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Research activity per year

Personal profile


Since qualifying as a midwife in 1998, I have gained a diverse range of skills and experience, working in midwifery practice, research and education. From 2001-4 I worked at the University of Manchester as a research assistant on a mixed-methods R&D funded project. This aimed to explore pregnant women’s and midwives’ experiences of using intrapartum fetal heart rate monitoring in low risk situations, via interviews and questionnaire surveys. As part of this I completed my MPhil which was based on a survey of regional Trust guidelines for intrapartum fetal heart rate monitoring in low risk women.  I have also worked on a number of projects as a research midwife, including an RCT comparing management techniques for premature birth and a longitudinal project exploring causes of gestational diabetes. These experiences sparked my passion for research and give me valuable experience to bring to teaching undergraduate research modules.

I have been employed by the University, most recently as a Senior Lecturer, since 2016. My teaching and research interests derive from my varied clinical experiences, including community midwifery and breastfeeding support, as well as my research work to date.  They include public health, breastfeeding and psychosocial aspects of care, such as poverty, maternal and child attachment, and family structure. These interests are aligned with my commitment to a feminist approach to midwifery care and research. I have a longstanding interest in parent education, having facilitated this for the NHS and the NCT. 

Research Expertise and Interests

My research interests centre on the social and psychological context against which women and families experience the transition to parenthood.  This includes women’s experiences of breastfeeding, which are profoundly influenced by factors like socio-economic status, cultural beliefs about infant feeding. Additionally, I have the skills to support projects exploring social, cultural and relational aspects of motherhood and family.   Additionally, my research experiences facilitate support for projects exploring evidence-based practice and other 'ways of knowing'.

In September 2017 I registered for part-time doctoral study. Having explored the nature of evidence-based practice in my MPhil, I am interested in understanding whether and how personal experiences such as life knowledge and intuition influence care in midwifery. From a feminist perspective, I have long been interested in how gendered experiences affect midwifery care (since most midwives are women).  My PhD thesis will allow me to combine these dual interests. My project aims to explore whether and how student midwives who are also mothers process and use their experiences of childbearing and motherhood, whilst caring professionally for other women. This is a little-explored area, offering opportunity for insights about how student midwives learn to become professionals, to act reflexively and to use all forms of knowledge appropriately

  • Infant feeding
  • Community midwifery
  • Safeguardin
  • Cultural/sociological aspects of midwifery practice
  • Motherhood and families

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being

Research Expertise and Interests

  • motherhood
  • family
  • culture
  • Social Inequalities
  • infant feeding
  • evidence based practice


Dive into the research topics where Sophie Hinsliff is active. These topic labels come from the works of this person. Together they form a unique fingerprint.
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