Maternal and Family Health Research Group

Led by Professor Jill Shawe, we work with national and international collaborators to investigate women's health.

Our current research focus:

1. PREPARE: Programme of Research and Education in Preconception Care. 

    This includes:  
  • nutrition and fertility after weight loss (metabolic) surgery
  • interventions to prevent and manage gestational diabetes
  • periconception care in women with pre-existing medical conditions.  
2. Asthma and pregnancy

3. Sexual health of vulnerable groups

4. Systematic evidence based reviews of maternal and reproductive health.

We held our inaugural symposium on 11th July 2019, with attendees from the University, health services and local organisations.

We had two excellent speakers:

  • “Before, between and beyond: Lifestyle interventions for healthy families” | Dr Annick Bogaerts, Assistant Professor at KU Leuven, Department Development and Regeneration, Research Unit Women & Child, Leuven, Belgium.
  • “Happy and healthy smiles! Oral health messages” | Wendy Smith MBE, Strategic Lead for Community Engagement, Well Connected, Plymouth
Recordings of the presentations are now available on Panopto


Our most recent publications


Shawe J, Patel D, Joy M, Howden B, Barrett G, Stephenson J. Preparation for fatherhood: A survey of men's preconception health knowledge and behaviour in England. PLoS One. 2019 Mar 20;14(3):e0213897. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0213897. eCollection 2019.

Marsh P & Williamson GR 2019 'What is the Current Effectiveness of Olaparib for Breast Cancer Patients with a BRCA mutation? A Systematic Review' The Open Nursing Journal 13, 

Redfern KM, Hine RS, Hollands HJ, Welch CR, Pinkney JH, Rees GA. Objectively measured sleep duration and plasma glucose values following an oral glucose tolerance test amongst pregnant women with obesity in the UK.Sleep Med. 2019 Jan 29. pii: S1389-9457(18)30737-8. 

Our researchers