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Dr Denise O'Brien


Denise O'Brien

Lecturer/Assistant Professor
School of Nursing, Midwifery and Health Systems
01 716 6496
University College Dublin, School of Nursing Midwifery and Health Systems, Health Sciences Centre Belfield Dublin 4


Dr Denise O'Brien is an Assistant Professor/Lecturer and Head of Subject for Midwifery in the School of Nursing Midwifery and Health Systems in UCD Dublin. Denise commenced her academic career in UCD in 2006, prior to this Denise practiced as a Midwife tutor/ midwifery practitioner for 5 years in the National Maternity Hospital. Her clinical expertise gained over 15 years in the National Maternity Hospital and the Coombe Women's and Infants University Hospital includes the following: complicated antenatal midwifery care, routine antenatal midwifery care including midwifery clinics, postnatal midwifery care and practice, Operating Theatre -elective and emergency obstetric complications and gynecological surgery , Gynecology: including pregnancy loss and perinatal bereavement support. Intrapartum midwifery care, Neonatal intensive care and special care baby unit. Denise has extensive knowledge and experience of practices and policies associated with contemporary midwifery and maternity care in Ireland and Internationally. Denise has taught in the discipline of midwifery since 2000 and has extensive experience in curriculum development and design at both undergraduate and postgraduate level. Denise was awarded her PhD in 2015 for a Participatory Action Research study collaborating with women and midwives exploring women's understanding, experiences and supports needs to exercise informed choices during pregnancy and childbirth in Ireland. The completed informational resource developed by participants and Denise "Choices for Childbirth' was offered to the Health Service executive and some of the content was published/ is available at the following link Since completing her PhD Denise has continued to expand her research portfolio both with her colleagues in UCD and the National Maternity Hospital (NMH) and with international collaborators. Denise is the current UCD chair of the Joint Research Network Group ( UCD/ NMH), previous vice- chair for three years and member since its foundation in 2007. Her area's of publication include Informed choice, shared decision-making, relational decision-making, Advanced Practice Midwifery/ Nursing, women's experiences of antenatal midwifery clinics, Labour hopscotch and promoting physiological birth, Perineal Management. Denise is a reviewer for the journal Midwifery.


  • Head of Subject Midwifery
    University College Dublin, School of Nursing Midwifery and Health Systems, Dublin, Ireland1 Sep 2016


  • Assistant Professor/ Lecturer in Midwifery
    University College Dublin, Nursing Midwifery and Health Systems, Dublin, Ireland1 Aug 2006


  • Honarary Clinical Contract
    National Maternity Hospital, Midwifery, Dublin, Ireland1 Nov 2011


  • BNS
    Trinity College Dublin
  • MSc
    University College Dublin
  • PhD
    University College Dublin


  • Hypnobirthing
    Association of Hypnobirthing Midwives, Midwifery, Dublin, Ireland
    MidwiferyOtherSupervised by Dublin