Dr. Soo Downe
Professor, Midwifery Studies
Soo worked as a clinical and research midwife for 15 years before joining UCLan in 2001. Her main research focus is the nature of, and cultures around, physiological labour and birth. She has published over 140 peer reviewed papers. Between 2010 and 2018 she was PI and Chair of two EU H2020 COST research networks, including 33 countries and over 120 scientists, rated ‘world leading’ by EU COST. She directs the Babies Born Better survey, currently including around 100,000 respondents in 23 languages from 60 countries. She is a Cochrane EPOC editor, and author of three Cochrane reviews. She was a co-author on three Lancet Series: Midwifery (2014), Stillbirth (2016), and Reducing Unnecessary Caesarean Section (2018). She has been a member of the Technical Working Group of the recent WHO antenatal, intrapartum, uterotonic, and optimising caesarean section guidelines, and, with colleagues, has contributed new developments and insights in metasynthesis of quality studies as a result. The findings from the metasynthesis studies framed the notion of 'positive experience' in subsequent WHO guidelines. Soo has undertaken research using a wide range of qualitative and quantitative methods, from phenomenology and ethnography to surveys, RCTs, and epidemiological analysis of large data sets.