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This theme brings together researchers working in the field of midwifery and women’s health. Research in this areas focuses on the implementation and evaluation of models of maternity care, perspectives on childbirth and assessment of fetal wellbeing.


The OptiBIRTH Project investigates the effects of a woman-centred intervention designed to increase rates of vaginal births after caesarean (VBAC) section through an unblended cluster randomised trial in 15 maternity units in Ireland, Germany and Italy – three European countries with relatively low VBAC rates. This project is funded by the European Commission under FP7-HEALTH.

Study of in-labour transfer to hospital during planned home birth

An enthography study that considered the structures and processes inherent in the transition between midwifery-led and obstetric-led care. The study explored the transfer process for planned home birth where an in-labour transfer to hospital is required, from the viewpoint of all key stakeholders.  The study indicates the extent to which home birth in Ireland in a contested issue. Debates in relation to place of birth and protocols and procedures guiding care emerged during transfer from home to hospital.

Cochrane systematic reviews

The School of Nursing and Midwifery has led and co-authored several Cochrane Systematic Reviews in the assessment of fetal wellbeing as well as other aspects of pregnancy and childbirth.

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