The UA Blog

Where Are They Now Wednesday: Marianne White

Marianne White a University of Dundee graduate who was an Overall Winner in 2015 in the Category of Nursing and Midwifery with her paper titled “Does the provision of evidence based information or decision aids versus usual care for healthy pregnant women with previous caesarean deliveries increase the number of vaginal births in subsequent pregnancies?”.

Marianne lives in a rural community in Perthshire and works in a large teaching hospital in Dundee, Scotland. She continues to work as a midwife, but since returning from the Undergraduate Awards in 2015 she has felt really inspired and with this confidence boost she has been applying for a variety of opportunities and being successful in them all which has led to a very busy few years!

Shortly after returning from Dublin, Marianne applied to work as a research assistant with the Maternal and Infant Research team at the University of Dundee. This project investigated what good midwifery care looks like and how we can improve clinical outcomes for mothers and newborns. It has been a really interesting project following on from a paper published in the Lancet by Renfrew et al in 2014 entitled “Midwifery and quality care: findings from a new evidence-informed framework for maternal and newborn care”. They are now in the process of writing up their papers and hope to have them published next year. A few months later she was successful in securing the post of Infant Feeding Advisor for NHS Tayside.

Marianne is hugely passionate about women centred care and ensuring that they provide kind and compassionate care to all women within our service. Her remit now includes; the implementation and maintenance of UNICEF Baby Friendly standards across all NHS Tayside Maternity and Neonatal Services and ensuring that practice in relation to infant feeding is evidence based.

“In addition to this I assist in the coordination, development and provision of education and specialist support to staff and parents on all aspects of infant feeding. Our aim as an infant feeding team is to promote a culture which supports all parents to develop loving relationships with their newborn and supports breastfeeding whilst respecting a woman’s right to choose how to feed her baby.”

Marianne has recently started an 18-month project which is sponsored by the Academic Health Science Partnership in Tayside and is entitled ” Supporting the ‘Golden hour’ for mother-infant skin to skin contact at elective caesarean sections. The World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) recommend immediate skin-to-skin contact for women and newborns following birth (WHO 2015, UNICEF 2016). Skin to skin contact is the term used when the naked newborn is placed on the mother’s bare chest after birth.

“I wanted to support this vulnerable group and through a 4-phase action research cycle I aim to work with both health professionals and parents to look into the barriers preventing immediate skin contact at caesarean births and what facilitators could promote this invaluable behaviour.”

In addition to this Marianne has two young children with whom she really enjoys spending time with usually on their bikes, swimming or going to festivals.

“Life is busy but it’s a happy one. “

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