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Focus on lifestyle choices for pregnant women and new mums

The importance of healthy lifestyles for expectant mums is the focus of our next lecture in the OpenCampus Autumn series at the University of Hull on Wednesday 21 November.

From alcohol consumption and smoking to healthy eating and exercise, Professor Lesley Smith will share insights from her research on the way lifestyle choices can affect mums-to-be and their unborn child.

Professor Smith said:

“It is well established that lifestyle behaviours such as alcohol consumption, smoking, sedentary time and obesity are major determinants of ill-health globally with significant economic cost to health services.

“An additional concern is that many women continue these health risk behaviours through pregnancy which have detrimental effects on maternal and infant health and wellbeing.

“My talk will be of particular interest to students, clinicians and practitioners working in this field – but everyone is welcome. The aim of these talks is to share academic and research with a wide audience.”

Professor Smith is one of several professors appointed to the University’s Faculty of Health Sciences this year, bringing new, high-calibre research and increasing capacity to address key health challenges in the region and beyond.

“The University has a strong heritage of research to help provide better healthcare services in our region and beyond." Professor Julie Jomeen, Dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Hull

Professor Julie Jomeen, Dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences at the University of Hull, said:

“The University has a strong heritage of research to help provide better healthcare services in our region and beyond. Professor Smith is already making a valuable contribution to the work of the University to drive improvements to mother and baby healthcare services and I am delighted that she is able to share her work with a wider audience through the OpenCampus series.”

Professor Lesley Smith joined the University’s new Institute for Clinical and Applied Research – developed to build on the University’s reputation for world-leading health research – from Oxford Brookes University where she focused her research on maternal and women’s public health. Professor Smith started her career as a nurse before developing her commitment to advancing healthcare in maternal and reproductive health. She has investigated risk behaviours and harm prevention in women of child-bearing age, with particular reference to alcohol consumption during pregnancy – an important public health issue – in which her work has contributed to advances for healthcare and health policy in the UK and Internationally. In 2016 she was an expert panel member for the World Health Organisation Regional Office for Europe reporting on the Prevention of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders. Another aspect of her research has explored the impact of physical activity on the health of women and wellbeing during pregnancy and on their experience of childbirth. In 2016-17, she was a member of the Chief Medical Officer’s Physical Activity Expert Group developing an infographic representing national recommendations for physical activity during pregnancy.

The OpenCampus series of talks is open to everyone and frequently attracts a wonderful mix of clinicians, students, academics, and family members who have a particular interest whether they are carers, parents, patients or simply keen to find out more. The academic staff and postgraduates share their research and insights on a subject and this is often followed by very lively discussion.

The OpenCampus Programme is an informal and friendly way for visitors to learn at the University. The programme includes culture café sessions, a series of tea-time talks and the OpenCampus reading group.

Jackie McAndrew, Public Engagement and Postgraduate Researcher Experience Specialist, said: “The subjects covered in the programme are wide ranging, contemporary, historical, sometimes controversial, often challenging but always interesting and thought provoking. We like to make our sessions accessible for adults of all ages who are new to the subject. You are warmly invited to come along and try one of them for yourself.

“The University has some of the most talented and innovative teachers of this generation, and some of the keenest minds in the country undertaking cutting-edge research and teaching. These talented members of staff are working with us to develop the OpenCampus Programme, giving you the chance to hear about their meaningful research, fantastic ideas and expertise in a relaxed and informal setting.”

Admission is free for all health talks, listed below, but booking is required. Book online here

From superego to super gut: Transitioning from psychoanalysis to psychobiology in understanding the relationship of food to reproductive mental wellbeing
Professor Colin R. Martin, Professor of Perinatal Mental Health, University of Hull.

6.30-8.30pm, Wednesday 12 December 2018.
Allam Medical Building LT1.

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