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Stand (up)right for a safer childbirth

“Maternity care needs to be comprised of emotional support and reassuring nursing practices, even more so than it does today.”

This quotation, from the book Trygg förlossning (2017), has a big influence on my degree project. Today, it is regarded as safe to give birth in Sweden with maternal and child mortality being amongst the lowest in the world. Despite this, many suffer from a fear of childbirth.

Studies from Socialstyrelsen, amongst others, show that a back-lying position during childbirth is disadvantageous for the mother and child. If the mother moves and has an upright position, the perceived pain may decrease as the release of endorphins increases. Despite this, most people continue use a back-lying position during childbirth.

There is obviously a gap between medical knowledge and childbirth practice. Therefore, I will investigate existing aids in maternity care, many of which are not developed for childbirth, but borrowed from other healthcare departments.

I have developed a design proposal that will encourage an upright childbirth position for a safer delivery.

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