Conference

THE FUTURE OF BIRTH
A one-day conference we are currently developing with the aim for it to accompany the Project AfterBirth exhibition on tour.

By bringing together parents(-to-be), students and anyone else interested in THE FUTURE OF BIRTH with leading representatives from the media, the medical profession, the advertising industry, and women & gender studies, this conference aims to once and for all separate fact from fiction by facilitating an open conversation between the public and key decision makers about where birth goes from here.

PROPOSED TOPICS

Birth and motherhood as profitable commodities; what does ‘choice’ mean in an age of media saturation?

There are few words more effective than ‘self-worth’, ‘empowerment’ and ‘free choice’ in making women sit up and listen. Advertising executives of the pharmaceutical, beauty, fashion and food industries have used this fact systematically to exploit women’s financial independence and disposable income for decades. Every time we hear or read the words in the media, chances are that we are being brainwashed into taking one of a very limited number of courses of action, rather than exercising our individual freedom. Considering birth and early motherhood are one of the most profitable commodities across these industries, is it a coincidence that natural labour and breastfeeding have become such a rare occurrence? Are we truly just safeguarding our identity or claiming what is our right when we avoid the pain of childbirth, the impracticality and discomfort of breastfeeding, the changes to our body and the impact on our lifestyle, or is our ‘choice’ the result of an all pervasive and successful sales campaign?

Life after birth; weighing up the pros and cons of the industrialisation of birth.

As soon as women become pregnant they are now routinely subjected to invasive tests, check-ups and examinations which question not just their mental and physical health but also that of their unborn babies, despite the fact that anomalies are rare and chances of their accurate detection and effective in utero treatment minute. Does this indiscriminate and relentless confrontation with worst case scenarios throughout pregnancy effect mothers-to-be in terms of their self-confidence, stress levels and fear of birth; does it consequently influence women’s natural ability to give birth and maybe even have an impact on their pre- and post-natal health? What, if any, evidence is there to suggest that birth interventions may not be beneficial to the well-being of babies in the long run? Should the medical profession take into account that there is more to life for mothers and babies than surviving birth?

TBC

If you have any feedback on any of the above or would like to suggest a topic you think should be discussed during a FUTURE OF BIRTH conference, please let us know by filling in the form below:

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