Dr Helen Stapleton

This profile is archived. Please visit www.shef.ac.uk/snm/staff for the most recent version.

Helen Stapleton Profile


Email: helen.stapleton@mater.org.au


PhD, MSc, RM, RN, MNIMH (Medical Herbalist)

Research Interests

Qualitative methodologies, Social context of female sexuality, ageing & reproduction, Body image and identity, Health & well being of children, adolescents & families, Parenting cultures, Food and consumption practices


The School of Nursing and Midwifery, University of Sheffield. (2009-10) "On the hunt". How and why women seek new relationships in midlife. A review of the literature. With: Dr Sharron Hinchliffe and Dr Hilary Piercy (Sheffield Hallam University)

The School of Nursing and Midwifery, University of Sheffield. (2008-09) Under the spotlight. A review of the literature on celebrity motherhood. With: Dr Julia Keenan. (£2,500)

The Leverhulme Foundation (2006 - 2008) Changing Habits? Food, family and transitions to motherhood. With: Dr Amanda Wade (Dept Sociological Studies).RA: Dr Julia Keenan. (£94,916) http://www.shef.ac.uk/familiesandfood/projects/changinghabits.html

School of Nursing and Midwifery, University of Sheffield. (Jan 2000 – Aug 2002.) The experiences of childbearing women with eating disorders: a qualitative study. (£2,500)

Key projects

2009-20010. The School of Nursing and Midwifery, University of Sheffield. (2009-10) "Getting to know you": family members getting to know babies getting to know family members. PI: Dr Penny Curtis

2007-2009. School-linked sexual health services for young people. PI: Dr Jenny Owen (ScHARR). With: Dr Chris Carroll, Ms Jo Cooke, Dr Mark Hayter, Dr Myfanwy
Lloyd-Jones, Dr Matt Stevenson [University of Sheffield]; Dr Julia Hirst, Ms Eleanor Formby [Sheffield Hallam University]) Department of Health [HTA], £186,540

2007-2008. A questionnaire survey to elicit public attitudes to childhood obesity (PACO). PI: Dr Penny Curtis. With: Dr Tony Blackett (School of Nursing and Midwifery)

2006-07. A qualitative study to explore the support needs of parents with children who are obese. PI: Dr Penny Curtis. RA: Fiona Wilson. (Sheffield Health and Social Care Consortium, £31,918)

1999-2006. PhD research. Thesis title: Doing sex, having the baby: young women and transitions to motherhood. Registered in the Department of Sociological Studies, University of Sheffield.

2000-2001. Department of Health. Evaluation of the Breastfriends Doncaster 2000 Initiative. PI: Professor Mavis Kirkham. With: Dr Penny Curtis (Doncaster Hospitals Trust)

2000. Trent Review of the LSA Function. School of Nursing and Midwifery, University of Sheffield. PI: Professor Mavis Kirkham (Trent LSA Review Group)

1997-1999. Informed choice in maternity care: an evaluation of evidence based leaflets. PI: Professor Mavis Kirkham. With colleagues from the Universities of
Sheffield and Glamorgan. (Department of Health [HTA], £316.000)

1996-1997. Evaluation Of The Impact Of The Supervision Of Midwives On Professional Practice And The Quality of Midwifery Care. PI: Professor Mavis Kirkham. (English National Board / United Kingdom Central Council for Nursing, Midwifery and Health Visiting, £75.000)

Professional activities and recognition

  • Board member of the University of Sheffield Centre for the Study of Childhood and Youth (http://cscy.group.shef.ac.uk/)
  • Member of the National Institute of Medical Herbalists.
  • Member of the Royal College of Midwives.
  • With Dr Penny Curtis, awarded The Obesity Awareness and Solutions Trust's (TOAST) Research Prize for 2007 for work with parents of children and young people with obesity.
  • Invited speaker: Challenging mainstream transitions to motherhood: the stories of eating disordered, childbearing women. School of Midwifery, Christchurch, New Zealand. May 2005
  • Co-ordinator: Departmental Research Seminar Series
  • Co-ordinator: Cross-faculty Research Seminar Series
  • Co-ordinator: Visiting International Student programme

Key publications (last 5 years)

If you would like to request a copy of a paper please use the following link: *Request a copy of a paper*

Stapleton H, Fielder, A, Kirkham M. (2008) Breast or Bottle? Eating disordered, childbearing women and infant feeding decisions. Maternal and Child Nutrition. 4(2):106-120

Stapleton H, Fielder, A & Kirkham M. (2009) Feeding children, purging the self: the competing needs of bulimic mothers and their children. Journal of Clinical Nursing, 18, 874–883

Young Women and Transitions to Motherhood(forthcoming) Publisher: Palgrave

Curtis P, Stapleton H, Wilson F (forthcoming) "We've been through the battles". Parents´ accounts of living with a child with obesity. GRiP (Getting Research into Practice) Report. School of Nursing and Midwifery, The University of Sheffield.

Keenan, J. and Stapleton, H. (forthcoming) "He lets you know when he´s had enough": babies´ agency in feeding relationships and routines. In: Children, food and identity and everyday life. Allison James, Anne-Trine Kjørholt and Vebjorg Tingstad (eds) Palgrave

Stapleton, H. and Keenan, J. (forthcoming) (New) family formation and the organisation of food in households: Who does what and why? In: Changing families, Changing food? Peter Jackson (ed) Palgrave

Stapleton, H. and Keenan, J. (forthcoming) Bodies in the making: reflections on women's consumption practices in pregnancy. In: Nutrition and nurture in infancy and childhood: bio cultural perspectives. Victoria Hall Moran & Fiona Dykes (eds) Wiley-Blackwell

Stapleton H. (2007) "I´m not pregnant, I'm fat." The experiences of some eating disordered childbearing women and mothers. School of Nursing and Midwifery, University of Sheffield GRiP (Getting Research into Practice) report.

Curtis P, Woodhill R, Stapleton H. (2007) The peer-professional interface in a community based, breast feeding peer-support project. Midwifery, 23(2):146-156

View more of Helen's publications

Postgraduate students

Maria Hargate
Ahlam Al-Zahrani
Carol Cooper
Jean Walker
Linda Motram
Liz Stanwell
Vicki Freeman