Art as a part of midwifery education

The midwifery education at King’s College London has introduced art and the humanities into teaching. Students get to work with artistic depictions of motherhood and childhood, they also get to explore their own midwifery experiences in a cultural context. A lecture on pop music and partner violence uses the lyrics from popular songs to address the difficult relationship between a woman’s self-esteem and being in a violent relationship. Students may also create their own artistic or literary work prior to the final assessment.

This proved to be an invaluable opportunity for students to reflect on, share and process different emotions and memories. The strongest works of art did not necessarily come from those who performed best academically, but it provided valuable opportunities for all students to express themselves in new and different ways. The primary result was that students reported that they had become better at reflecting as well as strengthening the studentsas a group.

After reading a few courses in photography myself, and having time to reflect on me, my work and photography as a method, I think it can actually be valuable to bring in different arts to the education and have the opportunity to reflect on different aspects of the midwifery profession to create and deeper sense of what the work means. Maybe it can also be helpful to process occasions or periods when the work can actually be quite heavy emotionally.

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