The scientific journal Nepal Journal of Epidemiology published its fourth and final issue of 2021 on December 31. This issue included our systematic review ‘Epidemiologic characteristics, clinical management and Public Health Implications of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) in Pregnancy: A Systematic Review and meta-analysis’. This review covered the published literature on the epidemiology, clinical management and public health prevention aspects of pregnancy and childbirth and coronavirus (COVID-19) up until December 2020. We worked hard and fast to submit the paper as soon as possible after the end of 2020 to be able to publish up-to-date findings. We managed this and submitted the paper on March 5th, the peer-review took some months and so did the making of the revisions. As a result we resubmitted the manuscript of 29 September and we got the acceptance email within a week. We made it into the next issue of the Nepal Journal of Epidemiology which published exactly one year after the data collection period had ended for our systematic review.
There are two lessons here, first even when submitting to an online journal one will experience a delay in publishing. Secondly, the 36 papers we had appraised and included were published in 2020, meaning these scientific papers were submitted in mid-2020 at the latest in order to make it through the peer-review process, get accepted and formatted for online publication.
In the resubmitted version we had to add as a weakness of this review that: “It is worth noting that this extensive systematic review only cover papers published in 2020, and hence studies conducted in or before 2020. This was before the emergence of variants of COVID-19, especially the delta and omicron variants.”
Prof. Edwin van Teijlingen
CMMPH (Centre for Midwifery, Maternal & Perinatal Health).
Last night I misread a call from BMC Pregnancy & Childbirth. To be fair the email included two different request to contribute to two different kinds of blog posts with different set of instructions. Of course, I managed not to simply to swap these instructions around, but mix them up properly. The result is the text below that does not fit either of the two calls, I think.
The question I tried to address was: “Tell us how your research published in BMC Pregnancy & Childbirth has links to wider issues than health!. The actual call in the email was: “Tell us about your contribution to the SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals) – We invite our Editorial Board Members who have research or personal interests related to the SDGs to contribute a blog post to our BMC Series Blog network discussing your work/interests as these relate to the SDGs”.
My adopted question explains the title ‘Health is not a vacuum’. The short overview of the blog I drafted focused on all the papers I have published in this journal over a fifteen-year period from 2006-2021 [1-11]. Not surprising for a sociologist of health & illness, my argument is that there are nearly always issues wider than SDG 3 ‘Good health and well-being’ in the way health care/service or health policy factors affects maternity care and midwifery. Social, cultural and economic factors affect the way maternity services ares provided, used and perceived. SDG 5 ‘Gender equality’ springs to mind first, but also important is SDG 4 ‘Quality education’, especially of girls, and SDG 1 ‘No poverty’, of course strongly linked with SDG 10 ‘Reduced inequalities’.
Gender is highlighted or at least part of the argument in many of our papers in low- and middle income countries [2,3,5, 7,10,11], but also in a high-income context [1,6]. Education, both health education and education more generally, for example education levels of maternity service users, appears in several papers [1,6,8-11] whilst poverty is a key factors in several papers based on our work in Nepal [2,3,5,6,11]. Several of our papers address issues wider than health that are not strictly speaking SDG, such as paper on cultural differences in postnatal quality of life among German-speaking women living either side of the Swiss-German border , and of course, our paper on media and childbirth .
Last, but not least, all papers published in BMC Pregnancy & Childbirth are Open Access and freely available online!
Prof. Edwin van Teijlingen
CMMPH (Centre for Midwifery, Maternal & Perinatal Health)
- Hall, J., van Teijlingen E. (2006) A qualitative study of an integrated maternity, drugs and social care service for drug-using women, BMC Pregnancy & Childbirth, 6(19) biomedcentral.com/content/pdf/1471-2393-6-19.pdf
- Dhakal, S., Chapman, G., Simkhada, P., van Teijlingen E., Stephens J., Raja, A.E. (2007) Utilisation of postnatal care among rural women in Nepal, BMC Pregnancy & Childbirth 7(19). Web: biomedcentral.com/content/pdf/1471-2393-7-19.pdf
- Simkhada, B., Porter, M., van Teijlingen, E. (2010) The role of mothers-in-law in antenatal care decision-making in Nepal: A qualitative study. BMC Pregnancy & Childbirth 10(34) biomedcentral.com/content/pdf/1471-2393-10-34.pdf
- Grylka-Baeschlin, S., van Teijlingen, E.R., Gross, M.M. (2014) Cultural differences in postnatal quality of life among German-speaking women – a prospective survey in two countries, BMC Pregnancy & Childbirth 14: 277. https://bmcpregnancychildbirth.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/1471-2393-14-277
- Milne, L, van Teijlingen, E, Hundley, V., Simkhada, P, Ireland, J. (2015) Staff perspectives of barriers to women accessing birthing services in Nepal: A qualitative study BMC Pregnancy & Childbirth 15:142 biomedcentral.com/1471-2393/15/142 .
- Luce, A., Cash, M., Hundley, V., Cheyne, H., van Teijlingen, E., Angell, C. (2016) “Is it realistic?” the portrayal of pregnancy and childbirth in the media BMC Pregnancy & Childbirth 16: 40 http://bmcpregnancychildbirth.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12884-016-0827-x
- Sharma, S., van Teijlingen E, Hundley, V, Angell, C., Simkhada, P. (2016) Dirty and 40 days in the wilderness: Eliciting childbirth & postnatal cultural practices and beliefs in Nepal BMC Pregnancy & Childbirth 16: 147 https://bmcpregnancychildbirth.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12884-016-0938-4
- Symon, A., Pringle, J, Cheyne, H, Downe, S., Hundley, V, Lee, E, Lynn, F., McFadden, A, McNeill, J., Renfrew, M., Ross-Davie, M., van Teijlingen, E., Whitford, H, Alderdice, F. (2016) Midwifery-led antenatal care models: Mapping a systematic review to evidence-based quality framework to identify key components & characteristics of care, BMC Pregnancy & Childbirth 16:168 http://rdcu.be/uifu
- Symon, A., Pringle, J., Downe, S, Hundley, V., Lee, E., Lynn, F, McFadden, A, McNeill, J, Renfrew, M., Ross-Davie, M., van Teijlingen, E., Whitford, H., Alderdice, F. (2017) Antenatal care trial interventions: a systematic scoping review & taxonomy development of care models BMC Pregnancy & Childbirth 17:8 http://bmcpregnancychildbirth.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12884-016-1186-3
- Ladur, AN, van Teijlingen E, Hundley, V. (2018) `Whose Shoes?’ Testing educational board game with men of African descent living in UK, BMC Pregnancy & Childbirth 18:81. http://rdcu.be/JXs0
- Arnold, R., van Teijlingen, E., Ryan, K., Holloway, I. (2019) Villains or victims? An ethnography of Afghan maternity staff and the challenge of high quality respectful care, BMC Pregnancy & Childbirth 19 :307 https://rdcu.be/bPqlj
This week Dr. Preeti Mahato in the Centre for Midwifery, Maternal & Perinatal Health (CMMPH) appeared in several newspapers and new website in Nepal. The media reported both in Nepali [1-4] and in English, the latter in South Asia Time  on her recently published paper on birthing centres in Nepal. This latest paper from her PhD was published in the scientific journal PLoS ONE . The paper is co-authored by CMMPH’s Dr.Catherene Angell, Prof.Edwin van Teijlingen and Prof. Vanora Hundley as well as BU Visiting Professor Padam Simkhada (Associate Dean International at the School of Human and Health Sciences, University of Huddersfield.
We are very grateful to BU’s Dr. Nirmal Aryal for engaging with all his media contacts in Nepal to achieve this great coverage.
- Mahato, P., van Teijlingen, E., Simkhada, P., Angell, C., Hundley, V. (2020), Evaluation of a health promotion intervention associated with birthing centres in rural Nepal PLoS One 15(5): e0233607. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0233607
Congratulations to Dr. Preeti Mahato in the Centre for Midwifery, Maternal & Perintal Helath (CMMPH) on the acceptance of the paper ‘ Evaluation of a health promotion intervention associated with birthing centres in rural Nepal’. This paper is part of Dr. Mahato’s PhD work and will appear soon in the international journal PLOS ONE. The journal is Open Access so anyone across the world may copy, distribute, or reuse these articles, as long as the author and original source are properly cited.
The research in this thesis used a longitudinal study design where pre-intervention survey was conducted by Green Tara Nepal a local non-governmental organisation (NGO) in year 2012. The health promotion intervention was conducted by the same NGO in the period 2014 to 2016 and the post-intervention survey was conducted by Dr Mahato in the year 2017.
The intervention was financially supported by a London-based Buddhist charity called Green Tara Trust. The results of the pre- and post-intervention surveys were compared to identify statistically significant changes that might have occurred due to the intervention and also to determine the factors affecting place of birth. This study is co-authored by Professors Edwin van Teijlingen and Vanora Hundley and Dr Catherine Angell from CMMPH and FHSS Visiting Professor Padam Simkhada (based at the University of Huddersfield).
A few months ago Dr. Ann Luce (Faculty of Media & Communication) and I were interviewed by the US-based organisation Catalysta TM on the issue of the portrayal of childbirth in the media. This week Catalysta released the podcast which is available here!
The online interviews with a journalist and podcast producer in the USA was based on our publications around the topic, such as our highly cited BMC Pregnancy& Childbirth paper ‘“Is it realistic?” the portrayal of pregnancy and childbirth in the media ‘  and our 2017 book Midwifery, Childbirth and the Media published by Palgrave Macmillan , as well as papers in UK midwifery journals [3-4].
Prof. Edwin van Teijlingen
- Luce, A., Cash, M., Hundley, V., Cheyne, H., van Teijlingen, E., Angell, C. (2016) “Is it realistic?” the portrayal of pregnancy and childbirth in the media, BMC Pregnancy & Childbirth 16: 40
- Luce, A., Hundley, V., van Teijlingen, E. (Eds.) (2017) Midwifery, Childbirth and the Media, London: Palgrave Macmillan [ISBN: 978-3-319-63512-5].
- Hundley, V., Duff, E., Dewberry, J., Luce, A., van Teijlingen, E. (2014) Fear in childbirth: are the media responsible? MIDIRS Midwifery Digest 24(4): 444-447.
- Hundley, V., Luce, A., van Teijlingen, E. (2015) Do midwives need to be more media savvy? MIDIRS Midwifery Digest 25(1):5-10
Congratulations to Dr. Alison Taylor whose PhD paper ‘The therapeutic role of video diaries: A qualitative study involving breastfeeding mothers‘ has just appeared online . This paper, in Women and Birth (published by Elsevier), was co-authored with her PhD supervisors Prof. Emerita Jo Alexander, Prof. Kath Ryan (University of Reading) and Prof. Edwin van Teijlingen.
The paper highlights that despite breastfeeding providing maximum health benefits to mother and baby, many women in the United Kingdom do not breastfeed, or do so briefly. Alison’s study explored in a novel way the everyday experiences of first-time breastfeeding mothers in the early weeks following birth. Five UK mothers were given a camcorder to capture their real-time experiences in a video diary, until they perceived their infant feeding was established. This meant that data were collected at different hours of the day by new mothers without a researcher being present. Using a multidimensional approach to analysis, we examined how five mothers interacted with the camcorder as they shared their emotions, feelings, thoughts and actions in real-time. In total mothers recorded 294 video clips, total recording time exceeded 43 hours.
This paper focuses on one theme, the therapeutic role of the camcorder in qualitative research. Four subthemes are discussed highlighting the therapeutic impact of talking to the camcorder: personifying the camcorder; using the camcorder as a confidante; a sounding board; and a mirror and motivator. The paper concludes that frequent opportunities to relieve tension by talking to “someone” without interruption, judgement or advice can be therapeutic and that more research is needed into how the video diary method can be integrated into standard postnatal care to provide benefits for a wider population.
Alison is Senior Lecturer in Midwifery and a member of the Centre for Midwifery, Maternatal & Perinal Health.
- Taylor, A.M., van Teijlingen, E., Alexander, J. & Ryan, K. The therapeutic role of video diaries: A qualitative study involving breastfeeding mothers, Women Birth (2018), (online first) https://doi.org/10.1016/j.wombi.2018.08.160
This morning as Associate Editor I reviewed one academic paper resubmitted to BMC Pregnancy & Childbirth. After this I had to invite three reviewers for another paper newly submitted to BMC Pregnancy & Childbirth.
This afternoon I peer-reviewed a paper submitted to Women & Birth. For readers of our BU Research Blog who are not involved in academia, the volume of requests to review for scientific journals has gone through the roof in the past few years. And these are legitimate requests from high quality journals. There is a whole heap of so-called predatory journals pestering academics for reviews (and papers and editorial board memberships).
All that is left to be done before the Christmas Break is editing six short book chapters, submitting one scientific paper, and answer seventy odd emails.
Merry Christmas and a Happy & Healthy 2018
Prof. Edwin van Teijlingen
Birthrights, a national charity for the rights of women during pregnancy and childbirth has today launched the interim report of a study undertaken by staff from Bournemouth University and the University of Liverpool, about the experiences of disabled women during pregnancy, childbirth and early parenting.
The current work arises following their 2013 Dignity in Childbirth survey which highlighted less positive experiences of women who identified themselves as disabled (Birthrights 2013). In response, Birthrights commissioned research to explore the experiences of disabled women throughout pregnancy, childbirth and the first few post-natal weeks (the pregnancy continuum). A multidisciplinary team, comprising of Dr Jenny Hall, Jilly Ireland and Professor Vanora Hundley from CMMPH and Dr Bethan Collins from the University of Liverpool, have just completed the first phase of the study, which has been released by Birthrights as an interim report today. This first phase of the study used an online survey to identify experiences of women in the UK and Ireland with physical or sensory impairment or long term health conditions during the pregnancy continuum.
Although overall satisfaction with services in general was scored highly by most women, challenges were described in women’s experiences. These included lack of continuity of carer, meaning that women needed to repeat their information again and again; women feeling that they were not being listened to, which reduced their feeling of choice and control; feeling they were treated less favourably because of their disability. More than half of the women (56%) felt that maternity care providers did not have appropriate attitudes to disability. Accessibility of services was also highlighted as poor, in some situations.
These findings resonate with recommendations from the recent maternity services review (National Maternity review 2016), which highlights the importance of personalised care, that is woman-centred, with opportunity for choice and control, and continuity of carer for everyone. The current study highlights how imperative this approach is for disabled women.
A follow-up qualitative study is underway to establish in-depth views and experiences of human rights and dignity of disabled women during the pregnancy continuum to develop our understanding of how best to enable this group. This second phase is due to be completed in Spring 2017.
The Interim report outlining the results from phase 1 is released today by Birthrights and may be found on the CMMPH web site.
Congratulations to Preeti Mahato in the Centre for Midwifery, Maternal & Perinatal Health (CMMPH) on the publication of a paper based on her Ph.D. research. Her paper ‘Birthing centres in Nepal: Recent developments, obstacles and opportunities’ can be found in the June 2016 edition of the Journal of Asian Midwives (JAM) . All articles in JAM are Open Access to ensure midwives and researchers in the poorest parts of Asia can freely access the scientific articles in the journal.
This literature review was appraised the relevant literature on birthing centres in Nepal, South Asia, and other similar settings. Preeti and her co-authors concluded that birthing centres in Nepal have the potential to improve both (a) the institutional delivery rate; and (b) the proportion of births that benefit from the presence of a skilled birth attendant (SBA). However, accessibility, socio-demographic characteristics, and cultural factors act as barriers to pregnant women attending birthing centres and hospital facilities.
Preeti’s Ph.D. is supervised by Dr. Catherine Angell and Prof. Edwin van Teijlingen in CMMPH and Prof. Padam Simkhada at Liverpool John Moores University. Padam is also Visiting Faculty at the Faculty of Health & Social Sciences (FHSS).
- Mahato, P., van Teijlingen, E., Simkhada, P., Angell, C. (2016) Birthing centres in Nepal: Recent developments, obstacles and opportunities, Journal of Asian Midwives 3(1): 17-30.
We like to congratulate Ms. Preeti Mahato, Ph.D. student in the Centre for Midwifery, Maternal and Perinal Health (CMMPH) in the Faculty of Health & Social Sciences, has been awarded a Civil Society Scholar Award by the Open Society Foundations for US$ 8,000. The Civil Society Scholar Award offers support for international research activities, such as fieldwork, research visits, or research collaboration at institutions abroad. Preeti has been awarded her scholarship for her Ph.D. fieldwork in Nepal. Her Ph.D. project is a mixed-methods study of birthing centres in Nawalparasi, in southern Nepal. In Nepal, birthing centres act as first contact point for pregnant women seeking maternity services especially basic obstetric care.
Preeti is supervised by Dr. Catherine Angell and Prof. Edwin van Teijlingen, both based in CMMPH and BU Visiting Faculty Prof. Padam Simkhada, who is based at Liverpool John Moores University. This is the third piece of really good news this year for Preeti as last month she gave birth to a lovely baby girl and earlier this year the first article from her Ph.D. research was accepted for publication in the Asian Journal for Midwives.
Prof. Edwin van Teijlingen
Yesterday saw the lively debate organised by Prof. Vanora Hundley on the motion: ‘The media is responsible for creating fear in childbirth.’
Elizabeth Duff from the NCT and HSC Prof. Edwin van Teijlingen affiliated with the Centre for Midwifery, Maternal & Perinatal Health and against the motion argued Joanne Dewberry (http://joannedewberry.co.uk/about-joanne/ ), independent blogger, journalist and successful business woman and Dr. Ann Luce from BU’s Journalism and Communication Academic Group.
The debate was part of BU’s Festival of Learning event to explore the role of the mass media in shaping such beliefs and identify whether media portrayals are responsible for rising rates of intervention. The audience voted in favour of the motion, but the media team managed to get some people to reconsider their views on the impact of the mass media on women’s view of childbirth.
Professors Vanora Hundley and Edwin van Teijlingen