Professor Dame Tina Lavender

Professor of Maternal and Newborn Health

Dame Tina is Professor of Maternal and Newborn Health and Director of a World Health Organisation Collaborating Centre. As a registered midwife, Dame Tina has spent much of her career developing midwifery research capacity globally and working with the Lugina Africa Midwives Research Network to improve evidence-based practices.

She is a Visiting Professor at the University of Nairobi and leads a programme of research focusing on improving maternity and newborn care. Dame Tina is Director of the NIHR Global Health Research Group on the Prevention and Management of Stillbirth, working in Sub-Saharan Africa. She is Associate Editor of the African Journal of Midwifery and Women’s Health.

Dame Tina has played an active role in promoting improved educational midwifery standards, through a number of innovative educational projects, as well as through formal academic roles. She also acts as a regular Advisor to the World Health Organization, particularly in relation to research priority setting, guideline development and as a reviewer of educational materials.

In 2016 she was nominated as one of BBC’s 100 most inspirational women in the World.

In 2018 she was made a Senior NIHR Investigator.


Dame Tina is Director of the NIHR Global Health Research Group on the Prevention and management of stillbirth in Sub-Saharan Africa. This research group brings together leading researchers, with expertise in stillbirth prevention and bereavement care to tackle 3 areas of care in 6 countries (Kenya, Malawi, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe):

1. Prevention of stillbirth through improved identification of women with high risk pregnancies. 

2. Better childbirth care by examining factors which influence how women seek and access care, the quality of the care received and specific causes of stillbirth in local healthcare facilities, using new effective tools.

3. Ensuring humane and respectful care for bereaved parents through understanding the experiences of women, partners, and health workers after stillbirth.

This initial work has led to interventions which are being tested to improve access, uptake, and services in low-income countries. This work is ongoing. 

Dame Tina is also conducting parallel qualitative work, exploring parents’ and health workers’ experiences after stillbirth or neonatal death in Pakistan with Pakistan Institute of Living and Learning. She is also co-investigator for Better Maternity Care Pathways after Stillbirth or Neonatal Death, an NIHR RFPB funded study exploring the feasibility of an intervention to improve care in pregnancy after stillbirth or neonatal death in two North West maternity Units.

Disrespectful maternal and newborn care remains prevalent in many low-income settings, with few attempts to eradicate this, through tested interventions. Dame Tina is working with key stakeholders and community engagement and involvement (CEI) groups to tackle this issue, with Global Challenges Research Funding (University of Manchester). Using an appreciative inquiry approach, we have explored the views of women, health providers and stakeholders in Malawi and Tanzania, and are using these findings to make recommendations and inform interventions. These interventions will be tested in feasibility and large-scale pragmatic trials. This work is ongoing

Dame Tina is an active collaborator, working with others to achieve common goals. In collaboration with Imperial College London (Lead: Thayyil), we are trying to reduce the cases of epilepsy by reducing neonatal encephalopathy (PREVENT Study).  Approximately 12 million people live with epilepsy in India  The aim of our programme is to examine if a pragmatic, evidenced based and generalisable intrapartum care bundle involving birth companions and empowering mothers will reduce birth injury related epilepsy at 18 months. Our care bundle has four key elements:

(1) birth companion providing constant 1:1 care during labour and early perinatal period;

(2) fetal surveillance during active labour by a nurse or midwife using a graphic display Doppler;

(3) labour management by an electronic partogram with an alert and nag feature based on the current WHO guidelines;

(4) brain oriented early newborn care with resuscitation where indicated. This study, which uses an interrupted time series approach, is ongoing.

This study is funded by the NIHR Right Programme. 


Masters in International Public Health, dissertation supervisor

PhD Supervision

Current students:

Tiwonge Mbeya Munkhondya.  Understanding disengagement in option b+ programme of the prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV among young mothers in Malawi: a grounded theory study (University of Manchester)

Kushupika Dube. Pregnant women, partners and clinicians’ views or experiences of reduced fetal movements: A Grounded Theory Study in Zimbabwe (University of Manchester)

Hannah McCauley.  Antenatal and Postnatal Care provision in Togo: A mixed methods study. (LSTM)

Previous students: 

PhD-Thelma Reid 2006 University of Liverpool

PhD-Gill Thomson 2007 University of Central Lancashire

PhD-Carol Kingdon 2008 University of Lancaster

PhD-Kevin Hugill 2009 University of Central Lancashire

PhD by publication-Jeanette Logan 2010, University of Manchester

PhD-Tracey Cooper 2011 University of Central Lancashire

PhD-Carol Bedwell 2012 University of Manchester (Part-time)

PhD-Hend Alnajjar 2012 (Full-time, International, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia), University of Manchester

PhD-Andrew Lingen-Stallard 2013, University of Manchester

PhD- Suryanne Susanti 2014 (Full-time, International, Indonesia), University of Manchester

PhD-Alison Cooke, 2015 University of Manchester (full time, NIHR fellow)

PhD- Siofra McDermott (Full time), 2016 University of Manchester

PhD- Georgina Afoakwah, 2016 University of Manchester (Full time, International, Ghana)

PhD- Yana Richens, 2017 University of Manchester (Full time, NIHR Fellow)

PhD- Angela Hancock, 2017 University of Manchester (Full time, NIHR Fellow)

PhD- Weston Khisa, 2018, University of Manchester (Part-time, International, Kenya)

PhD- Leena Khonji, 2018, University of Manchester (Full-time, International, Bahrain)

PhD- Unice Goshomi, 2018, University of Manchester (Full-time, International, Zimbawe)

PhD- Elija Kirop, 2018, University of Manchester (Full-time, International, Kenya)

PhD- Idesi Chilanda, 2019, University of Manchester (Full-time, International, Malawi)

PhD- Kylie Watson, 2020, University of Manchester (Full time, NIHR Fellow)

PhD- Zalikha al-Marzouqi, 2020, University of Manchester (Full-time, International, Oman)

PhD- Stephanie Lyons, 2020, University of Manchester (Full-time)

Selected publications

  • Lavender T, Bernitz S. Use of the partograph - Current thinking. Best Pract Res Clin Obstet Gynaecol. 2020 Mar 26. pii: S1521-6934(20)30051-1. doi: 10.1016/j.bpobgyn.2020.03.010. [Epub ahead of print] Review.

    Mills, TA, Ayebare, E, Mukhwana, R, Mweteise, J, Nabisere, A, Nendela, A, Ndungu, P, Okello, M, Omoni, G, Wakasiaka, S, Wood, R, Lavender, T. Parents' experiences of care and support after stillbirth in rural and urban maternity facilities: a qualitative study in Kenya and Uganda. BJOG 2020; 00: 1– 9.

    Renfrew MJ…Lavender T, et al. Sustaining quality midwifery care in a pandemic and beyond Midwifery. 2020 Sep; 88: 102759. doi: 10.1016/j.midw.2020.102759

    Lavender T, Bedwell C, Blaikie K, Actis Danna V, Sutton C, Kasengele C, Wakasiaka S, Vwalika B, Laisser R. Journey of vulnerability: a mixed-methods study to understand intrapartum transfers in Tanzania and Zambia. BMC Pregnancy Childbirth. 2020; 20: 292.

    Bedwell C, Lavender T. Giving patients a voice: implementing patient and public involvement to strengthen research in sub-Saharan Africa. J Epid Comm Health. 2020 Apr; 74(4): 307–310.

    Ulph F, Dharni N, Bennett R, Lavender T. Consent for newborn screening: screening professionals' and parents' views. Public Health. 2020 Jan; 178:151-158.

    Madan I, Parsons V, Ntani G, Wright A, English J, Coggon D, McCrone P, Smedley J, Rushton L, Murphy C, Cookson B, Lavender T, Williams H. A behaviour change package to prevent hand dermatitis in nurses working in health care: the SCIN cluster RCT. Health Technol Assess. 2019 Oct; 23(58):1-92.

    White H, Morton VH, Stock SJ, Lavender T. Preterm labour decision-making and experiences of care for women and clinicians (QUIDS Qualitative): A qualitative exploration. Sex Reprod Healthc. 2019 Oct; 21:95-101.

    Richens Y, Campbell M, Lavender T. Fear of birth-A prospective cohort study of primigravida in the UK. Midwifery. 2019 Oct; 77:101-109.

    Hancock A, Weeks AD, Tina LD. Assessing blood loss in clinical practice. Best Pract Res Clin Obstet Gynaecol. 2019 Nov; 61: 28-40.

    Lavender T, Omoni G, Laisser R, McGowan L, Wakasiaka S, Maclean G, Chimwaza A. Evaluation of an educational board game to improve use of the partograph in sub-Saharan Africa: A quasi-experimental study. Sex Reprod Healthc. 2019 Jun; 20:54-59.

    Dwyer L, Kearney R, Lavender T. A review of pessary for prolapse practitioner training. Br J Nurs. 2019 May 9; 28 (9):S18-S24.

    Lyons S, Currie S, Peters S, Lavender T, Smith DM. The perceptions and experiences of women with a body mass index ≥ 30 kg m(2) who breastfeed: A meta-synthesis. Matern Child Nutr. 2019 Jul;15(3):e12813. doi: 10.1111/mcn.12813. Epub 2019 Apr 26.

    Lavender T, Wakasiaka S, Chimwaza A, Wood R, Omoni G, Mukhwana R, McGowan L, Chimala E, Omari J, Edozien L. A qualitative study of partner engagement in HIV testing in Malawi and Kenya. Cult Health Sex. 2019 Oct; 21(10):1131-1145.

    Wright SJ, Ulph F, Lavender T, Dharni N, Payne K. Understanding Midwives' Preferences for Providing Information About Newborn Bloodspot Screening. MDM Policy Pract. 2018 Jan 18; 3(1)

    Southby C, Cooke A, Lavender T. 'It's now or never'-nulliparous women's experiences of pregnancy at advanced maternal age: A grounded theory study. Midwifery. 2019 Jan; 68:1-8.

    Norman JE, Marlow N, Messow CM, Shennan A, Bennett PR, Thornton S, Robson SC, McConnachie A, Petrou S, Sebire NJ, Lavender T, Whyte S, Norrie J. Does progesterone prophylaxis to prevent preterm labour improve outcome? A randomised double-blind placebo-controlled trial (OPPTIMUM). Health Technol Assess. 2018 Jun;22(35):1-304.

    Stock SJ, Wotherspoon LM, Boyd KA, Morris RK, Dorling J, Jackson L, Chandiramani M, David AL, Khalil A, Shennan A, Hodgetts Morton V, Lavender T, Khan K, Harper-Clarke S, Mol B, Riley RD, Norrie J, Norman J. Study protocol: quantitative fibronectin to help decision-making in women with symptoms of preterm labour (QUIDS) part 2, UK Prospective Cohort Study. BMJ Open. 2018 Apr 19;8 (4)

    Stock SJ, Wotherspoon LM, Boyd KA, Morris RK, Dorling J, Jackson L, Chandiramani M, David AL, Khalil A, Shennan A, Hodgetts Morton V, Lavender T, Khan K, Harper-Clarke S, Mol BW, Riley RD, Norrie J, Norman JE. Quantitative fibronectin to help decision-making in women with symptoms of preterm labour (QUIDS) part 1: Individual participant data meta-analysis and health economic analysis. BMJ Open. 2018 Apr 7;8(4)

    Lyons S, Currie S, Peters S, Lavender T, Smith DM. The association between psychological factors and breastfeeding behaviour in women with a body mass index (BMI) ≥30 kg m(-2) : a systematic review. Obes Rev. 2018 Jul;19(7):947-959.

    Schvartzman JA, Krupitzki H, Merialdi M, Betrán AP, Requejo J, Nguyen MH, Vayena E, Fiorillo AE, Gadow EC, Vizcaino FM, von Petery F, Marroquin V, Cafferata ML, Mazzoni A, Vannevel V, Pattinson RC, Gülmezoglu AM, Althabe F, Bonet M; World Health Organization Odon Device Research Group. Odon device for instrumental vaginal deliveries: results of a medical device pilot clinical study. Reprod Health. 2018 Mar 12;15(1):45.

    Oladapo OT, Souza JP, Fawole B, Mugerwa K, Perdoná G, Alves D, Souza H, Reis R, Oliveira-Ciabati L, Maiorano A, Akintan A, Alu FE, Oyeneyin L, Adebayo A, Byamugisha J, Nakalembe M, Idris HA, Okike O, Althabe F, Hundley V, Donnay F, Pattinson R, Sanghvi HC, Jardine JE, Tunçalp Ö, Vogel JP, Stanton ME, Bohren M, Zhang J, Lavender T, Liljestrand J, Ten Hoope-Bender P, Mathai M, Bahl R, Gülmezoglu AM. Progression of the first stage of spontaneous labour: A prospective cohort study in two sub-Saharan African countries. PLoS Med. 2018 Jan 16;15(1):e1002492.

    Cooke A, Bedwell C, Campbell M, McGowan L, Ersser SJ, Lavender T. Skin care for healthy babies at term: A systematic review of the evidence. Midwifery. 2018, Jan; 56: 29-43.

    Ulph F, Wright S, Dharni N, Payne K, Bennett R, Roberts S, Walshe K, Lavender T. Provision of information about newborn screening antenatally: a sequential exploratory mixed-methods project. Health Technol Assess. 2017 Oct; 21 (55):1-240.

    Cunningham C, Watt P, Aflaifel N, Collins S, Lambert D, Porter J, Lavender T, Fisher T, Weeks A. PPH Butterfly: a novel device to treat postpartum haemorrhage through uterine compression. BMJ Innov. 2017 Feb; 3 (1):45-54.

    Lavender T, Wakasiaka S, McGowan L, Moraa M, Omari J, Khisa W. Secrecy inhibits support: A grounded theory of community perspectives of women suffering from obstetric fistula, in Kenya. Midwifery. 2016 Nov;42:54-60.

    Smyth RM, Taylor W, Heazell AE, Furber C, Whitworth M, Lavender T. Women's and clinicians perspectives of presentation with reduced fetal movements: a qualitative study. BMC Pregnancy Childbirth. 2016 Sep 26;16(1):280.

    Victor S, Roberts SA, Mitchell S, Aziz H, Lavender T; Extubate Trial Group. Biphasic Positive Airway Pressure or Continuous Positive Airway Pressure: A Randomized Trial. Pediatrics. 2016 Aug;138(2).

    Briscoe L, Lavender T, McGowan L. A concept analysis of women's vulnerability during pregnancy, birth and the postnatal period. J Adv Nurs. 2016 Oct;72(10):2330-45.

    Mills TA, Ricklesford C, Heazell AE, Cooke A, Lavender T. Marvellous to mediocre: findings of national survey of UK practice and provision of care in pregnancies after stillbirth or neonatal death. BMC Pregnancy Childbirth. 2016 May 6; 16:101.

    Lingen-Stallard A, Furber C, Lavender T (2016) Testing HIV positive in pregnancy: A phenomenological study of women׳s experiences Midwifery , Volume 35 , 31 - 38

    Chittock J, Cooke A, Lavender T, Brown K, Wigley A, Victor S, Cork MJ, Danby SG. Development of stratum corneum chymotrypsin-like protease activity and natural moisturising factors from birth to 4 weeks of age compared to adults. Br J Dermatol. 2016 Mar 19. doi: 10.1111/bjd.14568. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 26994359.

    Madan I, Parsons V, Cookson B, English J, Lavender T, McCrone P, Murphy C, Ntani G, Rushton L, Smedley J, Williams H, Wright A, Coggon D. A behavioural change package to prevent hand dermatitis in nurses working in the national health service (the SCIN trial): study protocol for a cluster randomised controlled trial. Trials. 2016 Mar 17;17(1):145. doi: 10.1186/s13063-016-1255-y. PubMed PMID: 26987818; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4797222.

    Norman JE, Marlow N, Messow CM, Shennan A, Bennett PR, Thornton S, Robson SC, McConnachie A, Petrou S, Sebire NJ, Lavender T, Whyte S, Norrie J; OPPTIMUM study group. Vaginal progesterone prophylaxis for preterm birth (the OPPTIMUM study): a multicentre, randomised, double-blind trial. Lancet. 2016 Feb 23. pii: S0140-6736(16)00350-0. doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(16)00350-0.

    Blume-Peytavi U, Lavender T, Jenerowicz D, Ryumina I, Stalder JF, Torrelo A, Cork MJ. Recommendations from a European Roundtable Meeting on Best Practice Healthy Infant Skin Care. Pediatr Dermatol. 2016 Feb 26. doi: 10.1111/pde.12819. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 26919683.

    Khisa W, Wakasiaka S, McGowan L, Campbell M, Lavender T. Understanding the lived experience of women before and after fistula repair: a qualitative study in Kenya. BJOG. 2016 Feb 19. doi: 10.1111/1471-0528.13902. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 26892879.