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Professor Hora Soltani PhD, MMedSci, BSc, RM, PGDip, PGCert

Professor in Maternal and Infant Health


Hora is a Professor in Maternal and Infant Health within Health and Social Care Research.  An important feature of Hora's midwifery research is its diverse nature and collaborations with a wide range of disciplines (including Design and Technology, Health Psychology, Food and Nutrition Sciences, Obstetrics and Health Inequalities) whilst retaining a thematic integrity with the core aim of enhancing care standards and reducing health inequalities for mothers and their babies.

  • About

    Hora has been researching in the area of Maternal and Infant Health for around 20 years, based in various clinical and academic settings. Her research has led to significant and high impact outputs, some of which have been far reaching and embraced worldwide. Her joint systematic review on the models of maternity care (which was a collaborative project with King's College London, University of Warwick and National University of Ireland, Galway), was featured as an internationally excellent impact case study in the last Research Excellence Framework (REF 2014) with evidence of it influencing maternity policy development at national and international levels.

    In her endeavour to establish the Maternal and Infant Health research theme since her arrival at Hallam in 2006, Hora has led interdisciplinary teams and supervised doctoral students in research areas of high priority, some funded by prestigious funding bodies such as the Medical Research Council, the NIHR and the Burdett Trust.

  • Teaching

    Department of Nursing and Midwifery

    Health And Wellbeing

    Health and Wellbeing
    Nursing and Midwifery
    Research and Evidence

    Hora leads the Maternal, Infant and Reproductive Health Research theme at Health and Social Care Research. Hora's diverse research interests and experiences span maternal obesity, models of maternity care, postpartum haemorrhage, teenage pregnancy health and nutrition, communication of health behaviour change messages during pregnancy and breastfeeding in vulnerable women (eg women with diabetes). Both quantitative and qualitative approaches as well as systematic reviews have been the common research methodologies used in Hora's projects and working with national and international experts has led Hora to achieve a significant and high impact track record in this field.

  • Research

    • Centre for Health and Social Care Research

    Hora leads the Maternal, Infant & Reproductive Health Research theme within Health and Social Care Research.

    Hora's research interests and experiences are mainly focused on the care of vulnerable women such as perinatal care of migrant families, teenage pregnancy health and nutrition, maternal obesity as well as care organisation and clinical matters such as models of maternity care, postpartum haemorrhage, promotion of healthy lifestyle during pregnancy and breastfeeding. She uses a range of quantitative and qualitative approaches as well as systematic reviews and works collaboratively with a range of national and international experts, leading to a significant and high impact track record in this field.

    Ongoing and recently completed key projects

    • Migrant Maternity Care: "ORAMMA: Operational Refugee And Migrant Maternal Approach", [Collaborative research in partnership with Greece, UK, Sweden, Norway, Netherlands & Belgium-Funded by European Commission 3rd Health Programme]
    • An evaluation of the impact of a midwife-led maternal obesity service on pregnancy outcomes and childhood obesity Funded by the Green Legacy & The Burdett Trust
    • Feasibility of infrared thermography for wound surveillance and follow up in women after Caesarean section. Funded by the Medical Research Council (MRC) Confidence in Concept Scheme
    • Improving outcomes for pregnant teenagers: development of a complex intervention to improve quality of diet. Multi-Centre study sites including Southampton, Manchester and Doncaster maternity units. This is a collaborative project including the University of Southampton, Sheffield Hallam University, University College London, the University of Manchester and Tommy's (The Baby Charity) Funded by MRC-PHND
    • Postnatal weight management. Funded by the NHS Sheffield Clinical Commissioning Group
    • Talking Health: Exploring experiences of health professionals and women concerning communication of health behaviour and lifestyle changes during pregnancy
    • Mobile Technology & Maternal Obesity (MOMTech), feasibility study, funded by the South Yorkshire Collaboration for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care (CLAHRC-SY) and EPSRC-Engineering for Life (EFL) and Bupa
    • The Impact of Maternal Weight on Maternal and Neonatal Health Outcomes: A Cohort Study (in Padang-Indonesia). Funded by the Directorate General of Higher Education, Ministry of Education and Culture in Indonesia, in collaboration with the Department of Nutrition, Andalas University and funded by British Council
    • A survey of management of the third stage of labour- Funded by the World Health Organisation (WHO)
    • Pelvic girdle pain during pregnancy- Funded by HEALTHCARE UK LTD

    Collaborators and sponsors

    • International Confederation of Midwives
    • World Health Organisation
    • European Midwives Association
    • Andalas University, Indonesia
    • Athen's Midwifery School-Greece
    • Radboud University Medical Center, The Netherlands
    • Tommy's Baby Charity
    • British Council
    • MRC-PHND
    • The Burdett Trust
    • Doncaster and Bassetlaw NHS Foundation Trust
    • Barnsley NHS Foundation Trust
    • Sheffield Teaching Hospitals-Jessop Wing
    • Rotherham Doncaster and South Humber (RDASH)
    • Born in Bradford 
    • University of Southampton
    • University College London

  • Publications

  • Other activities

    • Co-section editor for “BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth"
    • Co-Chair of the International Confederation of Midwives, Research 
    • StandingCommittee (ICM-RSC)
    • Invited Lead Gust Editor for "Journal of pregnancy"
    • Editorial board member for “Evidence Based Midwifery Journal”
    • International advisory committee member for “Midwifery" journal
    • Honorary Professor of Midwifery in Doncaster & Bassetlaw NHS Foundation Trust
    • Honorary Professor of Midwifery in Barnsley NHS Foundation Trust
    • Honorary Professor in Sheffield Teaching Hospitals
    • Panel expert member for "The Yorkshire and The Humber Regional Funding 
    • Committee: "NIHR- Research for Patient Benefit (RfPB)" [June 2013-June 2016]
    • Invited expert adviser for several guideline development for the World Health Organization (WHO)
    • External examiner for several national and international PhD students

  • Postgraduate supervision

    • Physical activity in obese and overweight pregnancies
    • Exploring the need for nutritional interventions in adolescent pregnancies -using record linkage and Born in Bradford Cohort data
    • Maternal obesity and psychosocial challenges in following healthy lifestyle, a comparative qualitative study of Normal weight, overweight and obese women
    • Third stage of labour management in low risk women
    • Weight-loss experiences versus undergraduate nutrition education competencies: A qualitative comparison
    • Antioxidants and muscle soreness
    • Doctors' perceptions of obstetrics ultrasound: concept, knowledge and practice during pregnancy
    • The effect of anti-D immunoglobulin administration on serum cytokine profile during pregnancy

  • Media

    Hora is a Professor of Maternal and Infant Health. She is a registered midwife and has been researching for about 20 years on Maternal and Infant Health. Her expertise is focused around pregnancy and postnatal maternal weight changes, infant feeding, maternal obesity and the organisation of maternity care.

    MIDWIVES: Why a continuity of care for pregnant mothers can improve outcomes for babies.
    As Health and Social Care Secretary, Jeremy Hunt prepares to announce new measures that promises expectant mothers will be seen by the same midwife throughout labour, pregnancy and birth by 2021, Hora Soltani, Hallam's professor of maternal and infant care, spoke to Hallam FM about her own research which concluded a continuity of care for pregnant mothers led to fewer interventions and complications during birth. Hora's interview was broadcast on Hallam FM's news bulletins.

    Three areas of Professor Soltani's Research have been highlighted in the media as follows:

    Midwife-led continuity models versus other models of care for childbearing women

    The following article attracted widespread global media coverage following its press release in August 2013:
    Sandall J, Soltani H, Gates S, Shennan A, Devane D.; Midwife-led continuity models versus other models of care for childbearing women. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2013, Issue 8. Art. No.: CD004667. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD004667.pub3. URL upon publication:

    Sky News Australia

    Irish Times

    Evening Echo Australia

    Daily Mail

    BBC Radio Sheffield
    Real Radio
    Yorkshire Post
    BC1 (an international TV station based in Canada)
    Midwifery research coverage at a glance from 21 August to 23 August

    32 cuttings mentioning Sheffield Hallam's involvement in the midwifery research welfare cuts research appeared in the press and media

    36,859 of AVE (Advertising Value Equivalent) was generated

    Total circulation: 9.3million

    Podcast available for: Midwife-led versus other models of care for childbearing women; Global free access, in several languages including English, Farsi, Arabic and Portuguese available from Cochrane Library

    Farsi: versus-other-models-care-childbe-0
    Portuguese: 2013/midwife-led-continuity-models-versus-other-models-care-childbear

    The Operational Refugee and Migrant Maternal Approach (ORAMMA) project

    A new project looking at ways to improve maternal health of migrant women across Europe has been launched by academics from Sheffield Hallam University and other European institutions.
    The Operational Refugee and Migrant Maternal Approach (ORAMMA) project has been funded by the European Commission and will seek to address the health inequalities experienced by pregnant migrants across the continent. Hora Soltani, Professor of Maternal and Infant Health from Sheffield Hallam's Centre for Health and Social Care Research, is working with experts from eight universities and health organisations from five European countries. For more details please see the link below:

    Female Genital Mutilation (FGM)

    Contrary to the common perception, studies show that Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) is not confined to just one religion or tradition. It is widely practised among communities from various faith backgrounds (Christians, Muslims, Traditional African religions and those with no religion).

    ‘We need to win over people’s hearts as well as their minds’ article published in the Sheffield Telegraph by Professor Hora Soltani, Professor in Maternal and Infant Health, Sheffield Hallam University. Please click on the link below for the full article.

    Midwife-led continuity of care

    A recent Cochrane report suggests that women who received midwife-led continuity models of care were less likely to experience intervention and more likely to be satisfied with their care with at least comparable adverse outcomes for women or their infants than women who received other models of care.

    Further research is needed to explore findings of fewer preterm births and fewer fetal deaths less than 24 weeks, and all fetal loss/neonatal death associated with midwife-led continuity models of care.
    For the full review please click on the following link:

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