SEEK: Salford Environment for Expertise and Knowledge

Journal Article (Refereed)
February 2016

Exploring undisturbed birth through art and social media: An interactive project with student midwives.

Uppal, E & Davies, S E & Nuttall, J & Knowles, H 2016, 'Exploring undisturbed birth through art and social media: An interactive project with student midwives.', British Journal of Midwifery, 2, pp.124-129.




To facilitate exposure of student midwives to images of undisturbed birth by engagement with the YouTube Series of images created by artist Helen Knowles (2015).


Although birth in the Western world is a relatively safe process, there is a culture of fear around the process of giving birth. Women search for ‘realistic’ accounts from other women, as indicated by the number of hits on the YouTube videos on which Knowles’ YouTube Series is based.


As part of their midwifery education, midwifery students from a range of groups were shown the YouTube Series screen-print images. The associated videos were then played to the students, followed by a class discussion.


Themes that arose from the discussions included tensions around using social media in the curriculum, and the educational value of viewing undisturbed birth.


It is important for midwifery educationalists to engage with technology and social media to be able to appreciate women's and students’ perspectives. It is also necessary to be aware of potential difficulties inherent in the use of social media, such as in relation to professional behaviour, the possible exploitation of women and ownership of the material. The study raised important issues for further investigation and analysis, and suggests that the videos and artwork have significant potential as tools for learning


SEEK Members

External Authors

Helen Knowles

Elaine Uppal

Janet Nuttall

Publication Details

Journal Name
British Journal of Midwifery