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Previously in the project mothers who had given birth in an operating theatre at St George’s were interviewed talking about their experiences. At this event the women got together to view short edited films covering the major themes raised during these interviews. They then discussed what they thought were the aim elements of having a baby in theatre that were important to them which might improve the experience for others.

The films were themed following analysis of the interviews by the project team. These themes ‘Trust”, particularly in relation to theatre staff being supported in making a connection with mothers during birth, being reassuring, calm and maintaining good communication with a birth partner

Another theme was “Transitions”, which presented some narratives describing the changes in environment and feel of birth as it moves into theatre. One mother commented that it stops being labour and starts being surgery in a very short space of time and that the clinical appearance of the obstetric theatre was very daunting. The “Perceptions” theme film included stories describing how often women don’t plan to give birth in theatre and have only a limited understanding of what this setting for birth could be like

Emma Evans, Consultant Anaesthetist at the Trust, and lead for the project said: “This is just the start of involving mums in redesigning how we look after them, and giving them the voice they need. A second event next month will build on this, and the films will be shown to staff and mothers who will then work together to actually create and implement some of the improvements. We hope that by working together on meaningful change for mothers and staff alike we will help make the operating theatre feel like a warmer, family-focussed place to have a baby for many women in the future”