News and events

Dr. Gill Thomson

Senior Research Fellow

School of Community Health and Midwifery

Brook Building, BB224

+44 (0) 1772 89 4578

Subject Areas: Nursing and Midwifery, Psychology

Gill is a Social Scientist, who has a psychology academic background. Her research interests relate to psychosocial influences and implications of perinatal care, with a particular focus on factors that impact upon maternal wellbeing, including peer support models of care.

Full Profile

• B.Sc. (Hons. 2:1) Applied Psychology, University of Central Lancashire, 1996
• M.Sc. Psychology of Child Development (Distinction), University of Central Lancashire, 1998
• Ph.D. Midwifery Studies, University of Central Lancashire, 2007

Gill Thomson is currently working as a Senior Research Fellow within the Maternal and Infant Nutrition and Nurture Unit (MAINN) in the University of Central Lancashire. Gill has a psychology academic background and has worked within the public, private and voluntary sector. Since completing her Masters in the Psychology of Child Development in 1998, she has been employed on a number of consultation projects, the majority of which involved engaging with vulnerable population groups. Following successful completion of her PhD at the end of 2007 she has been employed by UCLan and has been involved in a number of research/evaluation based projects funded by various Primary Care Trusts, Department of Health and various charities (e.g. Breastfeeding Network, Best Beginnings) to explore psychosocial influences and experiences towards maternity services, infant feeding issues and support services. Gill’s research interests relate to psychosocial influences and implications of peri-natal care, with a particular focus on factors that impact upon maternal wellbeing, including peer support models of care. She also has a particular specialism in the interpretive phenomenological based research.


1. Thomson G, Balaam M-C, Hymers, K. (2015) Building social capital through breastfeeding peer support: Insights from an evaluation Insights from an evaluation of a voluntary breastfeeding peer support service in North-West England. International Journal of Breastfeeding. 10:15 doi:10.1186/s13006-015-0039-4

2. Thomson G, Eschbrich-Burton K, Flacking R. (2015) Shame if you do, Shame if you don’t: Women’s experiences of infant feeding. Maternal and Child Nutrition 11(1), 33-46.

3. Thomson G, Morgan H, Crossland N, Bauld L, Dykes F, Hoddinott P (2014) Unintended Consequences of Incentive Provision for Behaviour Change and Maintenance around Childbirth. PLoS ONE 9(10): e111322. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0111322.

4. Fenech G, Thomson G (2014). Tormented by ghosts from their past: A meta-synthesis to explore the psychosocial implications of a traumatic birth on maternal well-being. Midwifery 30, 185-93.

More publications


Thomson, G., Dykes, F. & Richardson-Foster, H. Implementing the WHO Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes: Evaluation of an Infant Feeding Information Team. Maternal and Infant Nutrition and Nurture Conference (8th June, 2011.)

Thomson, G., Crossland, N. & Dykes, F. Giving me hope: Women’s Reflections of a breastfeeding peer support service. Maternal and Infant Nutrition and Nurture Conference (9th June, 2011)

Thomson, G., Dykes, F., Bilson, A. (2009) Facilitators and Barriers to Implementing the Community Version of the UNICEF UK Baby Friendly Initiative. At Nutrition and Nurture in Infancy and Childhood: Bio-cultural Perspectives. MAINN, UCLAN, Grange-Over-Sands, (8th, 9th, 10th Sept 2009.)

Download a full list of Gill's conferences. (.pdf 25KB)

External Activities

• Member of the Scientific Advisory Committee for the Normal Birth Conference

• Member of Scientific Review/Conference Organisation Team for Nutrition & Nurture Conference

• Member of the Scientific Review Committee for the International Confederation of Midwives Conference

• Editorial member of Maternal & Child Nutrition

• Member of the Society for Reproductive and Infant Psychology

• Member of the International Hermeneutics Society



Sept, 2014 – Nov, 2016 Thomson, G. (PI) & Hall-Moran, V. A realist evaluation
into the implementation and outcomes of Best Beginnings interventions. Funded by DH/Best Beginnings

Jan – November, 2015 Thomson, G. (PI) & Hall-Moran V. (PI). RESPITE Post-
natal study. Funded by Healthy Children’s Centre, USA.

March, 2014 – Sept, 2015 Thomson, G. (PI) & Balaam, M-C. Birth Companions Research Project. Funded by Birth Companions.

March, 2014 – Sept, 2016 Thomson, G. (PI). Evaluation of Breastfeeding Peer Support. Funded by Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council

May, 2013 – Sept, 2014 Thomson, G. (PI). Development of an Antenatal Breastfeeding Tool. Funded by NHS North Lancashire

May, 2012 – May, 2013 Thomson, G. (PI). & Balaam, M.C. Evaluation of Peer Support Provision in North Lancashire. Funded by NHS North Lancashire

May, 2011 – February, 2012 Thomson, G. (PI), Sutton, C.J., Dykes, F. & Crossland, N. Evaluation of the National Breastfeeding Helpline. Funded by The National Breastfeeding Helpline

July, 2010 – Dec, 2010 Thomson, G. (PI) & Dykes, F. Evaluation of Infant Feeding Information Team. Funded by the Department of Health

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Teaching Activities and Responsibilities

Teaching on various MSc Midwifery Modules. Module leader for MW4033: Psycho-social Influences and Impact on Maternal, Child and Family Health