Dr. Renée Flacking

Senior Research Fellow

School of Community Health and Midwifery

Renée is research active within the area of midwifery and maternal child health and is a member of the Maternal and Infant Nutrition and Nurture Unit.

Full Profile

Renée Flacking is a Senior Research Fellow at UCLan. She has a background as a Paediatric Nurse, working in a Neonatal Care Unit for more than 10 years. In addition, she has worked as a care Developer at the Paediatric Department, Dalarna, Sweden. Her main research is in the area of breastfeeding and parenting in families with preterm infants focusing on emotional, relational and socioeconomic aspects. Development of concepts related to breastfeeding, interventions to support mothers and fathers during and after hospital stay, exploration of sociological mechanisms are some areas of interest. In 2010, the research network Separation and Closeness Experiences in the Neonatal Environment (SCENE) was established with Renée Flacking as the research coordinator. This network comprises interdisciplinary collaboration between researchers from all over Europe and Australia.

Renée first joined UCLan as an Honorary Researcher in 2009. Renée and Fiona have published epidemiological studies on infant feeding in term and preterm twins, the effects of socio-economic status and paternity leave on breastfeeding duration in Sweden, and about the importance of acknowledging breastfeeding as a relationship. A cross-cultural ethnographic study on feeding and relationality in NICUs in the UK and Sweden was conducted by and Fiona in 2009-2011. With this collaboration as a basis, the research network Separation and Closeness Experiences in the Neonatal Environment (SCENE) was set up in 2010. This network comprises interdisciplinary collaboration between researchers from MAINN, UCLan and Finland (Turku University), Sweden (Dalarna University, Uppsala University, Karolinska University), Hungary (Semmelweis University) and the US (University of California, San Francisco).


Flacking R, Ewald U, Wallin L. Positive effect of Kangaroo Mother Care on long-term breastfeeding in very preterm infants. JOGGN 2011;40:190-197.

Dykes F, Flacking R. Encouraging breastfeeding: a relational perspective. Early Hum Dev 2010; 86:733-736.

Flacking R, Dykes F, Ewald U. The influence of fathers’ socioeconomic status and paternity leave on breastfeeding duration: a population based cohort study. Scand J of Publ Health 2010;38:337-343.

Östlund Å, Nordström M, Dykes F, Flacking R. Breastfeeding in preterm and term twins – maternal factors associated with early cessation: a population based study. J Hum Lact 2010; 26(3): 235-241.

More publications


Breastfeeding/feeding and relationality – an ethnographic study of mothers of preterm infants at neonatal units in Sweden and England.

A randomised controlled trial on proactive breastfeeding telephone support for mothers of preterm infants.

Separation and Closeness Experiences in the Neonatal Environment – SCENE.

External Roles

Reviewer for Acta Paediatrica, International Journal of Nursing Studies, Maternal & Child Nutrition, Pediatrics, Social Science & Medicine.

Member of the Swedish National Board of Health and Welfare’s Expertgroup on Safe Neonatal care Extreme Prematurity – Nutrition.

Member of the Research Ethics Committee at Dalarna University, Sweden


SCENE aims to gain empirical evidence to explore how patient-centred care and parental involvement (measured as physical and emotional closeness) vary in NICUs, within and between countries in Europe. In-depth understanding of cultural and contextual influences upon and consequences of closeness/separation will operate as a significant catalyst for change in regard to reducing health inequalities; improved outcomes for vulnerable infants and families in Europe.