Obstetric Coevolution: Coevolving obstetric practices to improve the childbirth experience

Irene Lapuente (ES), Anna Fosch Masllovet (ES), Dídac Roger i Homs (ES), La Mandarina de Newton (ES)

Approximately one in six women experience postpartum depression, with adverse implications for both the woman and the newborn. Obstetric practices, such as induction, have also been associated with negative effects on perinatal care. Obstetric coevolution (OBCOE) seeks to delve into the relationship between obstetric practices and women's mental well-being to reduce postpartum depression. OBCOE aims to collaboratively evolve obstetric practices, thereby fostering a more positive birth experience. It contributes to SDG03, related to health and well-being, and SDG05 on gender equality.

OBCOE has been raised as a groundbreaking citizen science project led by La Mandarina de Newton and funded by IMPETUS. It started with a co-creation process involving 22 mothers and 15 birth professionals. Together, key areas for improvement in obstetric care were identified. An 80-question survey, answered by over 400 mothers, was also co-created to explore more scientific and quantitative questions. Five major challenges were identified: medicalization, communication, fear before delivery, mental health beyond postpartum depression, like PTSD, and postpartum loneliness. Four proposals were put forward to deal with them: feedback sessions between mothers and professionals, better sexual and reproduction health education, a cross-cutting women's circle and dissemination of mother’s needs. The co-created survey revealed a relationship between mental health and medicalization during childbirth and the need to increase attention to postpartum.

OBCOE has created a growing community with a common goal of transforming obstetric practices. Placing women’s will at the heart of childbirth is essential. With support from our citizen scientists and insights from over 400 responses, we stand ready to drive significant transformation. Advocating for policy shifts at the European level, our vision extends globally. Thanks to participatory science, we build trust and drive impactful transformation.


The project would like to thank all the volunteers and citizen scientists, especially the mothers and conscientious professionals, who co-created and inspired the project and the core team at la Mandarina de Newton. The project is a reality thanks to all of them.

We also would like to thank the associations and institutions that have trusted and supported the project.

OBCOE has been financially supported by the first and second editions of the IMPETUS grant.

Irene Lapuente Aguilar (ES) obtained her bachelor’s degree in physics (2002) at Barcelona University, her Postgraduate studies in Science Communication (2004) and Documentaries and reports for TV (2008) at the Pompeu Fabra University, and her Teaching Training (2004) at the Polytechnic University of Catalonia. She has designed co-creation processes in culture, art, science, health, and education since 2010. She is the founder and director of la Mandarina de Newton. Before creating her own company, she accumulated over ten years of experience in the scientific cultural field.

Anna Fosch Masllovet (ES) obtained her bachelor’s in biomedical sciences (2015) and her Master’s in Neurosciences (2017) at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona. Anna earned her PhD in Health Science with the study of the central control of metabolism in 2022 (International University of Catalonia). She specialized in science communication in 2023 (Universitat de Vic). Currently, she is a researcher and project manager at La Mandarina de Newton, focused on the Obstetric Coevolution project.

Dídac Roger i Homs (ES) obtained his bachelor’s degree in Audiovisual Communication (2001) at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona. He has focused his career on the creation of informative, cultural and educational documentaries. One of his great achievements is the documentary Looking for the Mediterranean Flavour which won the prize for best European documentary about the Mediterranean Diet, produced within the framework of the SlowMed project. He is the founder and director of the production company Kineina Audiovisuals and a tight collaborator at la Mandarina de Newton since 2016.

La Mandarina de Newton (ES) is a cultural enterprise focused on science and technology. Our curious, innovative, and non-conformist spirit has led us to explore fields tangent to science, such as art, design, and audiovisual language. Our work explores the scientific method, design thinking and creative processes. We design tailor-made projects for each situation. Research, ideation, production and execution of projects and training are a part of what we do. We have extensive experience in project management, in the fields of education, culture, health, innovation and scientific transfer. 

Obstetric Coevolution (OBCOE) is a pioneering citizen science initiative focused on enhancing women's mental well-being during childbirth. Through innovative methodologies and a transdisciplinary approach, OBCOE strives to revolutionise obstetric practices, guided by Open Science principles for transparency and collaboration. By tackling the critical issue of obstetric care and its impact on women's mental health, OBCOE engages professionals and mothers through extensive surveys, showcasing its profound social impact on combating postpartum depression and related mental health challenges.