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Welcome to the Doctoral Midwifery Research Society research blog

Posted on Sunday 1st August 2021

Professor Marlene Sinclair

Head of the Maternal, Fetal and Infant Research Centre, Ulster University

Founder and President of the Doctoral Midwifery Research Society

Today, on the 1st August 2021, the first day of the World Breastfeeding Week, I am delighted to launch our Doctoral Midwifery Research Society blog.

What is the purpose of the DMRS?

A fundamental objective of the DMRS is to provide quality support and guidance to doctoral and post-doctoral researchers engaged in midwifery research; regionally, nationally and internationally. A major commitment of the society is to provide – whenever possible – a concrete or electronic platform for midwifery researchers and others to engage with academics, peers, colleagues, service users, commissioners and policy-makers in a strategic endeavour to ensure best evidence is indeed underpinning everyday practice. The DMRS is multiprofessional and inclusive of all cultures and nationalities. The DMRS places a strong emphasis on ‘doing’ and ‘using’ research for the good of society and has a special focus on breastfeeding research in particular.

Who funds the DMRS?

The DMRS is funded by the Health and Social Care Research & Development (HSC R&D) Division of the Public Health Agency in Northern Ireland.

What is midwifery research?

In 2008, midwifery research was narrowly defined as ‘a rigorous process of inquiry that aims to provide knowledge of and insights into the efficacy and effectiveness of midwifery practice; its effects on women, babies, parents, family and society … . It is important to update these definitions and therefore additional sentences are now being added:

1. Midwifery research can be undertaken by any suitably trained researcher

2. Mothers should be invited to join research teams as co-producers of quality maternity research.

Women and midwives and obstetricians share in decision making and use evidence as part of that process leading to its acceptance and integration into everyday practice. This shared decision making is best practice when the evidence is critically appraised, clearly understood and disseminated, applied by experts relevant to the context of care and valued by midwifery care professionals and pregnant women. This is optimal midwifery care.

What is the purpose of the DMRS blog?

The DMRS blog is designed to share research and engage in scholarly discussion. In recognition of World Breastfeeding Week we have dedicated a weeklong series of blogs on breastfeeding. This includes research that explores the full breadth and depth of the art and science of breastfeeding. Ongoing our plan is to publish psychological, physiological, sociological, political and philosophical blogs that have been subject to peer-review. We encourage bloggers to cite easily accessible and relevant literature where possible and to link their blog to online publications.

Who is facilitating and managing the DMRS blog?

Dr Julie McCullough is the DMRS manager and developed this blog up with assistance from Professor Marlene Sinclair and PhD student Rachel Black.

What is planned for World Breastfeeding Week?

This week we plan to achieve three specific goals:

1. Successfully launch the DMRS breastfeeding blog and plan future activities engaging with appropriate partners and networks including the World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action (WABA)

2. Share breastfeeding research outcomes from doctoral and funded projects

3. Connect midwives, mothers, multiprofessionals, policy makers, educationalists and researchers


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