Dr Soo Downe, Professor of Midwifery Studies, BA (Hons), MSc, PhD, OBE, RM


Soo worked as a clinical and research midwife for 15 years before joining UCLan in 2001. Her main research focus is the nature of, and cultures around, normal birth. She has published over 140 peer reviewed papers (h-index 29). She has been lead or co-PI on funded projects with a total income of over £5 million. Between 2010 and 2018 she was PI and Chair of two EU H2020 COST research networks, including 33 countries and over 120 scientists, rated ‘world leading’ by EU COST. She directs the Babies Born Better survey, currently including over 80,000 respondents in 23 languages from 60 countries. She is a Cochrane EPOC editor, and author of three Cochrane reviews.  She was a co-author on three Lancet Series: Midwifery (2014), Stillbirth (2016),  and Reducing Unnecessary Caesarean Section (2018). She has been a member of the Technical Working Group of the recent WHO  antenatal, intrapartum, uterotonic, and optimising caesarean section guidelines, and has contributed new developments and insights in metasynthesis of quality studies as a result. Three methodological papers on Qualitative Evidence Synthesis have recently been published with UCLan, EPOC and WHO colleagues (2019). The findings from the metasynthesis studies framed the subsequent WHO guidelines, and are used in dissemination and implementation currently being undertaken by WHO to get the guidelines into practice in low income settings. Soo has undertaken research using a wide range of qualitative and quantitative methods, from phenomenology and ethnography to surveys, RCTs, and epidemiological analysis of large data sets.


Room 223

Brook Building




Email: sdowne@uclan.ac.uk

Phone: +44 (0) 1772 893815


Research keywords: normal birth, qualitative metasynthesis, maternity, positive experience