Normcritical design + Health = Stand up(right) for a Safer Childbirth
Stand Up(right) for a Safer Childbirth is a birthing aid that encourages women to have an upright position through the birthing process. The designer Malin Björklund wants the birthing aid to awake curiosity, and encourage women to try several birthing positions to find what’s best for their body.
Childbirth in Sweden today is safe, with maternal and child mortality being amongst the lowest in the world. Despite this, about one fifth of all pregnant women in Sweden suffer from a fear of childbirth. Clearly there is a gap between medical knowledge and childbirth practice.
Through her project Stand up(right) for a Safer Childbirth, Malin has investigated existing aids in maternity care, many of which are not developed for childbirth, but often borrowed from other healthcare departments. Malin’s focus has been to create a solution that allows for a range of birthing positions to increase the feeling of safety. Aids for men have historically not been seen as aids to relieve burden but as tools where the user is expected to be more active, take command and be in control. This has inspired Malin to challenge the passive lying birthing position and instead encourage upright positions.
Throughout her design process she has used different methods to obtain knowledge. Through interviews with experts within maternity care and psychology, Malin discovered the importance of creating a safe and comforting environment during the birthing process. The human being is obviously an individual with its own thoughts and feelings from previous experiences about what safety is, but what we have in common is the feeling of being in control, recognition in the environment and feeling confidence in the people around them.
Malin Björklund graduated from the bachelor program in Industrial Design from Konstfack University in 2019. Stand up(right) for a Safer Childbirth is her final bachelor degree project.