Author: Marta Braconcini
Function: birth centre
Institution: RomaTre University
Brief description of the project:
Currently, alongside the traditional maternity ward, three other birthing places are recognised by Italian and International legislation: the Birth Centre adjacent to hospital, the independent Birth Centre and private residence.
A birth centre is a healthcare facility where assistance is given during pregnancy and childbirth, following a clinical model based on the self-determination of women. Women with low risk pregnancy are assisted from prenatal care until and after childbirth, by experienced midwives, through check-ups, counselling and antenatal and postnatal courses.
These four points are part of a reorganization of birth facilities, in order to give to women the possibility to choose the type of route they want to take during their pregnancy, mainly based on medical conditions.
The establishment of these points was prompted by the condition of services currently offered in almost all Italians hospitals according to which all stages of gestation are still highly medicalized and doctors have a predominant role on the event itself and on other figures who work in ‘sphere of pregnancy.
My contribution to this process of reorganization consists in the proposal of a Birth Centre model to apply to our healthcare system as replicable element which can be added to Italians hospitals.
From a functional point of view, thus also architectural, each Birth Centre must also take into account exceptional emergency events. A pregnancy, always seen as physiological condition, can lead to unexpected complications during childbirth.
Birth Centres need to gravitate in the hospital’s influence without being incorporated, in order to maintain their autonomy as well as to ensure an adequate level of safety.
As such, Birth Centre does not replace hospital’s maternity ward, but in addition to the latter aims to restore the proper distribution of roles in the Healthcare System, distinguishing between to separate areas which are in close partnership: physiology, that respects the self-determination of women and the pathology , which intervenes to support the woman in case of process complications, without excluding physiological needs.
The introduction of Birth Centres in the Italian healthcare system aims to restore the right size to pregnancy events and physiological childbirth, so that they are no longer integrated into a medicalized system without valid reasons. Then the Birth Centre is a place that is “other” from the hospital and far from the language of medical technology, but consistent with the physiological conditions of women.
City and date of birth: Roma, 15/04/1990
Tutors: prof. Adolfo F.L. Baratta, prof. Nicoletta Setola, dott. Laura Iannuzzi