Three midwives have won awards to carry out research into global midwifery issues and community midwifery.
Midwives Dr Tracey Mills from the University of Manchester and Lucy November from King’s College London have won the International Fellowship Award (IFA) and Lisa Follows from Birmingham University has won an Entry Level Scholarship (ELS).
These grants are from an ongoing partnership between Wellbeing of Women, a charity that funds pioneering research into women’s reproductive health, the Royal College of Midwives and the Burdett Trust for Nursing.The aim of the IFA grant is to enable midwives to develop research interests in maternity services, pregnancy, childbirth and women’s health from and international perspective.The ELS grant aims to help a promising midwife gain research experience and take a significant step forward in launching a clinical academic career.
Dr Mills will explore the experiences of parents and health workers in Kenyan maternity hospitals of care and support after stillbirth in order to improve the education of professionals and develop better ways of caring for families which could be tested in clinical trials, with the aim of providing the best care possible after the stillbirth. Dr Tracey Mills, said she was 'delighted' to win the award and this project 'is an essential first step to ensure all women and families receive respectful and sensitive care wherever they are'.
The second (IFA) awarded to Lucy November, an experienced clinical midwife with a Masters in public health will explore the contributing factors to high maternal mortality in adolescents in Eastern Freetown in Sierra Leone. Ms November aims to develop strategies, through interviews with pregnant girls, their families and women's leaders, to help young women reduce those risks. 'The grant will allow me to make two research trips to Freetown to investigate why teenagers are at such high-risk and to propose some practical solutions, making a significant difference in the lives of this vulnerable group,' said Ms November.
The ELS awarded to Lisa Follows will research the impact on community midwives of early discharge after birth. This project will look at what community midwives feel needs improving and how they can make better use of the resources available to them. The aim is to improve care for mother and baby.
Ms Follows said: '[This] is it giving me the opportunity to embark on a career path in research but also giving a voice to community midwives by looking at the impact early discharge of mothers and babies has on their workload, furthermore, how they feel as clinicians care of women and babies can be improved.'
The grants were funded by Wellbeing of Women, the Royal College of Midwives and the Burdett Trust for Nursing.