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Art elicitation. Exploring the birth experienceIn The Birth Project we are exploring women’s experience of childbirth and the transition to motherhood using the arts and then presenting the research findings in films and exhibitions. Our overarching research question wishes to explore what role arts engagement might have to play in antenatal and postnatal provision, especially where post-birth trauma is being translated into bodily symptoms. The Birth Project is also interested in investigating to what extent clinically-related birth practices are implicated in iatrogenic outcomes and post-natal distress. Furthermore, we are also concerned to investigate what is distinctive about an arts-based approach in terms of expressing narratives about birth and the transition to motherhood, so we are interested in thinking about different sorts of arts-based methods. This film is about the art elicitation group which comprised a group of mothers who had been traumatised by their birth experience. The group and was facilitated by a Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC, UK) registered art therapist and used a used a thematic approach, as this was felt to offer necessary containment for the strong feelings being expressed.
Mothers make art: using participatory art to explore the transition to motherhoodThis article explores the use of visual methods to explore women’s experience of pregnancy, childbirth and the adjustment to motherhood in a British context; it is particularly interested in thinking about whether visual methods can help deliver new insights into these experiences and what forms these might take. The work is not making universal claims about maternal experience, but rather is interested in the vibrancy, intensity and freshness that visual methods can bring to elucidate human experience.