Helen Spiby

Cluster Member

Lead, Maternal Health and Wellbeing Research Group, Professor in Midwifery, School of Health Sciences

Helen practised clinically as a midwife before gaining experience in management, education and research. Early research interests included care during the second stage of labour, evaluation of group antenatal education and the provision of social support for new mothers during pregnancy and in the early days after childbirth.  Helen’s research, using diverse methodologies, has included the organisation of early labour care, location for early labour support and assessment, and experiences of telephone conversations between midwives and service users around labour onset, from both perspectives.

Helen has a longstanding commitment to developing research capacity in midwifery and started providing secondments to research for clinical midwives whilst working in the National Health Service.  Helen continues this support through mentorship and supervision to midwives and other Allied Health Professionals on Clinical Academic Career pathways. Other established interests relate to knowledge translation through evidence based guidance for midwifery care.  Helen is committed to involving maternity service users at all stages of the research process and in her current post, with colleagues, established a public involvement panel to inform the group’s research.

External work has included membership of the National Institute for Care Excellence (NICE) Guidelines Advisory Committee on its inception, chairing the NICE Guidelines Review Panel for Women’s and Children’s Health and membership of the Pregnancy and Complex Social Factors Evidence Update Advisory Group. Helen has also served on the International Confederation of Midwives’ Research Advisory Group; the National Childbirth Trust’s Research Advisory Group and as one of the founder members of the International Early Labour Research Group.

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