BaBi Hull and East Yorkshire

Maternity services are provided in the purpose-built Women and Children’s Hospital at the Hull Royal Infirmary site. We provide care to over 5,000 parents and babies every year. You can choose a birth that suits your circumstances at home, in the Fatima Allam Birth Centre, or in the labour ward under midwife or obstetric-led care. The Neonatal Intensive Care Unit provides tertiary neonatal care for babies born at any gestation who require medical treatment. More information about all our services can be found on the Maternity Services pages.

Born and Bred in (BaBi) Hull and East Yorkshire is part of the BaBi Network electronic birth cohort studies. BaBi Hull and East Yorkshire uses routinely-collected data about parents and their babies to explore and improve health and wellbeing of our families.

People booked for pregnancy care at Hull Royal Infirmary will be invited to participate in the study by one of our midwives during routine antenatal appointments. If interested, health researchers will link anonymized data about the birthing person and child, aiming to improve healthcare and services through research and planning in Hull and East Yorkshire and beyond.

Our research midwives can be contacted on hyp-tr.research.midwife@nhs.net or 01482311901.

You’re having a baby. We hope that this is a wonderful time with much excitement and lots of people offering love, help and support. We would like to be part of that. We’d also like to ask you for your help. We’re doing research into children’s health in their early years, so that we can improve the lives of the next generations.

This short video is designed to help explain why we want to know more about you and how that information, or data, could ultimately help everybody, including you and your family. We also want to reassure you that you can trust us and that information about you will be kept safe and secure. We’re looking for patterns in data and in relationships between causes and effects so that we can look at the bigger health picture.

And that big health picture needs lots of information. To make this data really useful, we’re asking for your cooperation to monitor you and your baby over months, or possibly even years. This could help in lots of ways. For instance, recently we wanted to look at how air pollution affected babies’ health. This meant checking and comparing those babies who had asthma with how close they live to busy, traffic-congested roads.

The results clearly show that there was indeed a link. Another recent example shows that people with access to parks and green spaces have better mental health. Important information like this isn’t just ignored or published in a report that no one will ever read. We use this information as hard scientific evidence to influence and persuade the people who look after us, locally and nationally, to change and improve the world we live in for the better.

This might mean banning dirty diesel buses in certain areas, encouraging greener transport solutions, or looking at new medical methods in GP practices to provide better or faster care. If you agreed to take part, we’ll gather information about you and your baby, either automatically from your routine medical records or by talking with trained professionals like your midwife. None of this information will ever be used to judge you or your lifestyle, but could be used to show up or test better ways of caring for you and your baby.

So how do you fit into all of this? It starts with your midwife. When you come in to see your midwife, they’ll ask you if you agree or consent to help with the project completely anonymously. It’s really important to us that you don’t ever feel any pressure or obligation to take part. It’s entirely your decision whether you’d like to lend a hand and you can change your mind at any time.

So please feel free to ask any questions. Thank you in advance. We’re really grateful for your trust and cooperation. We promise to respect your rights throughout this process. With your support, we’re leading the way to make where you live a better place.

Meet the Team

Principal Investigator: Helen Birks

Helen is the Principal Investigator for BaBi Hull and East Yorkshire and is the Research, Development and Innovation Matron for Hull University Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust.

Helen has a wealth of both clinical and research experience, and has had a wide and varied career holding a range of nursing and midwifery roles over her 30 years with the National Health Service. Helen is also a Nursing and Midwifery Council Registered Lecturer and holds an MSc in Education.

She has spent time in Higher Education supporting the development and education of student nurses and student midwives, and has a keen interest in developing students for the future and engaging students in research.

Helen has also held a range of specialist research roles within the trust since 2010 including Research Midwife, Academic Oncology Trials Unit Manager and Quality Assurance Research Monitor.

Helen currently leads a large nursing and midwifery research team, and engages with a range of stakeholders across the locality, all of whom are invested in improving access to research opportunities for families and patients, and delivering high quality research care that improves care.

Helen’s current research interests are maternal and child health, domestic violence, families’ experiences of postnatal care services, teenage pregnancy, social disadvantage, and childbirth-related PTSD.

Research Midwife: Sarah Collins

Sarah is a research midwife at Hull. She qualified as a general nurse in 1993 and as a midwife in 1995. Sarah has spent most of her midwifery career as a community midwife in various parts of Hull and East Yorkshire, as well as working in specialist clinics for teenage and vulnerable parents. Sarah also worked for the Local Maternity and Neonatal System as project lead for the Ask a Midwife service for two years before taking up her role as research midwife for maternity and reproductive health in Hull.

Sarah is excited to develop Hull’s participation in reproductive health research alongside the BaBi study to improve the health and wellbeing of our families.

Research Midwife: Eloise Taylor

Eloise is a research midwife at Hull who also works clinically on the Labour Ward. She qualified in 2019 following completion of her training at Birmingham City University. She spent her first years qualified rotating to all areas at Hull University Teaching Hospitals before becoming a core staff member on the Labour Ward. Training at a hospital which had high activity with research, Eloise developed a real interest in being a research midwife in reproductive health and childbirth to help improve the care and lifestyles of families. Eloise has a real passion to increase the research at Hull University Teaching Hospitals around maternal health and childbirth.