Centre for Reproduction Research news and events

Centre for Reproduction Research Seminar Series

Thursday 20 June 2024 12 noon – 13:30pm

Edith Murphy House 4.10 De Montfort University, Leicester (in-person)

Professor Nici Mackintosh, University of Leicester Making sense of pregnant bodies, health information and care processes: digital diagnostic and boundary work in the antenatal period.


Abstract: Increasingly, global attention is shifting to risk management and digital self-care before, during and after pregnancy to reduce morbidity and mortality. Expectant parents routinely use websites, mobile phone apps, and social media platforms to learn about ‘normal’ pregnancy related changes and potential signs of a complication. This presentation draws on interview data from 30 participants exploring technology-in-use, drawn from a larger UK-based mixed-methods study. It focuses on (self)diagnosis during the antenatal period as a distributed, reflexive and collaborative activity. It also explores professional jurisdictions and staff responsibilities in relation to expectant parents’ online practices. It considers the implications of intersections between digitally mediated diagnosis, pregnant bodies and discourses of health and risk for pregnancy and childbirth, together with professional boundary work, amidst current media attention on safety in maternity care.


Biography: Nici Mackintosh is a Professor in Social Science applied to Health. She has a background in critical care nursing, and is a graduate of King’s College London. Her research uses sociological theory and methods to bring new understandings to patient safety and improvement science research. Nici brings an extensive portfolio of experience in ethnographic research in emergency, critical, maternity and acute care. Her research has included the management of escalation of care in different settings, speaking up about healthcare quality and safety, the role of new digital technologies in shaping patient-provider roles, and safety culture tools in maternity. She is Research Group Lead for SAPPHIRE (Social science APPlied Healthcare and Improvement REsearch) at the University of Leicester. SAPPHIRE is internationally renowned particularly for its use of ethnographic methods to generate novel insights into efforts to improve healthcare quality and safety.


Registration instructions: To register to attend this in-person seminar please email crr@dmu.ac.uk


Please see below for information on the seminars and events we have hosted for the 2023 -24 series.

  • Wednesday 7th February, 2024, 12 noon - 1.30pm, Professor Bobbie Farsides, University of Sussex, 'Preparing for genomic futures'.



  • Wednesday 13th December, 2023, 1.30pm - 3.00pm, Projects in progress session: Two of our researchers presented an overview of their research:

-      Kelly Da Silva, ‘Discontinuing Fertility Treatment: An exploratory study into the patient experience of ceasing fertility treatment’.

-     Kriss Fearon, 'PRECAS study: Reproduction in the age of genomic medicine: the emergence, commercialisation and implications of preconception expanded carrier screening'.


  • Tuesday 10th October, 2023, 2.00pm - 3.00pm,Dr Sandra P. González Santos, Independant Researcher, 'Re-examining Assisted Reproduction in Mexico: Scientific, Political and Cultural Interactions'.


Please see below for information on the seminars and events we have hosted for the 2022 -23 series.


  • Wednesday 10th June, 2023, 12noon - 1.30pm. PhDs in progress session: Two of our PhD students presented an overview of their research:

-      Fahad Hossain: 'Reproductive decision making in the context of chronic illness: a qualitative  relational investigation of couples' desires and plans to have children'.

-      Kate Pleace: 'Women's lived experience of primary ovarian insufficiency'.



  • Wednesday 10th May, 2023, 12noon - 1pm. Dr Aimee GrantSwansea University, 'Autistic people's experiences of maternity care: the double empathy problem illustrated'.


  • Wednesday 8 February 2023, 12 noon - 1pm. Dr Andrea Ford, University of Edinburgh: 'Near Birth: Doulas, cultural values, and embodied futures in Californian childbearing'.


  • Monday 17th October 2022, 12 noon -1pm. Dr Riikka Homanen, Tampere University: 'The gamete donor register as kinship device and technology of belonging: State-organized openness in the Nordic context of transnational egg donation'.


 Please see below for information on the seminars and events we have hosted for the 2021-22 series. 


  • Thursday 20th May 2021, the Centre for Reproduction Research hosted the Human Reproduction Study Group Summer Event funded by the British Sociological Assocaition. The symposium included a keynote address from Dr Patricia Hamilton, from University College London, 'Dupes or revolutionaries? Lived expereinces of reproducing blackness'. A full event programme is avaialble here. For more information about the event please contact cathy.herbrand@dmu.ac.uk or kbaldwin@dmu.ac.uk


  • Thursday 28th April, 10.30-11.30. Vanessa Mantilla Salazar, Autonomous University of Barcelona, Spain, 'Therapeutic itineraries of women seeking medical treatment of endometriosis. An anthropological analysis in Catalonia context'


  • Wednesday 6th April, 12-1.30 - PhD in Progress Seminar. Andrew Coutts, De Montfort University, 'Men's experiences of infertility and its treatment: Using Experience Based Co-Design to improve care' and Sitira Williams, De Montfort University, 'The lived experiences of transgender and gender-expansive youth (TGEY) transitioning and parental dynamics across the UK: An Intersectionality Approach'


  • Wednesday 16th March, 12-1.30 (in collaboration with the Institute of Health, Health Policy and Social Care Research, De Montfort University). Dr Sally Ruane, Reader in Social Policy, DMU, ‘Plans for the reorganisation of inpatient maternity services in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland’ and Ebunoluwa Makinde, PhD student, DMU, presented on her study on Black women’s experiences and perspectives of perinatal care 


  • Tuesday 25th January, 12-1 - Prof Felicity Boardman, University of Warwick. ‘Disability, Impairment and the Future of Reproductive Genomics’ 


  • Monday 6th December, 12-1 - Dr Charlotte Jones, Research Fellow, Wellcome Centre for Cultures and Environments of Health, University of Exeter. ‘Beyond narratives of choice: Reproductive support and community solidarities for people with variations of sex characteristics’ 


  • Wednesday 20 October, 12-1pm, Dr Sarah Seaton, Research Fellow, University of Leicester (in collaboration with the Institute of Health, Health Policy and Social Care Research, De Montfort University). ‘How parents experience and cope with their child being admitted to PICU’ 


Information about our previous events.