Manchester Medical School: Going off the Birth Plan

On Saturday 22nd October, Manchester Medical School provided a free workshop entitled ‘Going off the Birth Plan’ as part of Royal Exchange Theatre‘s festival: B!RTH. Allanah from our 100 Moments team attended the session and here she reports back…

“B!RTH is an international theatre festival developed by the Royal Exchange Theatre and the Oglesby Charitable Trust to provoke debate on a global scale and question one of the key issues of our time: the vast inequality in healthcare across the world.”

– Emma Callander, B!RTH Creative Director

On Saturday I went to a free workshop provided by Manchester Medical School exploring and informing participants about what happens when birth goes wrong. The workshop was a brilliant interactive session that used mannequins and simulators as well as examples of equipment used to assist birth going back hundreds of years (and some of it looked pretty grisly). I got to feel a dummy tummy to see if I could accurately locate the head (I sort of got it right), my husband got to try on an ‘empathy belly’, and we all got to handle instruments such as the first prototype of forceps that apparently made one family a lot of money until their secret got out. Women also got to share their stories of difficult birth experiences and it was a fantastic platform to raise awareness of issues that can arise from childbirth due to healthcare inequality around the world, like obstetric fistula.

The open and dynamic atmosphere made participants feel comfortable sharing their own stories and having a go at some of the ‘activities’. One participant shares their experience:

“It was a very welcoming atmosphere. I was able to learn more about birth from the medical students and other participants that allowed me to expand my knowledge and empathy for what women go through during childbirth and its after-effects”

Thank you very much to Manchester Medical School and the Royal Exchange Theatre for allowing us to attend this fantastic moment!

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