Mary McNabb

Mary McNabb

Scientific advisor and academic midwife.

Mary’s professional work has been focused on developing a biosocial approach to reproduction, to enable midwives to teach parents how to realise the health enhancing effects of the fertile cycle. Her interest in the potential for reproduction to enhance long-term health began with a randomised controlled trial on the effects of regular aerobic exercise on labour outcomes. This study stimulated an enduring curiosity in neuro-hormonal and metabolic adaptations to different phases of the fertile cycle.

This interest was developed by an MSc in the Science of Physiology, at London University in 1992 and by writing chapters on reproductive biology for Mayes' Midwifery.

From 1990 Mary worked as a Senior Lecturer in Midwifery at London South Bank University. In 2001she obtained a grant from the University to pursue her research interest in the analgesic, anxiolytic and metabolic effects of oxytocin on mother, fetus and neonate. With assistance from the National Perinatal Epidemiology Unit, a feasibility study was completed looking at the affective and neurohormonal responses to the LK Massage Programme ®.

Following this, a pilot randomised controlled trial Alternative Labour Pain Strategies (ALPS) was conducted at the Horton Maternity Hospital, which was completed in March 2006.

As a result of this study, Linda, Mary and Anne designed a series of massage courses for professionals entitled: 'Towards Natural Childbirth and Beyond: Neuro-hormonal responses to massage in late pregnancy, labour and postpartum: theory and practice'.

From 2006-2009 she worked as a midwifery teacher at St George’s Hospital, Tooting and from 2009 with Linda and Anne trained midwives to use the LK Massage Programme ® in Hong Kong.

Recent Publications

  • Kimber L, McNabb M,Haines A, McCourt C, Brocklehurst P. Alternative Labour Pain Strategies: a pilot randomised trial to investigate the efficacy of alternative strategies in reducing and coping with labour and birth pain. European Journal of Pain 2008;12:961-969
  • McNabb M, Kimber L, Haines A, McCourt C. Does regular massage from late pregnancy to birth decrease maternal pain perception during labour and birth? A feasibility study to investigate a programme of massage, controlled breathing and visualization from 36 weeks of pregnancy until birth. Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice 2006; 12: 222-231
  • McNabb MT (2004) Biology of pregnancy and labour chapters in Henderson C & Mc Donald S eds, Mayes' Midwifery, 13th edition London, Elsevier Press, In press.
  • McNabb MT (2003) Maternal and fetal responses to labour. In Bates C ed,. Midwifery Clinical Practice: the fetus in labour - the baby at birth. London, RCM Trust.
  • McNabb MT (2003) Pregnancy and childbirth in Palestinian communities under military occupation Journal of the International Confederation of Midwives. 16(1):6-8.
  • McNabb MT (2002) The fetus at birth: maternal and fetal preparation for neonatal development. In Morgan J & Dickerson JWT eds. Developmental Nutrition: concept and practice, Chichester, John Wiley & Sons.
  • McNabb MT (2002) Maternal hormones and physiological insights. In Bates C ed,. Midwifery Clinical Practice: the third stage of labour, London, RCM Trust.
  • McNabb MT (2002) Maternal hormones and physiological insights. In Bates C ed,. Midwifery Clinical Practice: the second stage of labour. London, RCM Trust.
  • McNabb MT (2002) Changes in maternal food appetite and metabolism in labour and the shift from fetal to neonatal metabolism. In Champion P & McCormac eds., Eating and Drinking in Labour. 46-110, London, Books for Midwives.
  • Mason JA & McNabb MT (2001) Folic Acid - Magic Bullet or Potential Toxin? AIMS Journal. 13(2):8-11.
  • Mason JA & McNabb MT (2000) Folic acid supplementation: is it a safe option? British Journal of Midwifery. 8( 9):581-586.
  • McNabb M & Colson S (2000) From pregnancy to lactation: changing relations between mother and baby - a biological perspective. In Alexander J Roth C and Levy V eds Midwifery Practice, London, Macmillan:51-65.