Prof. Virginia Schmied

School of Community Health and Midwifery

Virginia 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

Virginia Schmied is Professor in the School of Nursing and Midwifery and the Family and Community Health (FaCH) research group. She is a registered midwife and a registered nurse with experience extends across clinical practice, education, research and consultancy.

Professor Schmied has worked in other tertiary institutions and as a senior manager in the public sector. In the School of nursing and Midwifery, she holds the position of Director, Engagement and International and she holds a Visiting Professorship at University of Central Lancashire (UK) and an Adjunct Professorship at the University of Technology, Sydney. Professor Schmied is a leading Australian researcher in midwifery and child and family health. Her program of scholarship, teaching and research is grounded in social science theory and methods and focuses on transition to motherhood, perinatal mental health, breastfeeding and infant feeding decisions, postnatal care, effective models to support vulnerable families, family centred care in NICU, strengthening the universal health services for families and children and the role of the child and family health nurse.

In addition she works with colleagues to research strategies to facilitate normal birth including studies on obesity in childbirth, physiological birth positions and place of birth. Professor Schmied is currently supervising 11 higher degree students in these areas She has published over 80 refereed journal articles, book chapters and published reports and regularly presents (including as a key note speaker) at national and international conferences. Professor Schmied has recently completed two ARC linkage study and is currently an investigator on two other ARC linkage projects and an ARC discovery grant (Miller Early Childhood Sustained Nurse Home Visiting) and has previously held ARC and NHMRC grants. Her research has been translated to policy and practice.


Book Chapters
Dahlen, H., Schmied, V. & Tracy, S. (2011). The Research Process for Nurses and Midwives. In Borbasi S & Jackson D, Nursing Research 3rd Ed.

Schmied, V and Lupton, D. (2010) Blurring the boundaries: breastfeeding and maternal subjectivity in Holmes D and Rudge T (eds) Abjectly Boundless: Boundaries, Bodies and Health Work. Ashgate Publishing Ltd, Aldershot, Hants UK, pp. 15-32.

Sheehan, A and Schmied, V. (2011) The imperative to breastfeed: the Australian experience in Liamputtong, P. (ed.) Infant feeding practices: A cross-cultural perspective. Springer, New York. pp 55-76.

More publications

External Roles

Board Member

Centre for Primary Health Care and Equity University of New South Wales

Reference Group – Aboriginal Maternal and Infant Health Service, NSW Ministry of Health


Australian College of Midwives

NSW Nurses Association

Perinatal Society of Australia and New Zealand

National Association of Childbirth Educators

Australian Breastfeeding Association



BA University of New South Wales, Australia

MA (Hons) University of New South Wales, Australia

PhD University of Technology, Sydney


Maternal and Child Nutrition

Breastfeeding Review

Peer Reviewer


VMC Pregnancy and Childbirth

BMC Health Services Research

Journal of Clinical Nursing

International Journal of Breastfeeding

Social Science and Medicine



Current funded research:

ARC linkage grant 2009-2012 LP100100693 A study investigating the feasibility of implementing a national approach to child and family health services in Australia. Chief Investigator Professor Schmied with co-investigators Kruske S, Homer, C, Barclay, L., Wilson, I, Fowler, C., & Kemp, L. Partners from five jurisdictions and four professional associations.

ARC Linkage Project-2009-2012 (LP0991327) The perinatal journey: the process and impact of psychosocial assessment. Chief Investigator Professor Schmied with Dr Lynn Kemp and Dr Tanya Covic and Partner Investigators Professor Bryanne Barnett, Nr Robert Mills, Ms Deborah Nemeth and Ms Monica Hughes (Karitane).

UWS International Research Initiative Scheme (12,400) Perinatal Mental Health: Understanding pathways, client journeys and outcomes for immigrant and refugee women. CI with A/Prof Hannah Dahlen, Prof Maree Johnson and Prof Cindy-Lee Dennis University of Toronto.

UWS RGS grant scheme (20,000) Interactions between midwives and women during antenatal consultations in two different models of care: An ethnographic study. Hannah Dahlen, Virginia Schmied, Elaine Burns, Sally Tracy, Alison Teate, Julie Swain and Donna Garland
Recently completed funded research

ARC Linkage Project-2009-2012 (LP0991564,). A study of contemporary family, social and cultural influences on first-time mothers' decisions about infant feeding and early parenting practices. Chief Investigator Professor Schmied with Associate Professor Jennifer Fenwick and Dr Karleen Gribble and Partner Investigators Dr Athena Sheehan and Ms Denise McGrath Kids of Macarthur Foundation and professor Fiona Dykes University of Central Lancashire.

ARC Linkage project (2008-2011) Establishing breastfeeding: an analysis of the language and practices used by midwives and lactation consultants when interacting with new mothers Chief Investigator Professor Schmied with Associate Professor Jennifer Fenwick and Partner Investigators Dr Athena Sheehan and two maternity units in NSW.

Dept of Health & Ageing (2009-2010) Increasing health literacy among Vietnamese women with gestational diabetes. .Dr Sansnee Jirojwong, Dr Sharon Hillege, Prof Virginia Schmied, Prof Pranee Liamputtong (La Trobe University) Chronic Disease Self-Management/Lifestyle and risk modification Grants $93,368.90

UWS research grant scheme: Perinatal mental health: psychosocial risk, patterns of service use and outcomes in a cohort of 100 mothers and infants CIs Dr Stephen Matthey, Prof Marie Paule Austin, Prof Maree Johnson, Dr Lynn Kemp, Dr Tanya Covic, Dr Anthony Yeo $20,000.

UWS Partnership grant (2009) A study of service engagement and outcomes for infants and their young mothers. Chief Investigator with Associate Professor Hannah Dahlen, Dr Christine Taylor with partner investigator Ms Jenni Hutchins from Benevolent Society $10,000

UWS Research Grants Scheme (2009) Facilitating physiological birth positioning in three different birth settings: An exploration into facilitators and inhibitors: Investigators Associate Professor Hannah Dahlen, Professor Virginia Schmied, Professor Soo Downe (University of Central Lancashire) and Professor Sally Tracy 24,900.