Nicola is a health researcher with interests in breastfeeding, maternal and child health and wellbeing, and communication and relationships in healthcare and community settings.
Nicola is interested in women’s experiences through the maternity episode, particularly women’s experiences of infant feeding and early motherhood, and their experiences of care and supportive relationships during this time. At the University of Central Lancashire, she has been involved in a number of research and evaluation projects exploring women’s experiences of infant feeding and infant feeding peer support. Related projects include an evaluation of the implementation of a midwifery continuity of carer model, and an evaluation of a mobile phone app and parenting magazine embedded into maternity and early years services. Nicola has also been involved in several systematic reviews, including systematic reviews of qualitative evidence on what women want in the postnatal period and factors affecting uptake of postnatal care from the perspective of women, partners and family/community. She has also been involved in systematic reviews to understand the use of assisted vaginal delivery to reduce unnecessary caesarean sections, and to explore the role of inequalities in stillbirth. Nicola supervises postgraduate research student projects in maternal and child health, infant feeding, and related topics.
Prior to her research at UCLan, Nicola worked as a project officer in the health sector, and as an academic researcher in the biological sciences, where she worked on lab-based molecular neurobiology projects. Nicola served as a voluntary sector breastfeeding supporter between 2012-17.