Marie-Clare is a researcher in the Research in Childbirth and Health Unit (REACH). She previously worked as a lecturer in History and Women’s Studies and as a researcher in various academic and community locations exploring a range of historical and social cultural issues. Her current work focuses on maternity care and social support for marginalised women with a particular focus on migrant women’s experiences of maternity care and childbirth in the UK and Europe.
Marie-Clare is involved in a range of national and international research projects related to maternity care and the wellbeing of women in the perinatal period. Her publications and research primarily relate to maternity care for marginalised women, social support and the perinatal wellbeing of migrant women and their access to maternity care.
Marie-Clare has taught American studies, women’s studies, women’s history and oral history in a range of FE, HE and community locations across the UK. Her work in community oral history involved supporting the community development of the BEME project in Wolverhampton as well as supporting oral history work in local museums and other community research projects. She has been the grant manager and an active researcher in two EU funded COST Actions: COST Action IS1405 and COST Action IS0907 which took an international focus on maternity care. She has been involved in the development of the international online survey of women’s birth experiences the Babies Born Better survey https://www.babiesbornbetter.org/ and is a member of the Steering Committee and UK national representative for the study. Marie-Clare has previously undertaken research on cross dressing, visual representations of HIV/AIDS and social and historical aspects of Menopause. Her current research focuses on maternity care for migrant women in the UK and Europe.
- BA (Hons History), 2:1 Lancaster University 1991
- MA American Studies, Nottingham University 1993
- Qualitative research including interviewing
- Documentary analysis
- Perinatal wellbeing
Marie-Clare's research primarily focuses on maternity care, perinatal well being and social support for marginalised women, particularly migrant women in the UK and Europe. She is particularly interested in women's experiences of care and feminist approaches to research.
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- External: IMISCOE Gender and Sexuality in Migration Research.
- Network Northern maternity stream research network
- ROAM Reproductive Outcomes and Migration: An International Collaboration
- Global Health, Gender and Society Research Group (GHenderS)
- REacCH, THRIVE, MIDEX
- Evaluation of the introduction of continuity of carer in South Warwickshire, UK.
- Systematic review on use of Assisted Vaginal Delivery (AVD) to facilitate complicated deliveries and reduce unnecessary caesarean sections, WHO.
- COST Action IS1405: Building Intrapartum Research Through Health - an interdisciplinary whole system approach to understanding and contextualising physiological labour and birth (BIRTH)
- COST Action IS0907: Childbirth Cultures, Concerns, and Consequences: Creating a dynamic EU framework for optimal maternity care
- Babies Born Better International Survey
- Neo natal peer support - Supporting the Peer Supporter British Academy/Leverhulme Small Grants Award.
- Birth Companions Research Project: Experiences and Birth Outcomes of Vulnerable Women Evaluation of Baby Friendly Accreditation: peer support and evidence of impact for building social capital commissioned by NHS Northwest
- Evaluation of health befriending project for pregnancy refugee and asylum-seeking women, Refugee Council, Leeds
- Evaluation of Lavender Doula Project, Blackburn, Lancashire
- Invited speaker
- Marie-Clare Balaam New to the UK: Midwifery Conference, Oxford Brooks, December 2018
- External conference presentations
- Marie-Clare Balaam A review of perinatal social support interventions for asylum seeking and refugee women resident in Europe Virtual International Day of the Midwife conference (VIDM 2020) poster presentation and interview May 2020
- Marie-Clare Balaam A review of perinatal social support interventions for asylum seeking and refugee women resident in Europe International Normal Birth conference, Grange over Sands, June 2019
- S Downe, M Balaam, A Topalidou & R Escuriet Catalysing Multidisciplinary Research, Practice, and Activism Around Physiological Labour and Birth: Lessons from Two EU COST Action Network Programmes ICM Toronto June 2017
- M Balaam & G Thomson Supporting the most vulnerable; the impact of social support on the perinatal experiences and outcomes of vulnerable women in North London. Special one-day conference on Maternal Morbidities; ‘Minding Mothers with Morbidities’ Trinity college, Dublin 8th November 2016
- M Balaam, R McCarthy, D Pluto, J Ingham ‘A friend but not a friend': Migrant women's experiences of a befriending scheme for pregnant refugees and asylum seekers in the UK, OPTIMISE2014 Conference; Optimising Childbirth across Europe: An interdisciplinary maternity care conference, Vrije Universiteit Brussel Belgium9/04/2014
- S Downe, M Berg, V Smith, M Gross, M Balaam An examination of the setup, running of, and outputs from the multinational iresearch4birth EU COST action ICM Prague 2014
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