School of English

Image of Nicky Grace

Nicky Grace

Research Student,


Research Summary

Current Status

PhD (full-time) - currently registered

Research Topic

Being with woman: a creative-critical exploration of how midwifery memoir contributes to the construction of midwifery identity and aspects of the mother/midwife relationship.

Research Summary

Midwifery memoir as a genre contributes to cultural ideas and narratives of what it means to be a midwife. Midwifery memoirs also inevitably reflect on aspects of birth and motherhood. My research intends to explore midwifery memoir from a variety of perspectives including personal autobiographical writing and a feminist critical exploration of my own work and of midwifery memoir in general.

Through writing a creative memoir I aim to reflect on themes including my motivations for becoming a midwife; the challenges and rewards of being a midwife over 18 years; the midwife/mother relationship and meanings of birth and motherhood.

The critical component of my thesis will draw on feminist literary and critical theory, as well as midwifery theory and practice. In addition to critically examining my own memoir, I will explore contemporary and historical accounts which inform cultural narratives of the meanings of midwifery and birth.

Research Interests

I have a broad range of research interests which include writing by and about midwives; writing about childbirth and health; gender and identity.

As a practising registered midwife I've worked on clinical research into diverse subjects including induction of labour for older mothers and delayed cord clamping for premature babies. I am currently a Trial Steering Group member as a midwife consultant for the NIHR funded GBS3 trial. This is a "landmark clinical trial ... aiming to improve the prevention of potentially life-threatening infection caused by group B Streptococcus in newborn babies in the UK."

My Master's thesis from 2011 is entitled: A Qualitative Exploration of how Women Experience the Pain of Labour in Different Birth Settings.

Research Supervisors

Lila Matsumoto

Thomas Legendre

Phoebe Pallotti

Publications (not including editorials and website articles)

Grace, Nicky (2019) Archiving Midwifery Midwifery Matters 161: p 22-23

Grace, Nicky (2018) Has Anybody Seen My Friend (poem) Midwifery Matters 158: p 30

Grace, Nicky (2018) Persecution: It's Time to Stop Midwifery Matters 156: p 8

Grace, Nicky (2017) Poetry: A Tool for Reflection Midwifery Matters 154: p 7

Grace, N (2017) Supporting Women for Labour and Birth: A thoughtful guide [Review of Supporting Women for Labour and Birth: A thoughtful guide. Leap, Nicky and Hunter, Billie] Midirs 27:2 p 270

Walker KF, Dritsaki M, Bugg G, Macpherson M, McCormick C, Grace N, Wildsmith C, Bradshaw L, Smith GCS, Thornton JG. (2017) Labour induction near term for women aged 35 or over: an economic evaluation. British Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology 124: pp 929-934.

Walker, KF, Bugg GJ, Macpherson M, McCormick C, Grace N, Wildsmith C, Bradshaw L, Smith GC, Thornton JG. (2016) Randomized Trial Of Labor Induction In Women 35 Years Of Age Or Older. New England Journal of Medicine 374.9: pp 813-822.

Grace, Nicky (2014) A Baby Came Out of my Vagina!!! At Home!!!! Or how we do birth at Nottingham Home Birth Group Midwifery Matters 140: pp 5-6.

Conference Papers and Presentations

Andy Simm and Nicky Grace (2015) The Gentle Caesarean: What it is and how to do it. Presentation and workshop at: Oxytocin (National Conference of the Association of Radical Midwives) October 2015, Nottingham, UK

Grace, Nicky and Aurelie Dudeffand (2014) Choice, Control, Change: Why feminism matters for birth. Seminar presentation at: Nottingham Women's Conference, November 20, 2014, Nottingham, UK.

Grace, Nicky (2012) A pilot qualitative study exploring how women prepare for and experience the sensations of labour when giving birth at home. Poster presentation at: Nottingham International Conference for Education and Research in Midwifery, September 8-9, 2012, Nottingham, UK.

Grace, Nicky (2012) 35-39 Trial: research midwife perspective. Meeting presentation at: 35/39 Trial Launch Meeting, May 2012, Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, London, UK.

Public Engagement

January 2019. 'A Bedsitter of One's Own: viewing Gilman and Camden Town in the light of Woolf and Bloomsbury'. Presentation and commentary on the 'Harold Gilman: Beyond Camden Town' exhibition for the 'New Perspectives' project to a public audience at Lakeside, the University of Nottingham.

Additional Information

I am a practising registered midwife, working clinically as an independent midwife and an active researcher involved with both clinical and humanities research relating to midwifery and birth.

Editor of Midwifery Matters since September 2018

Website editor and journalist for

On the organising committee of the national conference of the Association of Radical Midwives.

School of English

Trent Building
The University of Nottingham
University Park, Nottingham NG7 2RD

telephone: +44 (0) 115 951 5900
fax: +44 (0) 115 951 5924