Cathryn Britton
Senior Lecturer in Midwifery



Cathryn worked as a midwife and lecturer at various locations across England before coming to York as a lecturer on the BA (Hons) Midwifery Practice Programme. Cathryn has a particular interest in promoting normality in childbirth and enthusing student midwives to embrace the concept of skilled companionship.

She has studied Medical Anthropology at Degree and Masters level and has completed a PhD in Anthropology at the University of Durham, where she undertook a study of the experiences of women who breastfed short and long term.

Cathryn was awarded Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy in 2017.

Departmental roles

  • Lead Midwife for Education
  • Chair of Board of Studies  
  • Midwifery Scholarship Team Lead
  • Chair of Midwifery Managers and Education Group
  • Member of Departmental Management Team
  • Member of Making a Difference Committee
  • Member of the Strategic Partnership Group
  • Member of the Contract and Commissioning Group
  • Member of Departmental Fitness to Practice Committee
  • Member of Faculty Teaching and Learning Group
  • Member of the Curriculum Steering Group


Full publications list

  • Cochrane Review Britton C., McCormick FM., Renfrew MJ., Wade A., King SE., (2007) Support for breastfeeding mothers. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, Issue 1, 2007.


  • Britton, C. (2017) Breastfeeding: a natural phenomenon or a cultural construct? in Squire, C. (ed.) The Social Context of Birth (3rd edition). Oxford, Taylor Francis.
  • Britton, C. (1998) “Feeling letdown: An exploration of an embodied sensation associated with Breastfeeding”, in Nettleton, S and Watson, J (ed.) The Body in Everyday Life. London: Routledge.


  • Britton, C. (1998) The influence of antenatal information on breastfeeding experiences. British Journal of Midwifery, 6, 5, 312-15.
  • Britton, C. (1997) Letting it go, letting it flow: Women’s experiential accounts of the letdown reflex. Social Sciences in Health, 3, 176-86.
  • Britton, C. (1996) Learning about ‘the curse’: An anthropological perspective on the experience of menstruation. Women's Studies International Forum, 19 (6), 645-53.



  • Contributes to teaching on all modules of the BA Midwifery Practice programme

External activities


  • External Examiner for pre registration midwifery programme
  • External Examiner for post registration midwifery programme
  • Member of the Royal College of Midwives Leaders Forum
  • Member of Nursing and Midwifery Council Lead Midwife for Education Strategic Reference Group
  • Reviewer for British Journal of Midwifery
  • Reviewer for Social Science and Medicine Journal
  • Reviewer for Nurse Education Today Journal
  • Reviewer for Nurse Education in Practice Journal
  • Invited member of Periodic Review panels for other Higher Education Institutions



Invited talks and conferences

International Consultancy

Women4Health project - Between 2014 -2016 I was involved in a twining project with midwife teachers in Northern Nigeria. The aim of the project was to increase the number of female health workers in Northern Nigeria where maternal and child death rates are high.

Global Midwifery Twinning Project (Royal College of Midwives)

In October 2014, I was seconded to a four-week placement at the Cambodian Midwives Council in Phnom Penh to assist in strengthening midwifery education in Cambodia. I worked with members of the Cambodian Midwives Council to develop an assessment tool for a competency-based curriculum.


Contact details

Dr Cathryn Britton
Senior Lecturer in Midwifery

Tel: 01904 32(1652)