connected to the support of new parents came together to stitch and talk.   The group explored the impact that making regularly as a group activity could have for pregnant women.  Participants responded positively to the experience of making in the session.  They felt strongly that the process of stitching, particularly in relation to creating an item for their unborn child could help to build bonds and relieve neo-natal stress.  The activity of stitching promoted peace, quiet and a safe space within a group to speak freely. By making something across a series of sessions could encourage people to have continued attendance. Working as a group could build a network and combat loneliness and isolation. This chimed with our past work with other cohorts including young women; we know that the collective making process can bring about transformation in individuals and equip them with a tool kit for their future life.  By testing this approach within the antenatal context alongside midwifery support we hope to prove the value of creative engagement as part of medical care, suggest new models for antenatal intervention and offer a group of pregnant women an experience at a significant moment in their lives.

Our medium term aim is to deliver a research feasibility to test the impact of providing pregnant women who may be facing particular social or economic challenges with a regular group activity facilitated by professional makers and a midwife. The research question is: ‘Do health outcomes improve when Antenatal care is provided in the context of a group using a professional maker to facilitate conversation and introduce and develop craft skills.’

A successful bid for additional resources will mean that we can delivery this feasibility in Birmingham from March 2019 – July 2019

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