Being born is more than a specific moment, circumscribed in time, it’s a process that begins earlier - already in pregnancy, involving various stages and implying devices, standards and practices that enable its framing and regulation. This is the idea supported by CIES-IUL researchers, Dulce Morgado Neves, Mário Santos and Sónia Cardoso Pintassilgo.
The transversality of the areas involved in the analysis of this significant moment, that is birth, and the theoretical and methodological perspectives that contribute to its study show its importance as an emerging scientific field in our country, as the researchers underline.
If we think about the conditions of birth and its social, political, cultural, institutional framework and the outcomes that may arise, we perceive the complexity of the phenomenon and its need for analysis. it was precisely from here that was born the desire to create the Laboratory of Social Studies on Birth.
This laboratory, which is still at an early stage, essentially seeks to bring together the work that has already done and create a platform to promote contact between specialists in the field and the production of new knowledge, creating a space for dialogue and welcoming new researchers at a national and international level.
The coordinating team of this initiative has been working on different projects, in particular the Babies Born Better project, which emerged from a COST action, ‘aimed at knowing the opinions and experiences of women from different countries in terms of the assistance received during labour and delivery'; and is a privileged platform for producing knowledge in this area. This work has enabled ‘strengthening the importance of complementarity between methods and techniques of empirical analysis for the study of multidimensional phenomena such as birth', according to Mário Santos and Dulce Morgado Neves in a recently published scientific article.
Accompanying developments in this field of study, the European conference From Birth to Health - Towards Sustainable Childbirth, taking place in September at ISCTE-IUL, can contribute to boost synergies and enrich the discussion around the sustainability of birth.