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Jenny McLeish

Health Services Researcher


After originally qualifying as a barrister, Jenny worked for many years in the voluntary sector on policy, research, information and campaigning for disadvantaged and vulnerable families. She joined NPEU in 2013 as a health services researcher, and her main research interests are women's experiences of care and the contribution of volunteer and peer support to women's wellbeing in the perinatal period. She is attached to the Policy Research Unit in Maternal and Neonatal Health and Care.


  • McLeish J, Redshaw M. Peer support during pregnancy and early parenthood: models and perceptions. BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth. 2015;15(1):257.
  • Mcleish J. Organisation of postnatal care affects parents’ confidence and security following hospital discharge at 72 h or less. Evidence Based Nursing. 2016;19(3):73.
  • McLeish J, Redshaw M. ‘We have beaten HIV a bit’: a qualitative study of experiences of peer support during pregnancy with an HIV Mentor Mother project in England. BMJ Open. 2016;6:e011499.
  • McLeish J, Spiby H, Darwin Z, Willmot H, Green J. The processes of implementing and sustaining an intensive volunteer one-to-one support (doula) service for disadvantaged pregnant women. Voluntary Sector Review. 2016;7(2):149-67.
  • Malouf R, McLeish J, Ryan S, Gray R, Redshaw M. ‘We both just wanted to be normal parents’: a qualitative study of the experience of maternity care for women with learning disability. BMJ Open. [10.1136/bmjopen-2016-015526]. 2017;7(3).
  • McLeish J, Redshaw M. "I didn't think we'd be dealing with stuff like this": A qualitative study of volunteer support for very disadvantaged pregnant women and new mothers. Midwifery. 2017;45:36-43.
  • McLeish J, Redshaw M. Mothers’ accounts of the impact on emotional wellbeing of organised peer support in pregnancy and early parenthood: a qualitative study. BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth. [journal article]. 2017;17(1):28.
  • McLeish J, Redshaw M. A qualitative study of volunteer doulas working alongside midwives at births in England: Mothers' and doulas' experiences. Midwifery. 2018;56(Supplement C):53-60.
  • Thomson G, McLeish J. Volunteer and peer support during the perinatal period: a scoping study. Practising Midwife. 2018;21(4):25-9.
  • Gale C, Modi N, Jawad S, Culshaw L, Dorling J, Bowler U, Forster A, King A, McLeish J, Linsell L, Turner MA, Robberts H, Stanbury K, van Staa T, Juszczak E. The WHEAT pilot trial—WithHolding Enteral feeds Around packed red cell Transfusion to prevent necrotising enterocolitis in preterm neonates: a multicentre, electronic patient record (EPR), randomised controlled point-of-care pilot trial. BMJ Open. 2019;9(9):e033543.
  • McLeish J, Redshaw M. Maternity experiences of mothers with multiple disadvantages in England: A qualitative study. Women and Birth. 2019;32(2):178-84.
  • McLeish J, Redshaw M. “Being the best person that they can be and the best mum”: a qualitative study of community volunteer doula support for disadvantaged mothers before and after birth in England. BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth. 2019;19(1):21.
  • Alderdice F, McLeish J, Henderson J, Malouf R, Harvey M, Redshaw M. Women's ideal and real expectations of postnatal care during their first pregnancy: An online survey in England. Midwifery. 2020;89:102815.
  • McLeish J, Alderdice F, Robberts H, Cole C, Dorling J, Gale C. Challenges of a simplified opt-out consent process in a neonatal randomised controlled trial: qualitative study of parents’ and health professionals’ views and experiences. Archives of Disease in Childhood - Fetal and Neonatal Edition. 2020;10.1136/archdischild-2020-319545:fetalneonatal-2020-319545.
  • McLeish J, Harvey M, Redshaw M, Alderdice F. "Reassurance that you're doing okay, or guidance if you're not": A qualitative descriptive study of pregnant first time mothers' expectations and information needs about postnatal care in England. Midwifery. 2020;89:102813.
  • McLeish J, Harvey M, Redshaw M, Henderson J, Malouf R, Alderdice F. First-Time Mothers' Expectations and Experiences of Postnatal Care in England. Qual Health Res. 2020;30(12):1876-87.
  • McLeish J, Harvey M, Redshaw M, Alderdice F. A qualitative study of first time mothers’ experiences of postnatal social support from health professionals in England. Women and Birth. 2021;34(5):e451-e60.
  • McLeish J, Redshaw M. ‘She come like a sister to me’: a qualitative study of volunteer social support for disadvantaged women in the transition to motherhood in England. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences. 2021;376(1827):20200023.
  • McLeish J, Harrison S, Quigley M, Alderdice F. Learning from a crisis: a qualitative study of the impact on mothers' emotional wellbeing of changes to maternity care during the COVID-19 pandemic in England, using the National Maternity Survey 2020. BMC Pregnancy Childbirth. 2022;22(1):868.
  • Quigley MA, Harrison S, Levene I, McLeish J, Buchanan P, Alderdice F. Breastfeeding rates in England during the Covid-19 pandemic and the previous decade: Analysis of national surveys and routine data. PLOS ONE. 2023;18(10):e0291907.
  • Harrison S, Alderdice F, McLeish J, Quigley MA. You and Your Baby: A national survey of health and care during the 2020 Covid-19 pandemic. Oxford: National Perinatal Epidemiology Unit, University of Oxford. 2021. Report No.: ISBN: 978-1-8383678-4-8.
  • Alderdice F, Malouf R, McLeish J, Roberts N, Rowe R. What evidence is available about the use and effectiveness of collaborative midwife continuity of care models to improve pregnancy outcomes for women with medical and obstetric complexity? A scoping review. 2022. Oxford: NIHR PRU-MNHC, National Perinatal Epidemiology Unit, University of Oxford. 2022 Contract No.: ISBN: 978-1-7392619-0-0.