Writtle University College and ARU have merged. Writtle’s full range of college, degree, postgraduate and short courses will still be delivered on the Writtle campus. See our guide to finding Writtle information on this site.

Martina Donaghy

Senior Lecturer
Faculty of Health, Medicine and Social Care
School of Nursing and Midwifery
Areas of Expertise:
Health, social care and medical innovation , Nursing and midwifery

Martina is an experienced midwife with well over 20 years of experience, coupled with a Lactation Consultant’s qualification of 15 years. Her expertise lays in infant nutrition, in particular breastfeeding education.

[email protected]


Martina qualified as a registered nurse in 1989 and furthered her career in 1993, qualifying as a registered midwife. Midwifery experience includes all core hospital areas and the community. She was fortunate to experience case loading 'Team Midwifery' as a model of care in the early 199’s.

A keen interest in lactation and breastfeeding developed, following the birth of her own children. She accelerated this interest by sitting the International Board Certified Lactation Consultancy Exam in 2000. Success of this exam led her to a new post in 2001, as an Infant Feeding Specialist in two NHS Trusts in Kent, both striving for UNICEF Baby Friendly Accreditation.

After four years of teaching midwives, she sought to expand her teaching skills and move into higher education as a midwifery lecturer. During the last seven years Martina has channelled her commitment for breastfeeding education, into implementing the UNICEF Baby Friendly Initiative University standards into the BSc (Hons) Pre-registration Midwifery course. Courses which implement the standards can undergo an external assessment by UNICEF UK, and be accredited as Baby Friendly, thereby providing an easily recognisable quality assurance to service providers, prospective students and all other organizations and individuals with an interest in the provision of quality care to breastfeeding mothers and their babies. Full UNICEF Baby Friendly Accreditation was awarded to the BSc (Hons) Midwifery pre-registration course in July 2014.

Currently, Martina is completing a Masters in Medical Health Education, researching student midwives' experience of their confidence in supporting women with breastfeeding.

Research interests
  • Effective breastfeeding education for health professionals, in particular student midwives.
  • The long and short term health benefits of Breastfeeding for mothers and infants.
  • Infant feeding and the concept of Guilt. How a mother’s choice of infant feeding can evoke feelings of guilt.
  • The opposing agendas of safeguarding and infant wellbeing in the promotion of breastfeeding, bonding and infant mental health.
  • Perinatal Mental Health
  • Responsive parenting and its effects on infant development.

Recent national research has highlighted the importance of the provision of breastfeeding education within the University setting for student midwives. The Effectiveness of this education has been poorly researched. Hence the focus of Martina’s current research being completed for her Master’s degree, investigating how the breastfeeding education provision affects student midwives confidence, in supporting women to breastfeed. 


Martina’s focus of teaching is mainly on the BSc (Hons) pre-registration Midwifery programme. She has responsibility for teaching the Infant Nutrition content of the course and other modules focusing on health promotion and fundamental midwifery practice. She supervisors’ final year midwives and Health visitor students, when undertaking their Undergraduate major projects. She also delivers breastfeeding education to the Child branch students and is a guest speaker on the Masters in Midwifery course.


Academic qualifications at HE level

  • PG Diploma Learning and Teaching (Health and Social Care Professional), Anglia Ruskin University
  • BSc (Hons) Midwifery Studies, Manchester University Diploma of Higher Education in Midwifery
  • Anglia Polytechnic University, Chelmsford Diploma of Applied Science Nursing, Sydney College of Advanced Education, Australia

Professional qualifications

  • Qualified Teacher, Nursing & Midwifery Council, Portland Place, London
  • Teaching & Assessing in Clinical Practice (ENB 997) English National Board for Nursing, Midwifery & Health Visiting
  • International Board Certified Lactation Consultant. International Board of Lactation Consultant Examiners
  • Registered Midwife, Nursing & Midwifery Council, Portland Place, London
  • Registered Nurse, The New South Wales Nurses Registration Board, Australia
Memberships, editorial boards
  • Royal College of Midwives
  • The Lactation Consultants of Great Britain
  • The International Lactation Consultant Association
  • Higher Education Academy
Research grants, consultancy, knowledge exchange
  • Alumni Student Education Grant. (2014) £1,000 secured to run two infant sleep workshops facilitated by Professor Helen Ball, Durham Sleep Lab, for 100 student midwives.
Recent presentations and conferences

Diabetes and breastfeeding. Mid Essex Hospital Services NHS Trust