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Professor Joan Lalor

Professor in Midwifery (School of Nursing & Midwifery)

Joan Lalor is a Professor in Midwifery in Trinity College Dublin where she teaches and supervises across undergraduate and postgraduate programmes and leads a team of researchers (including doctoral and post-doctoral candidates) to generate evidence to optimise outcomes in maternity care. Joan was awarded a BNS (Hons), MSc, MA, PGDip in Clinical Health Science Education (Distinction) and PG Dip in Statistics (Distinction) and a PhD from Trinity College. More recently Joan has graduated from the Honorable Society of the Kings Inns with a Barrister at Law (BL) degree (2021), and with a Diploma in Legal Studies (2019). Joan's research contribution is organised around the following main areas: i) Complex issues in Childbirth including Birth Related Trauma, ii) Optimising maternity Services to improve outcomes iii) Research Methodology, Healthcare Ethics and Law. Joan currently leads a pan-European network, COST Action 18211: Perinatal Mental Health and Birth-Related Trauma: Maximising Best Practice and Optimal Outcomes. The main aim of this Action is to 1) consolidate and disseminate current evidence and coordinate a joint effort to seek ways to prevent, minimise and resolve birth-related trauma, and to optimise emotional and psychological outcomes for parents and families and 2) accelerate the translation of that knowledge into best practices that can be shared across Europe to reduce the societal and economic burden arising from birth-related negative/traumatic experiences. Ultimately, CA18211 is working towards an ideal universal standard of care to prevent and minimise birth trauma and optimise positive birth experiences. However, as a member of the academy Joan is also centrally involved in a number of collaborative interdisciplinary projects across Health, Education and the Humanities. The CORALE project (with Dr Andrea Mulligan from Law) aims to investigate, for the first time, the operation of the right to conscientious objection in abortion services in Ireland and to develop a coherent framework for situating conscientious objection within a system of access to abortion services in a manner that is proportionate, effective and legally robust. Joan's methodological expertise lies within the application of qualitative methodologies (specifically Grounded Theory and Case Study) to complex issues in health care, Joan has a particular interest in area of sensitive research and ethical challenges in fieldwork. Joan completed her PhD studies " A Longitudinal study of women's experiences of carrying a baby with a fetal abnormality up to the birth and beyond". Her work in the area of prenatal diagnosis and perinatal palliative care continues. She is an expert member of the Implementation of Bereavement Guidelines in Maternity Care and the Neonatal Palliative Care Clinical Programmes, seeking to inform policy and service planning nationally. She is a member of the ICM expert research group, is a reviewer for several professional peer review journals and is an associate editor with the BMC. Joan has been awarded over €3m in funding as PI or co-applicant from a range of funding bodies. To-date, she has published 192 peer reviewed publications and other outputs in high-impact journals/conference proceedings etc. Joan is currently editing a book on birth related trauma with contributions from women affected by the experience and by international experts in the field. Joan has held key academic leadership positions, including: Director of Research, Director of Postgraduate Programmes and Course Co-ordinator. Joan launched and implemented the School of Nursing and Midwifery PhD Scholarship programme in March 2020 which is currently supporting 12 doctoral students. Joan continues to contribute to the academic community through her involvement in a number of school, faculty and college committees.
  Adaption Following Pregnancy Loss   assessment of fetal wellbeing   Birth related trauma   Fathers in maternity care   Foetal Abnormality   Health psychology   healthcare ethics and law   Identification and quantification of health care needs   Maternity Care   medical and health humanities   Midwifery   Parenthood   Perinatal health   Population based intervention trials   prenatal diagnosis and screening   Prenatal Screening   Scanning in Pregnancy   service evaluation and development   Ultrasound screening in pregnancy
  The CORALE Study - Conscientious Objection after Repeal: Abortion, Law and Ethics
 Associating basic and clinical science to reduce childbirth-related traumatic flashbacks and posttraumatic stress
 CA18211 - Perinatal Mental Health and Birth-Related Trauma: Maximising best practice and optimal outcomes. The DEVoTiON (DEliVery-related Trauma Outcomes Network)
 INTERSECT An international Survey of Childbirth-Related Trauma
 Autonomy for Two - A Longitudinal Study of Women's Understanding of the Maternal and Fetal Dyad and its implications for maternal autonomy in post-repeal Ireland.

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Details Date
Member of Childbirth Guideline Development Group (CGDG) 1st march 2018
Expert member of the national Clinical Effectiveness Committee for Neonatal Palliative Care 2017- current
Member of the national Implementation Bereavement Guidelines in Maternity Care Group 2017-current
Informing Families Steering Group:This group has received government funding to develop national guidelines for best practice in breaking the news to parents that their child has a disability. Joan is a member of the Informing Families Steering Group advising on aspects of breaking bad news relevant to prenatal screening.
Reviewer for Cochrane protocols and reviews 2006
Associate Editor for BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth 2011
Language Skill Reading Skill Writing Skill Speaking
English Fluent Fluent Fluent
Details Date From Date To
Member of the Bar Council of Ireland 3rd October 2022
Reviewer for Frontiers in Psychology 2020 current
Reviewer for PLOS one 2021 current
Pregnancy and Childbirth Group, Cochrane Collaboration, UK. 2003 current
ICM Research Advisory Network 2004 current
Grounded Theory Institute, San Franscisco, USA 2004 2012
Birth/Death Research group, UK 2008 2010
Australian Centre for Grief and Bereavement 2008 current
Association of Research Ethics Committees (AREC) 2012 current
Reviewer for Midwifery, An International Journal 2006 2020
Reviewer for Journal of Advanced Nursing 2004 2020
Reviewer for Social Science in Medicine 2006 2018
Reviewer for PEDIATRICS 2008 2019
Reviewer for Libyan Journal of Medicine 2009 2011
Reviewer for International Journal of Men's Health 2009 2010
Reviewer for Archives in Obstetrics and Gynecology 2009 2016
Reviewer for Sexual and Reproductive Healthcare 2009 2011
Reviewer for Qualitative Research 2010 current
Reviewer for International Journal of Social Research Methodology 2009 current
Reviewer for Journal of Reproductive Medicine 2011 2013
Reviewer for Journal of Reproductive and Infant Psychology 2011 2019
Reviewer for Oxford Internet Institute, (University of Oxford) for the Policy Studies Organization (PSO). 2011 2012
Reviewer for Nurse Education in Practice 2012 2016
Reviewer for Sexual and Reproductive Health 2013 current
Reviewer for International Journal of Research and Methodology in Education 2013 2014
Reviewer for Postgraduate Medical Journal 2013 current
Reviewer for Irish Educational Studies 2015 2016
Invited Member of Clinical Guideline Development Group Department of Health- Obstetrics and Gynaecology 2018 current
Shorey, Shefaly; Lalor, Joan; Pereira, Travis Lanz-Brian; Jarasiunaite-Fedosejeva, Gabija; Downe, Soo, Overcoming the Trauma of Screen Positive for Actual or Potential Fetal Anomaly in a Previous Pregnancy: A Scoping Review of Decision Making for and in a Subsequent Pregnancy, Trauma, Violence and Abuse, 2022, Journal Article, SUBMITTED
Shorey S, Chan V, Lalor J, Perceptions of women and partners on labor and birth positions: A meta-synthesis, Birth , 49, (1 ), 2022, p19 - 29, Notes: [ ], Journal Article, PUBLISHED
Bartels, H, Horsch, A, Cooney, N, Brennan, DJ, Lalor, JG, Living beyond placenta accreta spectrum: parent's experience of the postnatal journey and recommendations for an integrated care pathway, BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth, 22, (392), 2022, Notes: [], Journal Article, PUBLISHED
Shorey, S, Ohaja, M, Clive, A, Mulligan A, Sheaf, G, Lalor, J, Parental experiences with changes in maternity care during the Covid-19 pandemic: A mixed-studies systematic review , Women and Birth , 2022, Notes: [Accepted ], Journal Article, ACCEPTED
Concealed pregnancy , Birth & Infanticide: The Impact of Criminalising Traumatised Women in, Ryan S , Birth and the Irish: A Miscellany, Wordwell Press, 2021, [Murphy Tighe S and Lalor JG], Book Chapter, PUBLISHED
Shorey S, Downe S, Chua JYX, Byrne SO, Fobelets M, Lalor JG, ffectiveness of Psychological Interventions to Improve the Mental Well-Being of Parents Who Have Experienced Traumatic Childbirth: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis., Trauma Violence Abuse, 2021, Notes: [doi: 10.1177/15248380211060808. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 34894877.], Journal Article, PUBLISHED
Thompson G et al Lalor JG, "Policy, service, and training provision for women following a traumatic birth: An international knowledge mapping exercise", BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth, 2021, Notes: [ ], Journal Article, PUBLISHED
Shorey, Shefaly; Ajaz, Erilda; Ng, Esperanza Debby; Sheaf, Greg; Barros, Luisa; Gouni, Olga; O Byrne, Sofia; Lalor, Joan, Reproductive decisions after a traumatic birth: A scoping review, Trauma, Violence, & Abuse., 2021, Journal Article, SUBMITTED
Lalor J, Ayers S, Calleja Agius J, Downe S, Gouni O, Hartmann K, Nieuwnehuijze M, Oosterman M, Turner JD, Karlsdottir SI, Horsch A, Balancing restrictions and access to maternity care for women and birthing partners during the Covid-19 pandemic: the psychosocial impact of suboptimal care, BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics an Gynaecology, 2021, p1 - 1, Notes: [DOI 10.1111/1471-0528.16844 ], Journal Article, PUBLISHED
Helena C. Bartels, Kristen Terlizzi, Naomi Cooney, Athina Kranidi, Martina Cronin, Joan G. Lalor, Donal J. Brennan, , Quality of life and sexual function after a pregnancy complicated by placenta accreta spectrum, Australian and New Zealand Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, 61, (5), 2021, p708 - 714, Notes: [You can also access our published article via this link: DOI: 10.1111/ajo.13338 ], Journal Article, PUBLISHED

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Murphy Tighe S, Lalor JG, Concealed pregnancy- lessons to be learned, World of Irish Nursing, 28, (4), 2020, Journal Article, PUBLISHED
Murphy Tighe S, Lalor JG , State Failures to Protect Women Who Experience a Concealed Pregnancy , Maternity Care Research Symposium , Dublin , February , 2018, pp1 - 1, Conference Paper, PRESENTED
Prof Joan Lalor , Re-thinking decisional authority and the interconnection between the pregnant woman, the fetus and the clinician., Bearing Witness- an interdisciplinary symposium University of Limerick, Limerick, 6th December , 2018, UL, 1 - 2pp, Notes: [Keynote Address ], Invited Talk, PRESENTED
Lalor, JG , Reimaging Ireland's Response to Concealed Pregnancy (Keynote Address) , Reimaging Ireland's Response to Concealed Pregnancy , University of Limerick , 2018, School of Nursing and Midwifery, 1-, Notes: [accompanying exhibition- The Spaces Between Us. ], Invited Talk, ACCEPTED
Lalor Joan Gabrielle , From Bedside to Courtside- maternity care practices , Living Humanely; Perspectives from Law, Morality and Science , Trinity College , April 13th , 2018, Fainche Ryan , Invited Talk, ACCEPTED
Lalor Joan Gabrielle, When birth and death collide , The Final Transformation Identities during and after death, Trinity Long Room Hub, 26th January , 2018, Oral Presentation, PRESENTED
Lalor, JG, Words you never want to hear. , Bereavement Care. International Stillbirth Alliance , Cork, 22-24 September , 2017, ISA, 1-, Invited Talk, ACCEPTED
Sheaf G., Lalor J.G. and Clarke M., Trying to stop the kids using Google (and get a paper out of it too...), HSLG2013. Visible Evidence: the role of Health Science Libraries in Ireland, Dublin, 11-12 April, 2013, Oral Presentation, PUBLISHED
Lalor, J, Socioeconomic value of midwifery-led care, 10 years of midwifery led care in Ireland, RCSI, Waterford, 22nd September, 2011, Invited Talk, PRESENTED
Lalor, J, Prenatal Screening in Ireland, Mortality and Morbidity in Pregnancy, HSE Tullamore, 13th October, 2011, Invited Talk, PRESENTED


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Award Date
Fellow of Trinity College Dublin, FTCD April 2022
The Antonia O'Callaghan Memorial Prize awarded for the highest grade in Constitutional Law The Honorable Society of the King's Inns 2019
The Michael O'Connor Prize awarded for the highest grade in Contract Law The Honorable Society of the King's Inns 2019
HRB Clinical Fellowship in Midwifery 2003
Primary Fellowship in Nursing 1992
Joan's research area of interest lies within the school's research pillar of "Improving the Health and Wellbeing of Women, Children and Families" and the colleges strategic focus on "Health Policy and Delivery". Joan's research contribution is organised around the following main areas: (1) Complex issues in childbirth including birth related trauma (2) Optimising Maternity Health Service Delivery (3) Research methodology, Healthcare ethics and Law