Developing digital solutions to support the optimal management of multiple pregnancy

My Topol fellowship problem / project:

A healthy pregnancy and a healthy birth are a key priority for all pregnancies, but with a multiple pregnancy there can be an increase in complications for both the mother and babies. It is not unusual for twins or triplets to be born early or to need the support of the neonatal unit. It is therefore important throughout pregnancy that parents remain informed, reassured, and supported in decision making and that they feel prepared.

There are clinical guidelines to support professionals to deliver best care but the complexity of multiple pregnancy can make it difficult for some maternity services to maintain co-ordinated and expert-informed care. This can lead to gaps in care, and national reports have highlighted this has previously led to poor outcomes in twins which could have been prevented if guidance was followed consistently. This is why my intended project is so important.

The Topol Digital Fellowship will provide me with the opportunity to explore digital pathways and solutions to support guideline adherence and optimal management of multiple pregnancy. This will include appropriate antenatal care pathways, the facilitation of multidisciplinary team working and advance care planning including the co-ordination of in-utero transfer and neonatal services.

I registered as a midwife in 2004 and moved into research roles, firstly as a clinical research midwife recruiting to an NIHR portfolio and commercial clinical trials and then as a midwifery researcher. I undertook my PhD (University of Warwick) on the physiology of contractions and the prevention of pre-term birth.

I then moved to a Midwife Research Fellow post at Imperial College Healthcare Trust in 2012 and then a joint clinical academic post at UHCW NHS Trust/Coventry University in 2014 where I was also a member of the NIHR 70@70 Senior Research Leaders cohort from 2019.

I started a new role as Associate Professor at Birmingham City University (BCU) in 2021 and I am the Director of the Elizabeth Bryan Centre for Multiple Births (EBMBC). The EBMBC is an exciting collaboration between BCU and the Multiple Births Foundation which aims to benefit families of twins, triplets and more through excellence in education, practice and research.