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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.


  • Please visit the Pure Research Information Portal for further information
  • 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
  • Exploratory study of fathers providing Kangaroo Care in a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, Dong, Q., Steen, M., Wepa, D., Eden, A. 16 Jun 2022, In: Journal of Clinical Nursing
  • Exploring the methodology to assess the influence of self-compassion education and training for parents and families: A protocol for a systematic review, Othman, S., Steen, M., McKellor, L., Wepa, D. 4 May 2022
  • Father's experiences of Kangaroo Care in a Neonatal Care Intensive Care Unit: A scoping review: Fathers and Newborns, Dong, Q., Steen, M., Wepa, D. 1 Jun 2022, In: Evidence Based Midwifery
  • Self-compassion Education for Health Professionals (Nurses and Midwives): Protocol for a Sequential Explanatory Mixed Methods Study, Steen, M., Othman, S., Briley, A., Vernon, R., Hutchinson, S., Dyer, S. 13 Jan 2022, In: JMIR Research Protocols
  • The voices of incarcerated women, Lovell, B., Steen, M., Brown, A., Esterman, A. 13 Jul 2022, In: Health and Justice

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

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