Photo of Helen Shallow

Helen Shallow

Ms, PhD

If you made any changes in Pure these will be visible here soon.

Personal profile


I am a mother of two sons and live with my husband in Lincolnshire. I have two grandchildren  and a dog called Max. I came to research through two routes. The first was in my clinical role as a consultant midwife (CM). Research is one of the four key areas of the CM role. In my 12 years as a consultant midwife I endeavoured to integrate midwifery research into clincal practice. This presented particular challenges, steeped as UK maternity care is, in the techno-medical-business model. In my second consultancy role I led on midwifery-led care and set up a free-standing birth centre based on the evidence around the safety of a more social model for care of well women through pregnancy and birth and beyond. The second route to actively undertaking research, resulted from my expereinces in clincal practice, and during my 4 year tenure also as Head of Midwifery (HoM). Complaints and incidents from mothers with the recurring theme of,

    'they said I wasn't in labour when I knew I was' 

inspired me to explore mothers' concerns about not being believed when their labour started. This resulted in the 'Are you listening to me?' study which I undertook for my PhD. I graduated in 2016 and I am now employed as a Lecturer/Research in the Insitute of Health Care Policy and Practice, at the University of West of Scotland, in the Department of Maternal Child and Family Health. The more I reflect on my role, the more I believe in testing the realities of health and social care policy, and whether the policy-aims, mirror reality. This is especially pertinent to the Institute where the home birth rate remains extremely low, despite the evidence supporting the safety of more births in the home setting and Birth Centres, and also where care of older people in communities is compromised by inadequate resources and infrastructures.

Area of academic expertise - outline

My area of research expertise centres on Feminist Participatory Action Research Methodology, using the voice-cented relational method analytic tool known as the  'The Listening Guide' for data analysis in qualitative research. My clinical background is midwifery with my most recent clinical experience from 2002 - 2014 as a consultant midwife.

Desired research direction

Recently post PhD, so actively seeking opportunities for research dissemination as well as actively writing for publication from PhD

Other areas of expertise available for knowledge exchange

Areas of expertise: Communication, Health service user involvement, Active birth, Midiwfery-led care, Facilitation

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics where Helen Shallow is active. These topic labels come from the works of this person. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Midwifery Medicine & Life Sciences
Parturition Medicine & Life Sciences
midwife Social Sciences
Fear Medicine & Life Sciences
action research Social Sciences
Mental Competency Medicine & Life Sciences
qualitative research Social Sciences
experience Social Sciences

Research Output 2001 2013

Deviant mothers and midwives: supporting VBAC with women as real partners in decision making

Shallow, H., Jan 2013, In : Essentially MIDIRS. 4, 1, p. 17-21 5 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Decision Making
Cesarean Section

Should cord pH be performed routinely after normal birth?

Shallow, H., Jan 2003, In : Royal College of Midwives - Midwives Magazine. 6, 1, p. 28-31 4 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Fetal Blood

The birth centre project

Shallow, H., 2003, Birth Centres: a Social Model for Maternity Care. Kirkham, M. (ed.). Great Britain: Books for Midwives, p. 11-24 14 p.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Competence and confidence: Working in a climate of fear

Shallow, H., 2001, In : British Journal of Midwifery. 9, 4, p. 237-244 8 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Mental Competency

Activities 2016 2016

  • 3 Participation in workshop, seminar, course
  • 2 Participation in conference

'Are You Listening to me?'

Helen Shallow (Organiser)
25 Nov 2016

Activity: Participating in or organising an eventParticipation in workshop, seminar, course

'Are you listening to me' study

Helen Shallow (Speaker)
8 Dec 2016

Activity: Participating in or organising an eventParticipation in workshop, seminar, course

Celebrating Birth Centres

Helen Shallow (Speaker)
18 Jul 2016

Activity: Participating in or organising an eventParticipation in conference

11th International Normal Labour and Birth Conference

Helen Shallow (Speaker)
13 Oct 2016

Activity: Participating in or organising an eventParticipation in conference

Childbirth in a changing world

Helen Shallow (Speaker)
14 Sep 2016

Activity: Participating in or organising an eventParticipation in workshop, seminar, course