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kaat headshot

Kaat De Backer

Research Associate in Maternal and Perinatal Mental Health


Kaat De Backer is a Perinatal Mental Health Specialist Midwife, holding a Matron position at the Kingfisher Mother and Baby Unit, Norwich, Norfolk. Before her midwifery training, Kaat worked at the Department of Primary Health Care and Family Medicine at Ghent University, Belgium, applying her degrees in Arts and Humanities, and International Political Sciences. After qualifying as a midwife in Belgium, Kaat moved to the UK and worked as a midwife both in community and hospital settings. Until recently, she held a clinical role as Specialist Midwife for Perinatal Mental Health at the Rosie Hospital (Cambridge University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust), providing midwifery care for women with severe or complex mental health problems and working closely with professionals in universal and specialist services in the perinatal period.

Kaat has a strong research interest and was awarded an NIHR Applied Research Collaboration fellowship, funded by the NIHR East of England Applied Research Collaboration, which she combined with her clinical work. During this time, she became a Visiting Clinical Research Fellow in the Department of Women & Children's Health at King's, led by Professor Jane Sandall, and has contributed to several studies exploring the experiences of women and healthcare professionals in maternity services during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Research interests:

  • Perinatal mental health
  • Integration of maternity and mental health services for women with severe or complex mental health needs
  • Transition to parenthood for women with mental health issues