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Ms Michele Freed

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Member of the Department of Anthropology  


Michele completed her B.A. in Cultural Anthropology in 2014 at Mount Holyoke College in Massachusetts, USA. She then earned her MSc in Evolutionary Medicine (with Distinction) in 2017 at Durham University in the United Kingdom, and was awarded the annual dissertation prize from the Anthropology Department. Michele is currently a PhD candidate at Durham University and is part of the Durham Infancy & Sleep Centre team.

Michele’s research examines midwife-led maternity care in the UK, and focuses on care and interventions in the third stage of labour in childbirth (the delivery of the placenta). Her work explores midwives’ education, experiences, and opinions of third stage of labour management, as well as the views and experiences of patients who give birth under midwife-led care. Michele’s research touches on themes of choice and informed consent, conceptions of risk and risk construction, evidence-based practice and clinical guidance, antenatal education, and medicalisation in maternity care. 

Research interests

  • Pregnancy and antenatal education
  • Care in childbirth and birth interventions
  • Breastfeeding
  • Birth physiology and hormones
  • Midwifery care in the UK
  • Clinical health guidance and evidence-based medicine
  • Public Health