Birth and Childbearing

Helsinki Group for Research on Birth and Childbearing (HEBI) is a social scientific research group located at the Faculty of Social Sciences, the discipline of Social and Public Policy. The ongoing research project entitled "Battles over birth - Finnish birth culture in transition" (2020-23) studies birth experiences, politicisation of birth, birth activism and care, maternity care professionals' perspectives, power relations, the fertility question and the meanings different actors give to childbearing. The study asks: To whom does birth belong to: to the birth-giver, family, professionals, the system or the nation? The aim is to understand conditions for ethical encounters and togetherness (or collision) among different actors in the current transition of Finnish birth culture in which birth-givers' experiences and rights emerge at the core. In addition to academic ambitions, the project works together with birth facilities providing evidence and expertise for developing more human-centred care. HEBi hosts a large interdisciplinary network 'Finnish Research Network for Birth and Childbearing Research' (BIRRES). HEBI is lead by Dr. Kaisa Kuurne and funded by Kone Foundation.