Prof Helen L. Ball, BSc, MA, PhD
(email at email@example.com)
Helen Ball obtained her PhD in Biological Anthropology at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst in 1992. Her undergraduate degree was in Human Biology, and her interests span both biology and anthropology. Helen spent several years in the Caribbean where she conducted her PhD fieldwork. Following her appointment as a Lecturer in Anthropology at Durham in 1993 Helen began a programme of research on night-time infant care, established the Parent-Infant Sleep Lab in 2000, and was promoted to Professor of Anthropology in 2007. Broadly defined, her research examines sleep ecology, particularly of infants, young children and their parents. This encompasses attitudes and practices regarding infant sleep, behavioural and physiological monitoring of infants and their parents during sleep, infant sleep development, and the discordance between cultural sleep preferences and biological sleep needs. She has conducted research in hospitals and the community, and contributes to national and international policy and practice guidelines on infant care. See www.dur.ac.uk/sleep.lab/. She pioneers the translation of academic research on infant sleep into evidence for use by parents and healthcare staff via ISIS -- the Infant Sleep Information Source website (www.isisonline.org.uk).
Indicators of Esteem
- 2011: Appointed Consulting Editor, Journal of Human Lactation:
- 2011: Appointed to Editorial Board, Journal of Human Lactation:
- 2011: Durham University Award for Excellence in Doctoral Supervision:
- 2011: Invited Speaker: UNICEF UK Baby Friendly Conference:
- 2010: Appointed to ESRC Peer Review College:
- 2010: Invited Keynote Speaker: International Lactation Consultants' Association (ILCA):
- 2010: Invited Speaker: UNICEF UK Baby Friendly Conference:
- 2009: Appointed to Advisory Board of Attachment Parenting EU:
- 2009: Appointed to La Leche League Panel of Professional Advisers:
- 2009: Appointed to NCT Research Advisory Board:
- 2009: Invited Keynote Speaker: New Zealand Lactation Consultants' Association:
- 2007: Invited Keynote Speaker: Australian National Breastfeeding Conference:
- 2007: Invited keynote speaker: French Academy of Paediatrics: St Malo, June, 2007
- 2006: Healthy Children Award (US) for Research: Award for contribution to breastfeeding research from Healthy Children (US), presented Jan 15th 2006, Orlando, Florida
- 2006: Invited speaker, Primary Care Conference 2006: Invited speaker: Mother & Baby Programme of Primary Care 2006 Conference for GPs and Health Professionals at NEC, Birmingham, 5th May 2006.
- 2006: Invited speaker: UNICEF UK Baby-friendly Conference 2006: Invited speaker at UNICEF UK BFI Annual Conference, Cardiff, November 29th & 29th 2006
- 2005: Invited Keynote Speaker: La Leche League Italia National Conference:
Department of Anthropology
- Evolutionary Anthropology
- Medical Anthropology
- Medical Anthropology Research Group
Department of Anthropology
- Bradford Infant Care Study (BradICS)
- C-section infant care study
- Child Sleep and Obesity
- Dummy use and infant sleep
- Got Milk? Project
- Infant sleep location on the post-natal ward
- Insomnia in the community: the Better Sleep Programme
- ISIS: Infant Sleep Information Source
- NECOT: North East Cot Trial
- Night-time infant care in North-East England
- Physiology of parent-infant sleep contact
- Sleeping arrangements for twin infants
- Behaviour and physiology of infant sleep
- Child sleep and obesity
- Development of sleep patterns and circadian rhythms
- Evolutionary medicine
- Human behaviour: parenting, infant care, infant mortality, SIDS, infanticide
- Midwifery and postnatal care
- Infant feeding and sleeping
- Ball, Helen L. (2002). Bed-sharing Research in Britain. Mothering Magazine (US) Sept.
- Ward-Platt, Martin P & Ball, Helen L. (2002). Rooming-in at the Hospital: Assessing the Practical Considerations. Mothering Magazine (US) Sept(114).
- Ball, Helen L. (2012). Sleeping with the baby. Breastfeeding Briefs 53: 1-12.
- Ball, Helen L. (2012). The latest on bed-sharing and breastfeeding. Community Practitioner 85(1): 29-31.
- Jones, Caroline H.D. & Ball, Helen L. (2012). Medical Anthropology and Children’s Sleep: The Mismatch between Western Lifestyles and Sleep Physiology. In Sleep: Multidisciplinary Perspectives. Green, A. & Westcombe, A.M. Jessica Kingsley Publishers, London. 86-103.
- Ball, Helen L. & Russell, Charlotte K. (2012). Night-time nurturing: an evolutionary perspective on breastfeeding and sleep. In Evolution, Early Experience and Human Development: From Research to Practice and Policy. Narvaez, D., Panksepp, J., Schore, A. & Gleason, T. Oxford University Press.
- Ball, Helen L. (2008). Evolutionary Paediatrics: a case study in applying Darwinian Medicine. In Medicine and Evolution: Current Applications, Future Prospects. Elton, Sarah & O'Higgins, Paul New York: Taylor & Francis. 127-152.
- Ball, Helen L. & Klingaman, Kristin, P. (2007). Breastfeeding and mother-infant sleep proximity: implications for infant care. In Evolutionary Medicine and Health: New Perspectives. Trevathan, Wenda, Smith, E.O. & McKenna, James J. New York: Oxford University Press. 226-241.
- Ball, Helen L. (2006). Night-time infant care: cultural practice, evolution, and infant development. In Childrearing and infant care issues: a cross-cultural perspective. Pranee Liamputtong Melbourne, Australia: Nova. 47-61.
- Ball, Helen L. & Panter-Brick, Catherine (2001). Child survival and the modulation of parental investment. In Reproductive Ecology and Human Evolution. P. Ellison New York: Aldine de Gruyter. 249-266.
- Ball, Helen L. (2000). Babies and Infants Bed-Sharing. In Midwifery Practice in the Post-natal Period. Royal College of Midwives Royal College of Midwifes. 24-26.
- Ball, Helen L., Hooker, Elaine & Kelly, Peter J. (2000). Where will the baby sleep? Attitudes and practices of new and experienced parents regarding cosleeping with their newborn infants. In Annual Editions: Child Growth and Development. Junn E.N. & Boyatzis, C. Dushkin/McGraw Hill. 00/01.
- Swedlund, Alan C. & Ball, Helen L. (1998). Nature, Nurture, and the determinates of Childhood Mortality: A case study from Massachusetts, 1830-1920. In Building a New Biocultural Synthesis: Political-Economic and Critical Perspectives on Human Biology. Goodman, A. & Leatherman, T. Michigan, USA: University of Michigan Press. 191-228.
- Ball, Helen L. & Hill, Catherine M. (1998). Parental manipulation of post-natal survival and well-being -- are parental sex preferences adaptive? In Sex, Gender and Health. Pollard, T.M. & Hyatt, S.B. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. 143-151.
Edited works: conference proceedings
- Heslop, Emma, Ball, Helen L. & Leech, Stepehn J. (2005). Bedding-in and Rooming-in on the post-natal ward: breastfeeding initiation. Measuring Behavior 2005, Wageningen, NL, Noldus Information Technology.
- Ball, Helen L., Volpe, Lane E., Heslop, Emma & Leech, Stephen, J. (2005). Observing mother-infant sleep behaviour. Measuring Behavior 2005, Wageningen, NL, Noldus.
- Ball, Helen L. & Hooker, Elaine (1998). What happens to infants who sleep with their parents?. American Association of Physical Anthropology Annual Meeting, Salt Lake City, Utah.
- Ball, Helen L. & Hooker, Elaine (1998). You wanna put a camera in our bedroom? Video observations of parent-infant cosleeping in the home environment. Measuring Behaviour 98, Groningen, NL.
Journal papers: academic
- Jones, Caroline HD & Ball, Helen L (2013). Napping in English preschool children and the association with parents’ attitudes. Sleep Medicine 14(4): 352–358.
- Volpe, L.E., Ball, H.L. & McKenna, J.J. (2013). Nighttime parenting strategies and sleep-related risks to infants. Social Science & Medicine 79: 92-100.
- Ball, Helen L. & Volpe, L.E. (2013). Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) risk reduction and infant sleep location: Moving the discussion forward. Social Science & Medicine 79: 84-91.
- Tully, Kristin P. & Ball, Helen L. (2013). Trade-offs underlying maternal breastfeeding decisions: a conceptual model. Maternal & Child Nutrition 9(1): 90-98.
- Ball, Helen L., Moya, Eduardo Fairley, Lesley, Westman, Janette, Oddie, Sam & Wright, John (2012). Bed and sofa-sharing practices in a UK biethnic population. Pediatrics 129(3): e673-e681.
- Ball, Helen L., Moya, E., Fairley, L., Westman, J., Oddie, S. & Wright, J. (2012). Infant care practices related to sudden infants death syndrome in South Asian and White British families in the UK. Paediatric and Perinatal Epidemiology 26(1): 3-12.
- Tully, K.P. & Ball, H.L. (2012). Postnatal Unit Bassinet Types When Rooming-In After Cesarean Section Birth: Implications for Breastfeeding and Infant Safety. Journal of Human Lactation 28(4): 495-505.
- Russell, Charlotte, Howel, Denise, Ward-Platt, Martin P. & Ball, Helen L. (2012). Use of interactive telephone technology for longitudinal data collection in a large trial. Contemporary Clinical Trials 33: 364-368.
- Ball, HL., Ward-Platt, MP. Howel, D. & Russell, CK. (2011). Randomised trial of sidecar crib use on breastfeeding duration (NECOT). Archives of Disease in Childhood 96(7): 630-634.
- Ball, Helen L. (2009). Airway covering during bed-sharing. Child: Care, Health and Development 35(5): 728-737.
- van den Berg, Martina & Ball, Helen L. (2008). Practices, advice and support regarding prolonged breastfeeding: a descriptive study from Sri Lanka. Journal of Reproductive and Infant Psychology 26(3): 229-243.
- Klingaman, Kristin. & Ball, Helen. (2007). Anthropology of caesarean section birth and breastfeeding: Rationale for evolutionary medicine on the postnatal ward. Durham Anthropology Journal 14(1).
- Ball, Helen L. (2007). Bed-sharing practices of initially breastfed infants in the first 6 months of life. Infant and Child Development 16(4): 387-401.
- McKenna, James J., Ball, Helen L. & Gettler, Lee T. (2007). Mother–Infant Cosleeping, Breastfeeding and Sudden Infant Death Syndrome: What Biological Anthropology Has Discovered About Normal Infant Sleep and Pediatric Sleep Medicine. Yearbook of Physical Anthropology 50: 133-161.
- Ball, Helen L. (2007). Together or apart? A behavioural and physiological investigation of sleeping arrangements for twin babies. Midwifery 23(4): 404-412.
- Ball, Helen L. (2006). Bed-sharing on the post-natal ward: breastfeeding and infant sleep safety. Paediatrics and Child Health 11(Suppl A): 43A-46A.
- Ball, Helen L. (2006). Caring for twin infants: sleeping arrangements and their implications. Evidence Based Midwifery 4(1): 10-16.
- Ball, Helen L. (2006). Parent-Infant Bed-sharing Behavior: effects of feeding type, and presence of father. Human Nature: an interdisciplinary biosocial perspective 17(3): 301-318.
- Ball, Helen L., Ward-Platt, Martin P., Heslop, Emma, Leech, Stephen J. & Brown, Kathleen A. (2006). Randomised trial of infant sleep location on the postnatal ward. Archives of Disease in Childhood 91(12): 1005-1010.
- Wailoo, Mike, Ball, Helen L., Fleming, Peter J. & Ward-Platt, Martin P. (2004). Infants bed-sharing with mothers: helpful, harmful or don't we know?. Archives of Disease in Childhood 89(12): 1082-1083.
- Blair, Peter S. & Ball, Helen L. (2004). The prevalence and characteristics associated with parent–infant bed-sharing in England. Archives of Disease in Childhood 89: 1106-1110.
- Ball, Helen L. (2003). Breastfeeding, bed-sharing and infant sleep. Birth: Issues in Perinatal Care 30(3): 181-188.
- Ball, Helen L. (2002). Reasons to bed-share: why parents sleep with their infants. Journal of Reproductive and Infant Psychology 20(4): 207-222.
- Ball, Helen L. (2001). Triadic bed-sharing and infant temperature. Ambulatory Child Health 28(1): 55-58.
- Ball, Helen, Hooker, Elaine & Kelly, Peter J. (2000). Parent-Infant Cosleeping: fathers' roles and perspectives. Infant and Child Development 9(2): 67-74.
- Hooker, Elaine, Ball, Helen L. & Kelly, Peter J. (2000). Sleeping like a baby: parent-infant cosleeping in North Tees, England. Medical Anthropology 19: 203-222.
- Ball, Helen L., Hooker Elaine & Kelly Peter J. (1999). Where will the baby sleep? Attitudes and practices of new and experienced parents regarding cosleeping with their new-born infants. American Anthropologist 101(1): 143-151.
- Ball HL & Hill CM (1998). Insurance ovulation, embryo mortality and twinning. Journal of Biosocial Science 31(2): 245-255.
- Ball, Helen L. (1997). Daddy’s girl? Anomalous social rank of a female rhesus macaque. Folia Primatologica 68(44-49).
- Hill, Catherine M. & Ball, Helen L. (1996). Abnormal Births & Other Ill-Omens: The adaptive case for Infanticide. Human Nature 7(4): 381-402.
- Ball HL & Swedlund AC (1996). Poor Women and Bad Mothers: placing the blame for turn-of-the-century infant mortality. Northeast Anthropology 52: 31-52.
- Ball, Helen L. & Hill, Catherine M. (1996). Twin Infanticide Revisited. Current Anthropology 37(5): 856-863.
Journal papers: professional
- Ball, Helen L. (2009). Bed-sharing and co-sleeping: Research overview. NCT New Digest 48: 22-27.
Other media: research
- Klingaman (now Tully), KP. & Ball, HL. (2009). Practicing evolutionary medicine in a postnatal ward: Ameliorating iatrogenic obstacles to breastfeeding. Anthropology News
Other publications: research
- Ball, Helen L, Blair, Peter S. & Ward-Platt, Martin P. (2004). 'New' practice of bedsharing and risk of SIDS (letter). Lancet 363: 1558.
- Blair, Peter, Fleming, Peter J., Ball, Helen L. & Ward-Platt, Martin P. (2001). Surprised by publication (letter). Pediatrics 108(5).
- Ball, Helen L. (2002). Risks to infants of sharing the parental bed: a physiological & behavioural study. Final report to Scottish Cot Death Trust. Glasgow.
- Ball, Helen L., Hooker, Elaine & Heslop, Emma (2000). Night-time caregiving and parent-infant sleep strategies in the North East of England. Final Report to Foundation for the Study of Infant Deaths. London.
- ISIS: Infant Sleep Information Source
- The Parent-Infant Sleep Lab (http://www.dur.ac.uk/sleep.lab)
Available for media contact about:
- Subject specialists: Evolutionary paediatrics
- Medical and health research topics: Breastfeeding
- Human biology and development: Infant care practices
- Infant and child health: Sleep and obesity
- Medical and health research topics: Health consequences of sleep loss
- 2011: ESRC Follow-on Fund: Infant Sleep Information Source (£125,361)
- 2011: Infant Sleep Information Source (ISIS) Project (£96087.00 from Esrc)
- 2008: BradICS (£10122.00 from Foundation for Study of Infant Deaths)
- 2008: Foundation for the Study of Infant Death (FSID): Bradford Infant Care Study (£78,554)
- 2007: KTP - REDCAR & CLEVELAND PCT (£114416.00 from Redcar & Cleveland PCT)
- 2007: NECOT (£229875.45 from Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Trust)
- 2007: NIHR Research for the Patient Benefit Programme: NECOT Trial (£263,104)
- 2003: IMPACT OF BEDDING-IN ON BREASTFEEDING RATES (£1240.00 from The Wellcome Trust)
- 2003: NEW DATA COLLECTION METHODOLOGY (£5825.62 from Foundation for Study of Infant Deaths)
- 2003: THE ROLE OF PARENTS (£4950.00 from Foundation for Study of Infant Deaths)
- 2002: BEDDING-IN ON THE POSTNATAL WARD (£144558.00 from Babes in Arms)
- 2001: BEDDING IN ON THE POST-NATAL WARD - PILOT STUDY (£2710.00 from Community Foundation)
- 2000: Co-bedding in twins (£70358.00 from Foundation for Study of Infant Deaths)
- 2000: FELLOWSHIP - DR H.L. BALL (£4532.00 from The Leverhulme Trust)
- 1999: RISKS TO INFANTS OF SHARING THE PARENTAL BED (£64607.00 from Scottish Cot Death Trust)
- 1998: PARENT-INFANT SLEEP STRATEGIES (£59004.00 from Foundation for Study of Infant Deaths)