Birth Shock! – Call Out

Birth Shock: Innovative and Creative Engagements with New Non-Academic Audiences & Professional Communities to Stimulate Pathways to Impact.

Birth Shock is a current initiative which stems from a recently completed project on the experience of birth, the trauma that can follow it, and the role of the arts and creative practices in helping express and, ultimately, mitigate negative consequences. The previous project Birth Project focused on mothers and empowered them to articulate their own experiences. In addition, it has also helped emphasise the impact of the birthing process on all those related to it: partners, midwives and health professionals.

As a result, the project has managed to elucidate the complex discourses surrounding birth and trauma from a multiplicity of perspectives. Furthermore, the project managed to capture these voices, through filming workshops, to make a lasting statement about the reality of birth, using the power of the art and personal testimony of those filmed.

As part of Birth Shock it is intended to use these films as an educational resource and make them part of the formal training that health and medical professionals undergo, so they become integrated into curricula. Both the quantitative and the self-report data that were collected during this project point to this need. Additional supporting educational resources, to help institutions use the films, will be developed and shared. A robust assessment of the material’s impact will be undertaken. New and international non-academic audiences will also be engaged. Public engagement with policy and practice audiences will follow.

“Before watching the video, I saw childbirth in a medical manner, thinking only about the physiology and anatomy behind it all, after clinical exposure and watching the video, I see how it’s very much a big part of life and affects people every day in the biggest way”. – Second year medical student, King’s College London following a viewing of Mothers Make Art in a pilot film screening.


Interested in a film screening for your students?

Birth Shock is pleased to have funding to offer free training sessions/accompanied film viewings which can be tailored for different audiences, such as:

  • Trainee doctors & doctors
  • Trainee midwives & midwives
  • Trainee health visitors & health visitors
  • Obstetricians
  • Therapists and trainee therapists
  • Arts & Health Practitioners
  • Art Therapists
  • Psychiatrists
  • Ante-natal nurses

Please contact project researcher Dr Sarah Jane Phelan to discuss your training or CPD requirements: s.phelan2[at]

Birth Shock: An Application to Support Innovative and Creative Engagements with New Non-Academic Audiences & User Communities to Stimulate Pathways to Impact,  (Grant reference: AH/V000926/1) awarded to Professor Susan Hogan , University of Derby. This is an Arts & Humanities Research Council (AHRC) supported follow-on funding grant for impact & engagement.

Did you find this resource useful?

As a registered charity we are only able to continue to provide the information and resources found on this site if we continue to receive charitable donations and grants. If you found this resource useful, then please consider donating.