Skip navigation

Prof Mary Steen


Department: Nursing, Midwifery & Health

Mary has recently been appointed as Professor of Midwifery at the University of Northumbria, Newcastle. Previously, she was a Professor of Midwifery at the University of South Australia (UniSA), where she was Chair of the Mother’s Babies and Families Research and Professorial Lead for Maternal and Family Health. Prior to being at UniSA, she was a Professor of Midwifery at the University of Chester (UoC). Her professorial experience has enabled her to facilitate the promotion of research, successfully obtain grant funding, patents, and undertake scholarly activities, support early career researchers, supervise master and PhD students, national and internationally. She holds several international visiting professor positions.

Mary qualified as a registered general nurse in 1986 and as a registered midwife in 1988 in the UK. She has a vast amount of nursing and midwifery clinical experience in hospital and community settings. She became interested in research in 1990 and undertook her first Randomised Controlled Trial (RCT) in 1993. Her PhD research studies investigated and explored the care and consequences of perineal trauma after childbirth. This research involved the designing and development of a patented cooling pain relief treatment known as the ‘femepad’ which is now commercially available.

Mary is interested in a wide remit of midwifery and maternal/family health issues such as: raising the profile of midwifery care and research, leadership, mentorship and partnership working, maternal health and well-being, healthy diet and nutrition, antenatal and postnatal exercises, holistic pain management approaches to birth, perineal and continence care, managing emotions and family relationships, self-compassion for better mental, wellbeing and physical health, clinical hypnosis and use of positive language, disadvantaged women, women incarcerated, parenting, involving fathers and the family in maternity care, digital communication technologies for maternity services. Her wide remit of interests has led her to undertake several service development projects and research studies in developed and developing countries, with the overall aim to improve the care and services for women, babies, and their families.

Mary has received several awards for clinical innovation, original research, leadership, partnership working and outstanding services to midwifery. She is a well-recognised midwifery researcher who utilises mixed methods and presented at numerous national and international conferences. She is a prolific writer and has written over 200 peer-reviewed articles (125 as the first author), 18 chapters and authored, edited, and contributed to a variety of books entitled: The Handbook of Midwifery Research (Wiley-Blackwell), Supporting Women to Give Birth at Home: A Practical Guide for Midwives, Mental Health Across the Lifespan (Routledge), Key Concepts in Healthcare Research (Sage publications), Myles Midwifery (Churchill-Livingstone) and Mayes Midwifery (Elsevier), Pregnancy and Birth: Everything you Need to Know, Ask a Midwife, Pregnancy: Day by Day, Baby Care: Day by Day (Dorling Kindersley. She has also undertaken lecture tours in Australia, Brazil, Emirates (UAE), Nigeria and developed good working relationships and networks to collaboratively undertake national and international research. She is presently working in collaboration with clinicians and researchers in the UAE, UK, USA, Brazil, Nigeria, Australia.


Mary Steen

  • Please visit the Pure Research Information Portal for further information
  • Assessing the healthcare quality issues for digital incident reporting in Sweden: Incident reports analysis, Rahman Jabin, M., Steen, M., Wepa, D., Bergman, P. 2023, In: Digital Health
  • Barriers and facilitators of vaccine hesitancy for COVID-19, Influenza, and Pertussis during pregnancy and in mothers of infants under two years: an Umbrella Review, Nichol, B., McCready, J., Steen, M., Unsworth, J., Simonetti, V., Tomietto, M. 2 Mar 2023, In: PLoS One
  • Effectiveness of female genital mutilation/cutting education for health professionals: An integrative review, Diaz, M., Brown, A., Fleet, J., Steen, M. 1 May 2023, In: Nurse Education in Practice
  • The role of midwives in supporting the development of the mother-infant relationship: a scoping review, Stoodley, C., McKellar, L., Ziaian, T., Steen, M., Fereday, J., Gwilt, I. 14 Mar 2023, In: BMC psychology
  • Understanding the barriers and facilitators of COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy amongst healthcare workers and healthcare students worldwide: An umbrella review protocol, McCready, J., Comparcini, D., Nichol, B., Steen, M., Unsworth, J., Tomietto, M. 31 Mar 2023, In: PLoS One
  • Understanding the barriers and facilitators of vaccine hesitancy towards the COVID-19 vaccine in healthcare workers and healthcare students worldwide: An Umbrella Review, McCready, J., Nichol, B., Steen, M., Unsworth, J., Comparcini, D., Tomietto, M. 12 Apr 2023, In: PLoS One
  • Barriers and facilitators to vaccination for COVID-19, pertussis, and influenza during pregnancy: Protocol for an umbrella review, Nichol, B., Simonetti, V., McCready, J., Steen, M., Unsworth, J., Tomietto, M. 26 Sep 2022, In: PLoS One
  • Developing conflict resolution strategies and building resilient midwifery students: Protocol for a Mixed Methods Research Study, Simpson, N., Steen, M., Vernon, R., Briley, A., Wepa, D. 18 Feb 2022, In: JMIR Research Protocols

  • Please visit the Pure Research Information Portal for further information
  • Invited talk: Fathers’ encounters with pregnancy, birth and maternity care. 2023
  • Invited talk: Self-compassion: the benefits of being kind to yourself 2023
  • Invited talk: Self-compassion: the benefits of being kind to yourself 2023
  • Invited talk: Postnatal Care Matters 2022
  • Invited talk: Postnatal Care 2022

  • Debra Wilson Exploring mothers’ experiences following consent for frenulotomy for their child subsequent to diagnosis of tongue-tie. Start Date: 01/10/2022
  • Sarah Fairbairn Exploring the experiences and care of women in labour who have a BMI of =30kg/m2 Start Date: 06/01/2022 End Date: 21/09/2022

Philosophy PhD July 31 2004

Our Staff

a sign in front of a crowd

Northumbria Open Days

Open Days are a great way for you to get a feel of the University, the city of Newcastle upon Tyne and the course(s) you are interested in.

Research at Northumbria

Research at Northumbria

Research is the life blood of a University and at Northumbria University we pride ourselves on research that makes a difference; research that has application and affects people's lives.

NU World

Explore NU World

Find out what life here is all about. From studying to socialising, term time to downtime, we’ve got it covered.

Latest News and Features

Lecturer to support Team GB medical needs at Special Olympics in Berlin
Northumbria appoints leading business figures as Visiting Professors
Crime scene
Sustainable condenser tumble dryers
View of the countryside from Richmond, London. People on green grass field near lake during daytime
The Crypt at Newcastle Cathedral
More news
More events

Upcoming events

Grow Your Own – How To Attract, Develop and Retain a Talented Team.
The Building Safety Act and its Implications

Back to top