Dr Laura Abbott
|Current job role||Senior Lecturer in Midwifery; Doctorate in Health Research (DHRes); Fellow of The Royal College of Midwives; Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy|
|Year of graduation||2000 and 2008|
|Course of study||BSc (Hons) Midwifery and MSc Advancing Practice in Midwifery|
Laura is an experienced midwife and Senior Lecturer at the University of Hertfordshire's School of Health and Social Work.
Laura has conducted important policy-changing research with perinatal women in English prisons looking at their maternity provision. To protect these vulnerable women and their babies, Laura is a champion for improving maternity care for pregnant women in prison. She uses her research to lobby for real change in policy and conditions, so women have adequate maternity care. Laura helped write the ‘Birth Charter for Women in Prison in England and Wales’, which provides guidance about the treatment of pregnant women in prison and has been referenced in the Ministry of Justice’s Women’s Policy Framework. Her work has made a measurable and meaningful impact on pregnant women and new mothers in prison.
Life at Herts
Laura is proud to be part of the Herts community. She says, ‘I’m so proud of Herts, especially when you hear from practice partners how they can always recognise a Herts-trained midwife through their exceptional care and knowledge. We are an excellent School and really do practice the University’s values both inside and outside of campus. Nationally, our university is well known for its commitment to excellence in practice and research, together with being a supportive and compassionate environment for staff and students.’
‘I was a registered nurse when I had my first son and my own personal experience of pregnancy and birth made me want to train as a midwife so that I too could support families through their pregnancy, births, and in the early days with a new baby. I have always loved teaching and sharing knowledge as well as learning from students. I love keeping up to date with the latest research, policies, practice, and sharing knowledge with others.’
Advice for a career in midwifery
‘Midwifery is a rewarding and challenging career and nothing beats being with a brand-new family and empowering and supporting them. At the beginning of the pandemic, I was fortunate enough to spend some time back in practice and witnessed some beautiful births which really reminded me of what a uniquely privileged career midwifery is. It is a fabulous profession where you can branch out into so many different areas. We now have many specialist midwives, consultant midwives, lecturers, and researchers together with community teams, birth centre midwives, and hospital midwives. At Herts we are particularly good at supporting our student midwives to become exceptional midwives. I highly recommend prospective students to consider Herts as their top choice of University.'