The Birth Cultures project aims to preserve and transmit, through arts and culture, traditional knowledge and practices related to birth and maternity as part of European intangible cultural heritage.
In the past, grandmothers and mothers not only passed on their knowledge about birth to the next generation but also helped one another but, our fast-moving world, this is no longer done. To maintain tradition and knowledge alive, the project organises eight Birth Cafés that aim to bring together mothers and fathers from different generations and cultural backgrounds, to share birth stories and talk about their personal experiences of pregnancy and childbirth. These meetings create spaces where to collect stories and keep alive an empowering tradition for all women and families, now and in the future.
Prior to the holding of the Birth Cafés, the project partners have undergone coaching sessions with the Birth Café Campaign expert, Dr. Med. Stefanie Schmid-Altringer. The Campaign is a participatory movement, and anyone can host a Birth Café in his/her town or country.
On 10th March via the Zoom platform, the first coaching was carried out with the partners of the Frauenmuseum Merano and local healthcare practitioners, to reflect and map out together the best way to set up the Birth Cafés in South Tyrol, Italy.
Several of the issues emerged from the coaching will be addressed during the Birth Cafés. Among them, the need to bring the stories and traditional knowledge about birth closer to people’s daily lives, to end the contemporary perception by which pregnancy is a disease and to work out solutions to support families after childbirth.