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 Nicola Savory

Nicola Savory

Research student,


Alongside my clinical duties as a midwife, I have spent several years working as a research midwife. Nearly three years ago I was awarded a RCBC fellowship to undertake a full time PhD at Cardiff University.

My thesis is entitled ‘mothers mood Study: women's and midwives' experiences of perinatal mental helath and service provision. Data collection included surveys with pregnant women and midwives, interviews with women and focus groups with midwives.

My research interests include antenatal care of pregnant women, women's and midwives experiences, relationships between women and midwives, service provision and perinatal mental health.


Research interests

My research interests include antenatal care of pregnant women, women's and midwives experiences, relationships between women and midwives, service provision and perinatal mental health.

Publications from previous research:

Janssen, A.B., Tunster, S.J., Savory. N., Holmes, A., Beasley, J., Parveen,S.A., Penketh, R.J. and John,R.M. (2015). Placental expression of imprinted genes varies with sampling site and mode of delivery. placenta 36(8), pp. 790-5

Janssen, A.B., Savory, K., Garay, S.M., Sumption, L., Watkins, W., Garcia-Martin, I., Savory, N.A., Ridgway, A., Isles, A.R., penketh, R., Jones, I.R. and John, R.M. (2018). Persistence of anxiety symptoms after elective caesarean delivery. BJPsych Open 4(5), pp. 354-360.

Poster presentation: PGR symposium, Cardiff University, Nov 2017 (awarded second prize)

Poster presentation: RCBC conference, City Hall, Cardiff, May 2019 (awarded second prize)


Presnetation to mental health nurses, student midwives and student health visitors - perinatal mental health 2018

Undergraduate teaching sessions with student midwives, Streptoccocus B and perinatal mental health 2019


Mothers Mood Study: women's and midwives' experiences of perinatal mental health and service provision

Background: Existing research on negative consequences of poor perinatal mental health focuses on recognition and treatment of postnatal depression. Consequently there is a need to explore antenatal mental health.

Aim: To assess poor mental health prevalence in pregnancy, its relationship to socioeconomic status and perceived social support. It also aimed to understand experiences and barriers preventing the women with mental health issues from receiving help and explore midwives understanding of their role.

Method: Questionnaires were completed by 302 women in early pregnancy at an antenatal clinic. A subset of 20 women, identified to have mental health issues, were interviewed in late pregnancy to explore their experiences and barriers to receiving care. Midwives recruited from the same hospital completed a questionnaire exploring their experiences of supporting women with mental health issues and focus groups further explored the issues raised.

Results: Of the women EPDS identified 8.6%, and GAD 7 8.3%, with symptoms of depression and anxiety. Self-efficacy (p=0.01) and history of previous mental health problems (p<0.01) were noted as the main predictors of poor anxiety or depression. Thematic analysis of interviews with women identified three themes: past present and future; expectations and control; knowledge and conversations. The three themes from focus groups with midwives: conversations; it’s immensely complexed; there’s another gap in their care.

Conclusion: Prevalence rates of anxiety and depression amongst women in early pregnancy were found as similar to those reported in the literature. Self-efficacy and previous poor mental health were significant predictors of anxiety and depression. Women noted they lacked knowledge around perinatal mental health and had limited time to discuss the emotional side of pregnancy with health professionals, with emphasis in antenatal care on women and their baby’s physical health. Midwives were keen to support women but lacked the confidence.

Funding source



Ben Hannigan

Professor Ben Hannigan

Professor: Mental Health Nursing and Director of Postgraduate Research

Saunders, Julia

Professor Julia Sanders

Professor of Clinical Nursing & Midwifery

Dr Rosalind John

Professor Rosalind John

Director of Research (Deputy), Professor