Lecturer in Midwifery
School of Nursing & Health Sciences
11 Airlie Place,
+(44) 01382 388534
Heather Whitford graduated with a Bachelor of Nursing from the University of Glasgow in 1984 and subsequently trained as a midwife. Following a clinical career in midwifery in the UK and overseas (Nepal) she completed her Masters of Midwifery at Glasgow University in 1996. Since 1997 she has worked as a Lecturer in Midwifery in Dundee and completed her PhD in 2002.
Heathers research interests have focussed on understanding behaviour (relating to pelvic floor exercises and infant feeding) and woman-centred care.
A cluster randomised controlled trial of the clinical and cost effectiveness of offer of financial incentives to improve breastfeeding in Sheffield neighbourhoods with low 6-8 week breastfeeding rates (NOSH). Collaboration with University of Sheffield. Clare Relton (PI) (July 2012 – June 2016) (My involvement from May 2013)
Identifying strategies to effectively influence political commitment to breastfeeding: a review of six country case studies (Save the Children project): co-author with Alison McFadden as PI. Assisted with writing sections of the report and wrote the UK case study. (Dec 2014 – Jan 2015)
SISCC Maternal and Child Health Workstream lead: co-ordinating the work on the ‘Breastfeeding and attachment in neonatal units’ projects’. (Dec 2014 – ongoing)
Wider professional activities
Associate Editor BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth (from Feb 2014)
Reviewer for International Journal of Nursing Studies, Psychosomatic Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Expert Review of Obstetrics & Gynecology, BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth, CSO, MRC, NIHR
Member of Royal College of Midwives, Association of University Teachers
External examiner for PhD thesis: Judy Wilson ‘Evaluating Web-based Pelvic Floor Muscle Education for Pregnant Women’, University of Notre Dame Australia, June 2015
‘Heather has involvement in postgraduate modules, participates in the co-odination of MSc dissertations and supervises MSc and PhD students. She also contributes to the admission of PhD students and the administration of the PhD programme within MIRU and SNHS.’
Roles and Responsibilities
MRes Dissertation module leader
MSc Dissertation coordinator
SNHS Equality and Diversity Champion/Athena Swan Chairperson
Teaching post-registration and postgraduate students
Supervision of MSc and PhD students
Marking and moderating of essays and exams scripts at post-registration and postgraduate level
Postgraduate programme review
Co-Module Leader for the ‘Developing Research and Evaluation Skills’ and ‘Maternal and Infant Nutrition’ postgraduate modules’
Planning, design and implementation of post-registration and postgraduate modules
Planning, design and implementation of on-line teaching and learning materials
Women's contribution to co-constructed hand-held maternity records: mapping content to theory in patient-centred care.
April 2008 - October 2008
How is patient-centred care affected by giving women the opportunity to write in hand-held healthcare notes? A qualitative investigation
Sept 2009 – April 2011
Award £180,782 (CSO: CZH/4/527)
Infant feeding plans from late pregnancy to 16 weeks after delivery: exploring the demographic, clinical and psychological predictors
Sept 2009 – May 2011
Award £174,009 (CSO: CZH/4/568) (Principle Investigator)
McFadden, A., Kenney-Muir, N., Whitford, H., Renfrew, M. (2015) Breastfeeding: Policy Matters. Save the Children, London. http://www.savethechildren.org.uk/resources/online-library/breastfeeding-policy-matters
Relton, C., Whelan, B., Strong, M., Thomas, K., Whitford, H.M., Scott, E., Van Cleemput, P., (2014) Are financial incentives for breastfeeding feasible in the UK? A mixed methods field study. Lancet, Vol. 384 No. p S5.
Whitford, H.M., Whelan, B., Van Cleemput, P., Thomas, K., Renfrew, M., Strong, M., Scott, E., Relton, C., (2015) A financial incentive scheme to encourage breastfeeding (NOSH) in areas of low breastfeeding: designing the scheme incorporating key stakeholders views. Practising Midwife, 18 (2), 18 – 21.
Whelan B,Thomas K, Van Cleemput P, Whitford H, StrongM, RenfrewM, Scott E, Relton C (2014) Healthcare providers’ views on the acceptability of financial incentives for breastfeeding: a qualitative study. BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth, 14:355 doi:10.1186/1471-2393-14-355
Whitford, H.M., Entwistle, V.A., van Teijlingen, E., Aitchison, P.E., Davidson, T., Humphrey, T., Tucker, J.S. (2014) Use of a birth plan within woman-held maternity records: a qualitative study with women and staff in northeast Scotland. Birth. 41, 283 – 289. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/birt.12109/pdf
Lagan, B.M., Symon, A., Dalzell, J., Whitford, H. (2014) “The midwives aren't allowed to tell you": perceived infant feeding policy restrictions in a formula feeding culture - the Feeding Your Baby study. Midwifery. 30, e49- e55. doi: 10.1016/j.midw.2013.10.017
Aitchison, P.E., Entwistle, V.A., van Teijlingen, E., Whitford, H.M., Davidson, T., Humphrey, T., Tucker, J.S. (2013) Asking women to complete health and maternal histories for maternity records: A qualitative study. British Journal of Midwifery. 21(11), 622 – 628.
Donnan, P., Dalzell, J., Symon, A., Rauchhaus, P., Monteith-Hodge, E., Kellett, G., Wyatt, J., Whitford H. (2013) Prediction of initiation and cessation of breast feeding from late pregnancy to 16 weeks: The Feeding Your Baby (FYB) cohort study. BMJ Open. 3:e003274. doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2013-003274
Symon, A, Whitford, H., Dalzell, J, (2013) Infant Feeding in Eastern Scotland: a longitudinal evaluation of antenatal intentions and postnatal satisfaction - the Feeding Your Baby study. Midwifery 29 (7), e49 – e56, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.midw.2012.06.017
Whitford, H., Donnan, P., Symon, A., Kellett, G., Monteith-Hodge, E., Rauchhaus, P. & Wyatt J. (2012) Evaluating the reliability, validity, acceptability and practicality of SMS text messaging as a tool to collect research data: results from the Feeding Your Baby project. Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association. 19, 744-749. doi:10.1136/amiajnl-2011-000785
Whitford, H. & Jones, M. (2011) An exploration of the motivation of pregnant women to perform pelvic floor exercises using the revised theory of planned behaviour. British Journal of Health Psychology 16, 761–778, doi:10.1111/j.2044-8287.2010.02013.x
Mcconachie, S & Whitford, H, (2009). Mental health nurses’ attitudes towards severe perinatal mental illness. Journal of Advanced Nursing. 65(4), 867–876, doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2648.2008.04952.x
Whitford, H.M., Alder, B., Jones, M., (2007). A cross-sectional study of knowledge and practice of pelvic floor exercises during pregnancy and associated symptoms of stress urinary incontinence in North-East Scotland. Midwifery, 23 (2), pp.204 - 217. (doi:10.1016/j.midw.2006.06.006).
Whitford, H.M., Alder, B., Jones, M., (2007). A longitudinal follow up of women in their practice of perinatal pelvic floor exercises and stress urinary incontinence in North-East Scotland. Midwifery, 23 (3), pp.298 - 308. (doi:10.1016/j.midw.2006.05.009).
Whitford, H., Alder, E., Crombie, I. (2003) ‘An exploration of the motivation of women to practise pelvic floor exercises during pregnancy’. Proceedings of the British Psychological Society pp. 11, 47
Whitford, H.M. & Hillan, E.M. (1998) ‘Women’s perceptions of birth plans’ Midwifery. vol. 14 no. 4 pp. 248 – 253
Whitford, H. M. “The midwives aren’t allowed to tell you”: infant feeding policy restrictions in a formula feeding culture – the Feeding Your Baby study.’ Maternal and Infant Nutrition and Nurture Conference. University of Central Lancashire, July 2013 (poster)
Whitford, H. M. et al (2012) ‘Use of the Scottish Woman–Held Maternity Record in practice: views and experiences of women and staff’ Midwifery Research Conference, Edinburgh
Whitford H. M., et al (2011) ‘Prediction of successful breastfeeding: exploration of women’s infant feeding plans in North-East Scotland’ International Confederation of Midwives Triennial Congress, Durban (concurrent session)
Whitford, H. M., et al (2010) ‘SMS text messaging: acceptability and practicality as a method of infant feeding data collection and support’ Public Health Conference, Dunblane (concurrent session)
Whitford, H. M., et al (2008) 'Co-produced health-care records? Insights from the literature.' 9th Annual Interdisciplinary Research Conference - University of Dublin (concurrent session)
Whitford, H., & Lee, E., (2004). ‘Midwifery Education for Normal Childbirth – A Scottish Perspective’. Normal Labour and Birth: 2nd Research Conference, University of Central Lancashire, June (poster presentation).
Whitford, H. M., et al., (2004). ‘Pelvic floor exercises: reported practice of the exercises after delivery and factors affecting motivation’. RCN International Nursing Research Conference, Cambridge.
Whitford, H. M., et al., (2003). ‘Pelvic floor exercises: reported practice of the exercises after delivery and factors affecting motivation.’ Poster presentation. Society for Reproductive and Infant Psychology, Annual Conference, University of Dundee.
Whitford, H. M., et al., (2002). ‘Pelvic floor exercises: reported practice of the exercises after delivery and factors affecting motivation’. Poster presentation. Research in Midwifery & Perinatal Health Conference, Birmingham.
Whitford, H. M., et al., (2002). ‘An exploration of the motivation of women to practise pelvic floor exercises during pregnancy’. ICM International Confederation of Midwives 26th Triennial Congress, Vienna, Austria.
Whitford, H. M., (2002). ‘Keeping healthy during pregnancy – Are all women getting the information they need?’ Poster presentation. RCN Triennial International Nursing Research Conference.
Whitford, H. M., et al., (2001). ‘An exploration of the motivation of women to practise pelvic floor exercises during pregnancy’. Health Psychology 2001, European Health Psychology Society, St Andrews.
Whitford, H. M., (2000). ‘Keeping healthy during pregnancy – Do women report receiving information, and do they act on the information?’ 8th International Conference of Maternity Care Researchers, Glasgow.
Whitford, H. M., (2000). ‘Pelvic floor exercises in pregnancy – Do women report receiving information and do they practise the exercises?’ International Continence Society (UK), Annual Conference, Belfast.