Centre for Midwifery, Maternal and Perinatal Health

Theme Icon for Health, Wellbeing & Society

The Centre for Midwifery, Maternal and Perinatal Health aims to promote the health and wellbeing of women, babies and their families by enhancing practice through education, research and scholarship.


The centre focuses on research in midwifery, maternal and perinatal care. Academic researchers associated with the group employ a wide spectrum of research approaches, ranging from qualitative to quantitative research and from mixed-methods studies to systematic reviews. They also cover a range of different topics, with studies undertaken locally in Dorset and the South of England, nationally across the UK, and internationally as far afield as Afghanistan, Nepal, Pakistan and the USA. We currently have 22 doctoral students working on a wide variety of projects both local and international.

Research focuses on the following broad areas:

1) Improving maternal outcomes in low and middle income countries

2) Early labour

  • Defining the latent phase of labour
  • Can pelvic positioning in early labour reduce early admission and obstetric intervention? – PhD studentship
  • Improving Birth Experiences: Home Support Visits for Improving Self-Efficacy and Reducing Early Labour Admission. A Feasibility Study – PhD studentship

3) Choice and decision making in relation to maternal health

  • My Birthplace: a computerised decision making tool to support women, their partners and midwives to make a decision about place of birth. – PhD studentship
  • The role of the media in influencing women’s decisions about birth.
  • The impact of a continuity of maternity care model on the birth outcomes and early postnatal care experience of mothers and babies living on a low income. – PhD studentship
  • Investigating diet quality/patterns of women of childbearing age and the association with perceived stress and adiposity indices in three countries: the UK, the USA, and Lebanon – PhD

4) Breastfeeding

  • Mothers’ experiences of breastfeeding – PhD
  • Evaluation of the breastfeeding web pages at Healthtalkonline.
  • An exploration of breastfeeding and parenting support by midwives and community support workers in the community setting. – PhD studentship
  • ‘Letting off steam! Video diaries to share breastfeeding experiences’. – PhD

5) Midwifery professional and maternal education

6) Other clinical studies

Doctoral students

CMMPH has a large number of doctoral students working on topics as diverse as the weaning age in post-medieval populations, women’s experiences of care, and antenatal care in rural Nepal. We have also developed a clinical academic doctorate studentship in association with our practice partners, download this flyer for more information.


We have a long and successful history of providing midwifery education programmes. The midwifery teaching team is a cohesive group of highly motivated teachers who are passionate about midwifery. The team has a range of clinical experience and expertise ranging from normal childbirth to those women with complex social, obstetric and medical needs; breast feeding, care of the newborn in challenging situations, student caseload holding as well as independent and NHS practice.


Watch our video here

We believe that women are at the centre of their midwifery care, and as such this approach underpins our core philosophy. The key tenets of our undergraduate midwifery programme are underpinned by the ‘6Cs’ relating to care, compassions, competence, communication, courage and competence. As a team we aim to provide challenging and stimulating learning that creates the passion for lifelong learning. Students are encouraged to publish their work, an example of which can be found here.

Read what Becky Weston, a student midwife undertaking her clinical experience in Portsmouth, has to say about the programme.

Reducing avoidable admissions at term: an interactive eLearning resource

This interactive eLearning resource was commissioned and funded by Health Education England (Wessex). Several case scenarios were devised by Bournemouth University Senior Midwifery Lecturers Luisa Cescutti-Butler and Debbee Houghton in conjunction with a team of multi-disciplinary professionals from across the Wessex patch.  The package is designed to provide healthcare professionals (middle grade paediatricians in training & non-training posts, post reg child branch students, pre reg child branch & midwifery students, midwives and neonatal nurses skills ) with knowledge needed to make decisions and take actions to avoid term babies being unnecessarily admitted to neonatal units. Practitioners accessing the e-learning will work through realistic scenarios that may be encountered during a clinical shift, and asked to consider decisions on situations as they unfold. Third year Bournemouth University midwifery students have had the package incorporated into the Complex care unit which focuses on complexity within midwifery for women and their babies. First year midwifery students have been asked to work through a scenario which focuses on a woman and her baby being cared for in a low risk maternity unit.

The e-learning package has received support and acclaim from NHS England (now the NHS Improvement as the body overseeing the Term Admissions work) and it is also being used by the Neonatal Nurse preceptees throughout Wessex and has been advertised across the region and nationally.


Staff at the centre have introduced a number of innovative practice developments:


Doctoral success – congratulations to Luisa Cescutti-Butler, Jane Fry, Stella Rawnson and Daisy Wiggins on successfully completing their PhDs. In addition, Daisy was awarded the Dr Eleanor Bond Prize in recognition of the contribution her research has made to the provision of primary health care.

Congratulations to clinical doctoral student Dominique Mylod on her recent Iolanthe Midwifery Trust award.

BU study Understanding disabled women’s experiences of pregnancy, childbirth and parenting presented at a study day on human rights.

Congratulations to Jilly Ireland, CMMPH Visiting Faculty and Professional Midwifery Advocate at Poole Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, who has been awarded the ‘Elizabeth Duff Award’ by The Iolanthe Midwifery Trust. More information can be found in our newsletter, Volume 11.

Read our newsletters:

Volume 12 Autumn 2018

Volume 11 Spring 2018

Volume 10 Autumn 2017

Volume 9 – Spring 2017



Volume 6, Winter 2015

Volume 5, Summer 2015

Volume 4, Winter 2014

Volume 3, Summer 2014

Volume 2, Winter 2013

Volume 1, Summer 2013



Latest news from Centre for Midwifery, Maternal and Perinatal Health:

  • Mothers, midwives and post-natal ‘blood’ loss

    ‘Blood’ loss after childbirth is a normal occurrence for women, due to the separation of the placenta. Excessive blood loss within the first 24 hours is known as primary post-partum... »

  • Student midwives win prestigious award at conference

    Three student midwives, Rebecca Sadler, Leanne Hazlewood and Rosie Honeychurch from the PG Dip Midwifery pre-registration programme presented at the Networking in Healthcare Education Conference (NET) 2017 and won the ‘Andrew... »

  • CMMPH student wins 2017 BU Postgraduate Research Prize

    Dr. Sheetal Sharma was awarded her PhD during Bournemouth University’s November 2017 graduation ceremonies and won The Postgraduate Research Prize.   This prize is for the postgraduate student whose achievement is deemed by... »

  • Why UK midwives stopped the campaign for ‘normal birth’

    There has been much interest in the fact that the Royal College of Midwives (RCM) is no longer running its Campaign for Normal Birth. After 12 years of focusing on... »

  • International Day of the Midwife: Stories & poems

    The 5th May is the International Day of the Midwife. Student midwives at Bournemouth University are celebrating the day by sharing stories about their journey to becoming a midwife.  Storytelling... »

  • From Nepal, to BU and back again

    Recent BU graduate Dr Pratik Adhikary is currently working alongside BU researcher Professor Edwin van Teijlingen and the Centre of Midwifery, Maternal and Perinatal Health (CMMPH) in Nepal. The CMMPH... »

  • Improving Nepali’s health & social care in the UK: Presentation of key findings

    Bournemouth University presents some of the key findings of the first study of its kind of the Nepali community in the UK. The report also shows the way forward for... »

  • What’s your story? Childbirth over the last 60 years

    Midwifery educators and researchers  from CMMPH Dr Jen Leamon and Dr Jenny Hall, with help from Shelly Anne Stringer RDO,  spent the day in an empty space engaging creatively with shoppers... »

  • BU Emeritus Professor Awarded OBE

    BU Emeritus Professor of Midwifery Practice and Professional Development Paul Lewis has been awarded an OBE in the Queen’s Birthday honours list for his work with Mothers, Midwives and UK... »

  • Midwives4all: a Swedish initiative

    Last night (March 16th 2015) Bournemouth University Professor Edwin van Teijlingen attended a reception and panel discussion on Midwives as agents for change organised in London by the Ambassador of... »

  • MGI translation paper in Midwifery

    Paper describes the systematic translation process of the Mother-Generated Index into German.

  • Online breastfeeding support service

    Breastfeeding has enormous advantages for both newborn infants and their mothers. However, UK breastfeeding rates are low. Around 80% women initiate breastfeeding with only 17% exclusively breastfeeding at three months.... »

Related research projects