- Birth Space – Towards an Ideal Birthing Experience
- Tutor: Jüri Kermik (PhD), Mariann Drell (MA), Gregor Taul (MA)
In this thesis I have examined birth environments in Estonia and identified how to create more calm, peaceful and home-like birth spaces that would have a positive impact on birth outcomes and the childbirth experience. Topics and issues related to birth rooms and departments have been scarcely researched in Estonia. Existing birth spaces are in poor condition, and new designs show repetitive and uniform design practices that are outdated and based on general principles of hospital wards. Childbirth is not a disease: birth space should be the ideal childbirth environment where new life begins. It must grow from the inside out, based on the needs of the birthing person, the birth support partner, and midwife, providing a natural, modern, and liberating environment. To create the ideal childbirth environment, I have developed a new guide for renovating and planning/designing delivery rooms together with the elements of a birth environment. In addition, I have applied the principles outlined in the guide to re-designing a birth room in one of the four major hospitals in Estonia, which have the highest birth rate. As a comparison, I created a room with the same area, but in a clean environment like for a new hospital or a birthing center. Furthermore, I designed prototypes of what an ideal childbirth space layout could look like.