Just in time for Mother’s Day, we’re celebrating the opening of an innovative birthing center in India whose design is intended to promote natural birth and support moms through every stage of labor.
Led by Perkins Eastman Associate Principal Tania Phillips in the Mumbai studio, the design team worked with Vasavi Hospital in Bangalore to create the Aastrika Midwifery Centre, a 5,300-sf space that combines the latest technology with traditional comforts so birthing mothers and their babies get the best possible care.
Dr. Janhavi Nilekani founded Aastrika in an effort to take childbirth out of the clinical setting and steer expectant mothers away from surgical Caesarian sections. Perkins Eastman began the design process after digesting multiple studies on best practices in childbirth facilities, including “Innovation in the Design of Child Birth Spaces” by Dr. Neel Shah and “The Birth of a Birth Centre” by Reshma Bachwani, which Aastrika commissioned for the project. “We had valuable discussions about the integration of evidence-based design principles in support of natural birth and the overall philosophy of the project,” Phillips says. “As part of our design process, we participated in a virtual conference—GynZone in Copenhagen—to better understand the latest trends in the design of midwifery models of care. We learned about sensory technology, and we met with Swedish midwives so they could share their personal experiences. They provided us with great insights into the midwifery model of care, labor, water births, and post-partum recovery, which proved to be invaluable.”