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As the first event in a new quarterly webinar series from the King's Midwifery and Maternal Health Research Group, we are delighted to present the following talk with Dr Claire Feeley, KCL, and special guest Dr Hazel Keedle, Western Sydney University.

'Researching clinical practice-based issues: Supporting birth choices'

This webinar will share insights from Claire and Hazel's respective PhD research. Both sought to address the clinically-based issue of supporting birthing women and people's birth choices, with a view to improving maternity care.

Dr Claire Feeley will discuss the challenges midwives face when supporting birth choices 'outside of the guidelines', drawing on her recently published book 'Supporting Physiological Birth Choices in Midwifery Practice: The Role of Workplace Culture, Politics and Ethics'.

Dr Hazel Keedle will discuss how to support women planning a better birth after caesarean, drawing on her recently published book 'Birth after Caesarean: Your Journey to a Better Birth.'

This event will be of interest to maternity professionals, academics, birth workers and service users. Time will be allocated for a Q&A.

About Dr Claire Feeley

Dr Claire Feeley is a Lecturer of Midwifery at King’s College London with an emphasis on research within her role. As an experienced clinical midwife, educator and researcher, Claire specialises in physiological birth across the risk spectrum, water immersion, human rights framework, midwifery practice, skill and competence - all within a sociocultural-political lens. Claire’s personal research has included freebirthing, midwives supporting out of guidelines normal birth care with numerous collaborations in a wider range of topic areas i.e. assisted vaginal birth, experiences of pharmacological/non-pharmacological pain relief methods, water immersion outcomes and experiences, parents' psychosocial needs during neonatal unit care, patient and public involvement during innovation and continuity of care implementation. 

About Dr Hazel Keedle

Dr Hazel Keedle is a Senior Lecturer of Midwifery at The School of Nursing and Midwifery, Western Sydney University. Hazel has more than two decades of experience as a clinician in nursing and midwifery, educator and researcher. Hazel’s research interests are vaginal birth after caesarean, birth trauma and maternity experiences explored primarily using feminist mixed methodologies. Hazel's work is recognised nationally and internationally, with many invited conference and seminar presentations including academic publications and a book for women based on her PhD findings ‘Birth after Caesarean: Your Journey to a Better Birth’. Hazel is the lead researcher on the largest maternity experiences survey, The Birth Experience Study. Hazel is also the Co-Editor in Chief of The Practising Midwife Australia from All4Maternity which was launched in September 2022. 

About Midwifery and Maternity Health Research Group

The Midwifery & Maternal Health Research Group is developing a programme of high-quality research to foster improvements to the delivery, outcomes and experiences of maternity care services. Our research is underpinned by the Lancet’s Midwifery framework for quality maternal and newborn care (QMNC). The QMNC is based on a definition of midwifery which encompasses skills, attitudes and behaviours, rather than specific professional roles. Therefore, while rooted in midwifery practice, our work goes beyond professional boundaries to centre childbearing women, people and their families.

Staff work within the Florence Nightingale Faculty of Nursing, Midwifery & Palliative Care, in close collaboration with the Life Course Sciences Women & Children’s Health Department. We are also forging research networks and collaborations with the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience and Philosophy & Medicine. Additionally, the team bring their existing wider networks, service-user and clinician partnerships and collaborations that will develop and enhance the research profile.

We bring together our diverse but interrelated fields of interest. These have previously included modifiable risk factors for stillbirth, maternity care experiences for those who have experienced childhood sexual abuse and midwifery practices in facilitating complex physiological birth. Together, our work will continue to consider the outcomes and experiences of those receiving care, and those delivering care to address some of the key issues facing maternity services today.

At this event

Claire Feeley

Lecturer (Research & Teaching)