Sheena Byrom OBE, Freelance Midwifery Consultant
Biography: Sheena Byrom is a practising midwife, and worked within the NHS for more than 35 years. Sheena was one of the UK’s first consultant midwives, and as a head of midwifery successfully helped to lead the development of three birth centres in East Lancashire. As well as being an international speaker, Sheena provides consultancy services to both NHS Trusts and to organisations globally; helping and supporting them to develop midwifery lead services. Sheena is involved in several charities related to midwifery, and is one of the project leads of the Midwifery Unit Network, which supports midwifery led units (birth centres) both online, and face-to-face. Sheena is working on a new initiative with Anna Byrom, her midwife daughter, to support midwifery in the UK, and around the world.
Sheena’s passion to continue centres on promoting normal physiological childbirth, and a positive childbirth experience for all women. The global onslaught of medical technology as a means to improve safety continues to influence childbearing women’s physiology and autonomy, and her work to reverse the trend is ongoing.
Sheena’s midwifery memoirs, Catching Babies, is a Sunday Times bestseller, and her seminal book, The Roar Behind the Silence: why kindness, compassion and respect matter in maternity care jointly edited with Soo Downe, is being used as a resource to improve maternity care throughout the world. Sheena and Soo are currently editing a second book, ‘Squaring the Circle: researching normal childbirth in a technological world’, which they hope will be published in 2017.
Sheena was awarded an OBE in 2011 for services to midwifery, and was made an Honorary Fellow of the Royal College of Midwives in 2015. In 2016, Sheena received an Honorary Doctorate from Bournemouth University. Her personal and midwifery related website is sheenabyrom.com.
Professor Susan Ayers. Professor of Maternal and Child Health. City, University of London
Dr Ellinor Olander. Senior Lecturer. City, University of London
Professor Cathy Warwick CBE. Chief Executive of the Royal College of Midwives
Milli Hill, Positive Birth Movement
Professor Susan Ayers, Professor of Maternal and Child Health, City, University of London
Biography: Susan is a psychologist specialising in perinatal mental health. She joined City University in 2012 and leads the Centre for Maternal and Child Health Research. Susan is a chartered health psychologist and cognitive behaviour therapist. Her research examines women's mental health during pregnancy and after birth, with a particular focus on anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder. Since obtaining her PhD from the University of London, Susan has worked at St. George's Hospital Medical School (London) and Brighton and Sussex Medical School (Sussex). Susan is lead author of Psychology for Medicine (2011) and editor of the Cambridge Handbook of Psychology, Health and Medicine (2007). She has given numerous invited lectures and workshops and was awarded the Annual Lecturer Prize by the Society of Reproductive and Infant Psychology in 2012.
Dr Ellinor Olander, Senior Lecturer, City, University of London
Presentation: Women’s views of continuity of care as provided by midwives and health visitors
Continuity of carer, multi-professional working and working across boundaries has all been identified as important aspects of care in the National Maternity Review: Better Births (2016). This presentation will cover women’s views on some of these aspects as they relate to continuity of care as provided by midwives and health visitors. Specifically, findings will be presented from a large interview study with 29 recent mothers who shared their experiences regarding continuity of information and relationships, staff as well as across pregnancies.
Biography: Dr Ellinor Olander is a Senior Lecturer in Maternal and Child Health in the Centre for Maternal and Child Health Research at City, University of London. Ellinor completed her undergraduate degree in Psychology in Australia, before she moved to England to do her MSc (Loughborough University, 2006) and PhD (University of Birmingham, 2010). Her area of research includes issues related to maternal obesity and weight management in pregnancy as well as care provided by midwives and health visitors.
Ellinor co-leads the Collaborating in Pregnancy and Early Years (COPE) project which aims to support healthcare professionals to work collaboratively when caring for women and their families during and after pregnancy.
Cathy Warwick CBE, Chief Executive of the Royal College of Midwives (RCM)
Presentation: Better Births – the user experience
A brief outline of user views highlighting the need for greater personalisation and continuity of carer. Discussion of progress against these outcomes and of how more might be achieved.
Biography: Professor Warwick is closely involved in the development of maternity policy, and has recently been part of a major review of maternity services in England. Cathy works with the Secretary of State for Health to try to influence policy on behalf of women, forging collaborative relationships with organisations with common interests including other medical Royal colleges.
Professor Warwick holds honorary professorships at King’s College London and Hong Kong University and received honorary doctorates from the Universities of Dundee and Kingston and St George’s University London. She has led midwifery study tours to several countries in 2016 and 2017.
Professor Warwick gained a nursing degree in 1975 and completed the one year midwifery course in 1976, and worked as a midwife across a variety of clinical settings in hospitals and in the community. She has held a number of senior posts in midwifery education and in the NHS. She has an MSc in Social Policy, an Advanced Diploma in Midwifery (ADM) and a Post Graduate Certificate in Education of Adults.
She has sat on many national maternity policy committees, and been a member of the Nursing and Midwifery Council and was Chair of the Midwifery Committee at the Nursing and Midwifery Council, and Chair of the maternity working group contributing to the Darzi report, Healthcare for London.
She has also written and published widely on midwifery issues and lectures and speaks nationally and internationally.
Milli Hill, Positive Birth Movement
Biography: Millie is a writer and the mother of three small children, and the founder of the Positive Birth Movement. She is a columnist for Telegraph Women where she writes about the experience of birth, breastfeeding and early parenting.
Presented by the Centre for Maternal and Child Health Research
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