Heather Whitford

+44 (0)1382 388 647
Senior Lecturer

Biography

Heather Whitford graduated with a Bachelor of Nursing from the University of Glasgow in 1984 and subsequently trained as a midwife. Following a clinical career in midwifery in the UK and overseas (Nepal) she completed her Masters of Midwifery at Glasgow University in 1996. Since 1997 she has worked as a Lecturer in Midwifery in Dundee and completed her PhD in 2002.

Wider professional activities

Member of Royal College of Midwives, Association of University Teachers

Infant Feeding Survey (Scotland) Advisory Group (2015 – 2018)

External examiner for PhD thesis: Judy Wilson ‘Evaluating Web-based Pelvic Floor Muscle Education for Pregnant Women’, University of Notre Dame Australia, June 2015

External Examiner for Bachelor of Midwifery, University of Stirling (2011 – 2014)

External Examiner for BMid, Robert Gordon University (2008 – 2011)

External Examiner for MSc Advancing Professional Practice, Sheffield Hallam University (from Oct 2017)

Associate Editor BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth (from Feb 2014 – Feb 2017)

Reviewer for International Journal of Nursing Studies, Psychosomatic Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Expert Review of Obstetrics & Gynecology, BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth, Maternal and Child Nutrition, CSO, MRC, NIHR

Scottish NMAHP Research Awards 2017.  As part of MIRU (with Prof Mary Renfrew, Dr Alison McFadden, Dr Andrew Symon) winners of a special award for outstanding contribution to NMAHP research locally, nationally and internationally.

Honorary Graduates Award for Inclusive Practice 2016-17, University of Dundee. For project on views and experiences of male nursing students about the facilitators and barriers in choosing nursing as a career. (with Jacqueline Eccles and Anna Gavine)

Current funding

Pre-registration nursing recruitment and retention – underrepresentation of men, influences and causes.  Award from the Scottish Collaboration for the Enhancement of Pre-registration Nursing, Nurse Education Scotland. Collaboration with University of West of Scotland, University of Edinburgh and Robert Gordon University.

Dec 2017 – March 2018.

Award £18,805.

Conferences

Whitford HM, Eccles J. Pre-registration nursing recruitment and retention – underrepresentation of men, influences and causes. Advance HE Festival of Learning, Edinburgh, June 2018 (presentation)

Whitford HM, Wallis SK, Dowswell T, West HM, Renfrew MJ. Breastfeeding education and support for women with twins or higher order multiples – systematic review. ICM Congress, Toronto, Canada. June 2017 (poster)

Relton C, Whelan B, Strong M, Thomas K, Whitford H, Scott E, van Cleemput P. 2015 Are financial incentives for breastfeeding feasible in the UK? A mixed methods field study. Breastfeeding and Feminism International Conference, North Carolina USA.  Publication of 400 word abstract in book to follow

Relton C et al. 2014. Are financial incentives for breastfeeding feasible in the UK. A mixed methods field study. Presentation at the Lancet UK Public Health Science conference, November 2014, Glasgow

Whitford, H. M. “The midwives aren’t allowed to tell you”: infant feeding policy restrictions in a formula feeding culture – the Feeding Your Baby study.’ Maternal and Infant Nutrition and Nurture Conference. University of Central Lancashire, July 2013 (poster)

Research

Pre-registration nursing recruitment and retention – underrepresentation of men, influences and causes.  Award from the Scottish Collaboration for the Enhancement of Pre-registration Nursing, Nurse Education Scotland. Collaboration with University of West of Scotland, University of Edinburgh and Robert Gordon University.

Dec 2017 – March 2018.

Award £18,805.

SISCC Maternal and Child Health Workstream lead: co-ordinating the work on the ‘Breastfeeding and attachment in neonatal units’ projects’. (Dec 2014 – Feb 2017)

A cluster randomised controlled trial of the clinical and cost effectiveness of offer of financial incentives to improve breastfeeding in Sheffield neighbourhoods with low 6-8 week breastfeeding rates (NOSH).  Collaboration with University of Sheffield.  Clare Relton (PI) (July 2012 – June 2016)  (My involvement from May 2013 – Feb 2017)

Identifying strategies to effectively influence political commitment to breastfeeding: a review of six country case studies (Save the Children project): co-author with Alison McFadden as PI.  Assisted with writing sections of the report and wrote the UK case study. (Dec 2014 – Jan 2015)

How is patient-centred care affected by giving women the opportunity to write in hand-held healthcare notes? A qualitative investigation. Vikki Entwistle (PI)

Sept 2009 – April 2011

Award £180,782 (CSO: CZH/4/527)

Infant feeding plans from late pregnancy to 16 weeks after delivery: exploring the demographic, clinical and psychological predictors

Sept 2009 – May 2011

Award £174,009 (CSO: CZH/4/568) (Principle Investigator)

Women's contribution to co-constructed hand-held maternity records: mapping content to theory in patient-centred care.

April 2008 - October 2008

Award £9739.50

Teaching

Postgraduate modules (P/T MSc):

PN50134 Dissertation (Co-module lead);

PN50122 Contemporary Challenges in Maternal and Infant Nutrition (Co-module lead);

PN50098 Developing Research and Evaluation Skills (Module lead);

PN50127 Global Perspectives in Maternal and Infant Health

PN50111 Critical Appraisal Skills

PN50136 90 credit Dissertation (Module lead)

Postgraduate modules (F/T MSc):

PN50146 Dissertation (Co-module lead);

PN50143 Research for Practice (Module lead);

Post-registration BSc (PT)

NB30105 Introduction to Research Based Practice

Publications

Whitford, H., Bain, H., Carson, M., Gavine, G., Lee, J., Marland G., Taylor J. (2018) Pre-registration nursing recruitment and retention – underrepresentation of men, influences and causes. Final report for NHS Education Scotland. https://www.nes.scot.nhs.uk/media/4154551/2018_-_june_men_in_nursing_final_report_final.pdf

Whitford, H. Hoddinott, P., Amir, L., Chamberlain, C., East, C., Jones, L., Renfrew M. (2018) Routinely collected infant feeding data: time for global action. Maternal and Child Nutrition.  e12616. https://doi.org/10.1111/mcn.12616

Whitford HM, Wallis SK, Dowswell T, West HM, Renfrew MJ. (2017) Breastfeeding education and support for women with twins or higher order multiples. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, Issue 2. Art. No.: CD012003. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD012003.pub2.

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 and taxonomy development of care models. BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth. 17, p 8. doi: 10.1186/s12884-016-1186-3

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 an evidence-based quality framework to identify key components and characteristics of care. BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth. 16: p 168. doi:10.1186/s12884-016-0944-6

Relton C, Strong M, Renfrew M, Thomas K, Burrows J, Whelan B, Whitford H, Scott E, Fox-Rushby J, Anoyke N, Sanghera S, Johnson M, Easton S, Walters S. (2016) Cluster randomised controlled trial of a financial incentive for mothers to improve breast feeding in areas with low breastfeeding rates: the NOSH study protocol BMJ pen 6:e010158  doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2015-010158

McFadden, A., Mason, F., Baker, J., Begin, F., Dykes, F., Grummer-Strawn, L., Kenney-Muir, N., Whitford, H., Zehner, E. & Renfrew, M. J. (2016) Spotlight on infant formula: coordinated global action needed.  Lancet. 387, 10017, p. 413-5

Whitford HM, Wallis SK, Dowswell T, Renfrew MJ. (2015) Breastfeeding education and support for women with multiple pregnancies (Protocol). Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, Issue 12. Art. No.: CD012003. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD012003.

McFadden, A., Kenney-Muir, N., Whitford, H., Renfrew, M. (2015) Breastfeeding: Policy Matters. Save the Children, London. 

Relton, C., Whelan, B., Strong, M., Thomas, K., Whitford, H.M., Scott, E., Van Cleemput, P., (2014) Are financial incentives for breastfeeding feasible in the UK? A mixed methods field study.  Lancet, Vol. 384 No. p S5. https://www.thelancet.com/pdfs/journals/lancet/PIIS0140673614621310.pdf

Whitford, H.M., Whelan, B., Van Cleemput, P., Thomas, K., Renfrew, M., Strong, M., Scott, E., Relton, C., (2015) A financial incentive scheme to encourage breastfeeding (NOSH) in areas of low breastfeeding: designing the scheme incorporating key stakeholders views. Practising Midwife, 18 (2), 18 – 21.

Whelan B,Thomas K, Van Cleemput P, Whitford H, StrongM, RenfrewM, Scott E, Relton C (2014) Healthcare providers’ views on the acceptability of financial incentives for breastfeeding: a qualitative study. BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth, 14:355  doi:10.1186/1471-2393-14-355

Whitford, H.M., Entwistle, V.A., van Teijlingen, E., Aitchison, P.E., Davidson, T., Humphrey, T., Tucker, J.S. (2014) Use of a birth plan within woman-held maternity records: a qualitative study with women and staff in northeast Scotland.  Birth. 41, 283 – 289. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/birt.12109/pdf

Lagan, B.M., Symon, A., Dalzell, J., Whitford, H. (2014) “The midwives aren't allowed to tell you": perceived infant feeding policy restrictions in a formula feeding culture - the Feeding Your Baby study. Midwifery. 30, e49- e55. doi: 10.1016/j.midw.2013.10.017

Aitchison, P.E., Entwistle, V.A., van Teijlingen, E., Whitford, H.M., Davidson, T., Humphrey, T., Tucker, J.S. (2013) Asking women to complete health and maternal histories for maternity records: A qualitative study. British Journal of Midwifery. 21(11), 622 – 628.

Donnan, P., Dalzell, J., Symon, A., Rauchhaus, P., Monteith-Hodge, E., Kellett, G., Wyatt, J., Whitford H. (2013) Prediction of initiation and cessation of breast feeding from late pregnancy to 16 weeks: The Feeding Your Baby (FYB) cohort study. BMJ Open. 3:e003274. doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2013-003274

Symon, A, Whitford, H., Dalzell, J, (2013) Infant Feeding in Eastern Scotland: a longitudinal evaluation of antenatal intentions and postnatal satisfaction - the Feeding Your Baby study. Midwifery 29 (7), e49 – e56, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.midw.2012.06.017

Whitford, H., Donnan, P., Symon, A., Kellett, G., Monteith-Hodge, E., Rauchhaus, P. &  Wyatt J. (2012) Evaluating the reliability, validity, acceptability and practicality of SMS text messaging as a tool to collect research data: results from the Feeding Your Baby project. Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association. 19, 744-749. doi:10.1136/amiajnl-2011-000785

Whitford, H. & Jones, M. (2011) An exploration of the motivation of pregnant women to perform pelvic floor exercises using the revised theory of planned behaviour. British Journal of Health Psychology 16, 761–778, doi:10.1111/j.2044-8287.2010.02013.x

Mcconachie, S & Whitford, H, (2009). Mental health nurses’ attitudes towards severe perinatal mental illness. Journal of Advanced Nursing. 65(4), 867–876, doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2648.2008.04952.x

Whitford, H.M., Alder, B., Jones, M., (2007). A cross-sectional study of knowledge and practice of pelvic floor exercises during pregnancy and associated symptoms of stress urinary incontinence in North-East Scotland. Midwifery, 23 (2), pp.204 - 217. (doi:10.1016/j.midw.2006.06.006).

Whitford, H.M., Alder, B., Jones, M., (2007). A longitudinal follow up of women in their practice of perinatal pelvic floor exercises and stress urinary incontinence in North-East Scotland. Midwifery, 23 (3), pp.298 - 308. (doi:10.1016/j.midw.2006.05.009). 

Whitford, H., Alder, E., Crombie, I. (2003) ‘An exploration of the motivation of women to practise pelvic floor exercises during pregnancy’.  Proceedings of the British Psychological Society pp. 11, 47

Whitford, H.M. & Hillan, E.M. (1998) ‘Women’s perceptions of birth plans’ Midwiferyvol. 14 no. 4 pp. 248 – 253