birth art
n. Art that depicts or celebrates pregnancy or childbirth.

Example Citation:
Susquehanna Birth Network will host an open house on Saturday from 3 to 5 p.m., at the Marietta Community House. Parents expecting a baby are invited to experience doula services, receive a sample massage and join in birth art exercises.
—"Childbirth group hosts open house," Intelligencer Journal, May 15, 2001

Earliest Citation:
I have named my business The Art of Birth partially because I collect birth art and seek out birth images wherever I go but also because I truly feel that birth is an art!
—Michelle Cormack, "New Canadian Regional Director," Special Delivery, January 1, 1997

I had a tough time trying to figure out an earliest usage for today's phrase. (This is the place where you give thanks to your favorite powers-that-be that I didn't use any of the umpteen "labor" puns that danced through my head while writing this.) Was it the art exhibit titled "Birth Art: Miracle and Mystery," which opened on June 12, 1993 in New York? Or was it the following citation:

Many, many books come to us at Midwifery Today, both for potential review and for our new Birth Art and Bookstore.
—Jan Tritten, "To Learn to Grow," Midwifery Today, January 31, 1992

Neither one is definitive because I can't be certain that they're talking about the same sense of the phrase that I am. So I settled on the one above. Oh, and just in case you didn't know (I didn't), a doula (see the first citation, above) is a woman who is trained to provide assistance before, during, and after childbirth. It's a Greek word that is translated variously as "woman servant," or "woman helping woman."

Related Words: