Midwifery Training Products, Workshops, Interviews, and Evaluations
Liv is a labour/labour preparation training solution meant for teaching both midwives and people without medical knowledge within refugee camps. The concept reveals what is happening on the inside of the birth canal while conducting training to provide the user with a beter understanding of what it takes to execute a successful labour. Furthermore, Liv has an angle adjustment option which, together with its tear-able training guides, clearly illustrates the repercussions of wrong positioning and badly executed labour, minimizing the chances of preventable complications. Finally, Liv empowers the user to learn and practice their skills through different levels of training making training more efficient and minimizing the time needed to acquire skills necessary to support midwives and women in labour within refugee camps.
The total number of people worldwide, at the end of 2021, who were forced to flee their homes due to conflicts is 89.3 million. Statistics show that this number will grow exponentially in the coming years. Between 2018 and 2021, an average of around 400,000 children per year, were born into a refugee life, and almost half of all deaths among children under the age of five occur as a direct result of a lack of support and knowledge throughout the pregnancy, during labour and the first days of a new-borns life.
Not every birth in a camp results in a dire situation, but when they happen, complications are often a result of neglecting natural and basic human needs, resulting in preventable complications.
Throughout this project, I have researched what could be the reasoning behind this unsettling statistic, what options already exist, and what could be done to envision a solution that could mitigate certain complications from occurring in the first place.
Throughout my thesis, I have researched what does it mean to be a midwife in a refugee camp, their responsibilities, the equipment that they carry and the environments in which they work in. I have found that all these circumstances vary rapidly from location to location demanding that midwives always be prepared for the unexpected and ready to make difficult decisions in order to mitigate any situation that has fallen into their hands. One of their many variables is the lack of staffing, thus midwives must train and prepare inexperienced medical trainees and people without prior medical knowledge, who live in the camps, in other for them to provide support during labour and other situations alike. To facilitate this midwives, have to navigate through language barriers, tabu themes, and cultural differences in order to clearly communicate and train their apprentices.
Finally, designing a product for the refugee camp environment brings its own challenges. From low-cost production to finding materials that could provide longevity and performance for an extended period of time without sparking material value for people who might benefit from reselling and misusing the product for these purposes. The final product must be light, compact, reusable, cost-effective and understandable with minimum effort from the user.
To help me gain a better understanding of this topic I have set up Interviews with multiple midwives around the world (Germany, Sweden, USA) with various amounts of experience within low-income/refugee camp settings. Furthermore, I have had training sessions, visits to training centres, and feedback sessions with them to ensure the most relevant outcome to the project possible. I have been in touch with experts within the field of medical training equipment as well as "Better shelter" which is a company that designs and deploys shelters to crisis situations around the world. Together these inputs have shaped and influenced my decision-making and the result of my project.
Moreover, I have utilized various methods throughout my thesis such as brainstorming, MW sessions, sketching, and most notably prototyping in order to physically explore, iterate and evaluate ideas and concepts throughout the thesis. Finally, I have created a set of guidelines and CMF visualizations for myself which indicated what the product requirements could and should be, which I have used as a standard throughout my thesis.
The final result is a labour/labour preparation training solution meant for teaching both midwives and people without medical knowledge within refugee camps. The concept reveals what is happening on the inside of the birth canal while conducting training to provide the user with a better understanding of what it takes to execute a successful labour. The design consists of a base, detachable pelvis, transparent birthing canal, and training guides such as the cervix dilation, which can be used as necessary, and a protective textile shell which doubles as the 4th level of difficulty whilst training. Liv can be used to train standard labour situations as well as repercussions of bad training as velcro patches tear when the labour is executed badly in order to clearly indicate a mistake. The design is separated by colours, white represents the focus area, pink accents indicate tearing patches, and important elements whilst grey suggests utility. The product footprint is small and can be packed and stored with ease, and it does not incorporate any electronics as it must not rely on an energy source in order to be applicable within a refugee camp setting. The concept would be created from plastic, and this is due to the longevity, lightness and robustness which it needs to endure for an extended period (years) but also as the minimum material value of the product would not be significant enough to spark potential theft thus allowing its impact to grow and influence positive behaviours for a longer period of time.
Physical Model, Angle Adjustment Explorations
Cervix Dilation and Inflatable Prototyping
Product Features: Angle Adjustment, Cervical Dilation, Detachable Pelvis
Midwife and trainee setting up Revi