Birth unit design
The BUD project
The Birth Unit Design (BUD) Project is an ongoing program of work examining the design of maternity units. Many maternity units in Australia are currently undergoing or planning rebuilding projects to modernise existing birthing facilities. New insights emerging from an increased understanding of how the birth environment impacts on maternal anxiety and physiology and subsequent childbirth outcomes can be incorporated into a set of design principles that need to be considered for optimising the healthy aspects of birth settings.
Using the BUDSET as an audit tool for evaluating existing birth units allowed the research team to select two metropolitan hospital birth sites to study the communication patterns and behaviours of women, their midwives and childbirth supporters during labour. Video ethnography and video-reflexive interviews served to gather data from multiple perspectives in this qualitative, interpretive and descriptive study. The analysis process is currently underway.
This project will help provide evidence for use in the design of birthing units that may subsequently reduce anxiety in mothers and their supporters, improve staff wellbeing and potentially lead to safer, satisfying birth experiences.
This study is supported by a UTS Challenge grant and ARC Discovery Grant DP110104108.
Ethical approval for the study was provided by Northern Sydney Central Coast AHS Human Research Ethics Committee (HREC/10/HAWKE/135) and the University of Technology Sydney Human Research Ethics Committee (UTS HREC REF NO.2011-063R).
Translation into practice
Royal North Shore Hospital, St Leonards, Sydney, NSW
Invited to provide input into the design of the Maternity Unit/Birth Suite of the new Women’s and Children’s Hospital – to be completed in 2015. This consultative work is ongoing and will continue until the design is signed off and commissioned by NSW Ministry of Health.
Mater Mothers Hospital in Brisbane
An invitation was received from the Mater Mothers Hospital in Brisbane concerning the redevelopment of their Birth Unit. As a consequence a new research project has been designed around the redevelopment, using the design principles of the BUDSET.
Birthing units, Denmark
Maralyn Foureur and Deborah Davis visit and tour Denmark birth units to gain an international perspective, 31 May – 8 July 2013.
BUDSET (Birth Unit Design Spatial Evaluation Tool)
In pursuit of developing a database for further research about the BUDSET, if you have used the BUDSET as an audit tool in any of your work please email Maralyn.email@example.com to communicate the details of your particular audit. We are looking for information about the setting where you used it, the findings and any other relevant information you may have on how the BUDSET worked for you.