An important prerequisite for optimal healthcare is a secure, safe and comfortable environment. There is little research on how the physical design of birthing rooms affects labour, birth, childbirth experiences, and birthing costs.
Background, aim and project organisation
The overall purpose of this project is to extend the evidence-based knowledge on the design of birthing rooms and their influence on labour, birth and childbirth experiences in birthing women.
This multi-disciplinary scientific project is conducted by Institute of Health and Care Sciences, Sahlgrenska Academy at University of Gothenburg, in collaboration with: Sahlgrenska University hospital; Chalmers University of Technology - Centre for Healthcare Architecture (CVA); University of Borås, Trinity College Dublin (TCD) - School of Nursing and Midwifery Ireland, and in joint discussion with the lay person association “Födelsehuset”. Principal investigator is professor Marie Berg.
A systematic literature review on published research on how birthing room design influences maternal and neonate physical and emotional outcomes. The study is finished and published. Link to study 1
A randomised, controlled unblinded superiority trial (RCT), with two parallel groups comparing the effects of two types of birthing rooms. Care in a regular birthing room is compared with care in an adaptable birthing room with a person-centred approach in which the woman can adapt physical aspects according to her own choices, thus creating an environment with a sense of safety, integrity and familiarity. Various outcomes of labour and birth, women´s self-reported experiences of the birthing room, childbirth and quality of life are measured. Furthermore costs are compared between the care in the ‘regular room’ and the “new room”. The study protocol is published (Berg Et al 2019). The study is conducted at Sahlgrenska University Hospital and started January 2019. A total of 1274 women are required.
In an ethnographic study we explore the influence and meaning of the birthing rooms (regular rooms and “new room”) on and for women giving birth. The study is ongoing.
A qualitative interview study with midwives is conducted to investigate the impact of the delivery room on the midwife's promotion of normal physiological vaginal birth. Midwives active in Västra Götaland and Halland participate. The study is ongoing.
An exploratory study that aims to contribute to knowledge about the function of the delivery room and about the design of the delivery room. Women who participated in the RCT and gave birth in the room with increased opportunities for physical adaptation are studied. The data consists of a questionnaire where the women estimated the importance of the various physical aspects by ranking them. In addition, occasional follow-up interviews are conducted. The study is ongoing.
Berg M, Goldkuhl L, Nilsson C. Wijk H, Gyllensten H, Lindahl G, Uvnäs Moberg K, Begley C. Room 4 Birth - The effect of an adaptable birthing room on labour and birth outcomes for nulliparous women at term with spontaneous labour start: study protocol for a randomised controlled superiority trial in Sweden. Accepterad för publication i BMC Trials.
Nilsson, C., Wijk, H., Höglund, L., Sjöblom, H., Hessman, E., & Berg, M. (2020). Effects of Birthing Room Design on Maternal and Neonate Outcomes: A Systematic Review. HERD, Feb 20:1937586720903689. doi:10.1177/1937586720903689