Dr Amy Brown Biography


Dr Amy Brown is an Associate professor in Child Public Health in the Department of Public Health, Policy and Social Sciences at Swansea University, UK. Her research explores the psychology of maternal and infant health and wellbeing, particularly during the first 1001 days of pregnancy and the first two years of life. She has a particular expertise in infant nutrition, but her research also explores the wider yet inter related issues of normal baby behaviour, sleep, parenting and postnatal depression.

As part of her role, Dr Brown leads the MSc in Child Public Health – an interdisciplinary programme which explores the evidence base behind child public health policy in the UK and internationally. This programme is particularly popular amongst health professionals and graduate students alike and has attracted students from South Korea, Nigeria, Canada, Guatemala and Ghana to name a few.



  • ESRC funded PhD Psychology Swansea University March 2010: ‘Maternal control of early milk feeding: the role of attitudes, intentions and experiences.’
  • MSc Econ Social Research Methods (distinction) Swansea University, July 2005
  • BSc Psychology First class (hons) Swansea University, July 2003

Previous Work history

  • Programme Director Early Childhood Studies: Swansea University 2011 – 2013
  • Senior Lecturer Early Childhood Studies: Swansea University: 2007 – 2013
  • Lecturer in Psychology, Counselling and Health: Swansea Met University: 2005 – 2008
  • Research & Teaching Assistant, Psychology Department, Swansea University 2004 – 2007
  • Maternity leave: 07/06 to 03/07; 09/08 – 05/09; 07/10 – 05/11


Brown, A. (2016). Breastfeeding Uncovered: Who really decides how we feed our babies? Pinter  & Martin: London

Brown, A. (2016). What Do Women Really Want? Lessons for Breastfeeding Promotion and Education. Breastfeeding Medicine, 11(3), 102-110.

Hicks, S. & Brown, A. (2016) Higher Facebook use predicts greater body image dissatisfaction during pregnancy: The role of self-comparison’ Midwifery (in press).

Brown, A., Rance, J., & Bennett, P. (2016). Understanding the relationship between breastfeeding and postnatal depression: the role of pain and physical difficulties. Journal of advanced nursing, 72(2), 273-282.

Brown, A. (2016) The Impact of Maternal Weight, Body Image and Eating Behavior on Infant Feeding Decisions during the First Year. In John Worobey (Ed.), Infant Feeding: Parental Perceptions, Behaviors, and Health Effects. Nova Publishers.

Jordan, S., Murphy, F. A., Boucher, C., Davies, S., Brown, A., Watkins, A., … & Morgan, G. (2016). High dose versus low dose opioid epidural regimens for pain relief in labour. The Cochrane Library.

Rapley, G., Forste, R., Cameron, S., Brown, A. & Wright, C. (2015). Baby-Led Weaning: A New Frontier?. ICAN: Infant, Child, & Adolescent Nutrition 7(2), 77-85.

Brown, A. (2015) Breast is best but not in my back yard: Societal influences on breastfeeding practice. Invited review: Trends in Molecular Medicine 21(2), 57-59.doi:1016/j.molmed.2014.11.006

Brown, A. & Harries, V. (2015). Infant Sleep and Night Feeding Patterns During Later Infancy: Association with Breastfeeding Frequency, Daytime Complementary Food Intake, and Infant Weight. Breastfeeding Medicine, 150514131003007

Brown, A. (2015) Differences in eating behaviour, well-being and personality between mothers following baby-led & traditional weaning styles. Maternal and Child Nutrition doi:1111/mcn.12172

Brown A. & Rowan, H. (2015) Maternal and infant factors associated with reasons for introducing solid foods. Maternal and Child Nutrition DOI: 10.1111/mcn.12166

Brown, A. (2014) Invited commentary on ‘In-hospital formula use increases breastfeeding cessation among mothers
intending to exclusively breastfeed’ Evidence Based Nursing doi:10.1136/eb-2014-101945

Brown, A., & Lee, M. D. (2014). Early influences on child satiety‐responsiveness: the role of weaning style. Pediatric obesity DOI: 10.1111/j.2047-6310.2013.00207.x

Brown, A.E. & Lee, M.D. (2013) Experiences of mothers following baby-led weaning: Developmenal readiness for foods. Maternal and Child Nutrition, doi:1111/j.1740-8709.2011.00360.x.

Brown, A. & Jordan, S. (2014). Active management of the third stage of labour may reduce breastfeeding due to pain & physical complications. Breastfeeding Medicine doi:1089/bfm.2014.0048

Brown, A., Rance, J., & Warren, L. (2014) Body image concerns during pregnancy are associated with shorter breastfeeding. Midwifery DOI: 10.1016/j.midw.2014.06.003

Brown, A., & Arnott, B. (2014). Breastfeeding & Early Parenting: The Importance of Infant-Led, Responsive Style. PloS one, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0083893

Brown, A. & Davies, R. (2014) Fathers’ experiences of supporting breastfeeding: challenges for breastfeeding promotion and education. Maternal and Child Nutrition, doi: 10.1111/mcn.12129

A. (2014) Maternal restraint and external eating behaviour are associated with formula use or shorter breastfeeding duration. Appetite doi: 10.1016/j.appet.2013.12.022

Brown, A. (2014). Maternal trait personality and breastfeeding duration: the importance of confidence and social support. Journal of advanced nursing, 70(3), 587-598.

Elford, L. & Brown, A. (2014) Exploring child-feeding style in childcare settings: how might nursery practitioners affect eating style and weight? Eating Behaviours (In press)

Arnott, B. & Brown, A. (2013) An exploration of parenting behaviours & attitudes during infancy: Association with maternal and infant characteristics. ICD 22, 349 – 361

Hanley, J., & Brown, A. (2013). Cultural variations in interpretation of postnatal illness: Jinn possession amongst Muslim communities. Community mental health journal, 1-6.

Onyebuchi-Iwudibia, A. & Brown, A. (2013) HIV and depression in Eastern Nigeria: The role of HIV-related stigma. AIDS care 26, 653 – 657

Brown, A.E. & Lee, M.D. (2013) Breastfeeding is associated with a maternal feeding style low in control from birth. Plos One, doi 10.1371/journal.pone.0054229

Brown, A.E. & Jordan, S. (2013) Impact of birth complications on breastfeeding duration: an internet survey. Journal of Advanced Nursing, doi 10.1111/j.1365-2648.2012.06067.x.

Brown, A.E. & Lee, M.D. (2012) Breastfeeding during the first year promotes satiety resopnsiveness in children aged 18 – 24 months. Pediatric Obesity, 7, 382 – 390.

Brown, A.E. & Johnston, R. (2012) Maternal experience of musculoskeletal pain during pregnancy and birth outcomes. Midwifery, 10.1016/j.midw.2013.01.002

Dowling, S. & Brown, A. (2012) Longer term breastfeeding: What are the issues and why does it matter? Breastfeeding Medicine, DOI: 10.1089/bfm.2012.0057

Johnston, R. G., & Brown, A. E. (2012). Maternal trait personality and childbirth: The role of extraversion and neuroticism. Midwifery.

Brown, A.E. & Lee, M.D. (2011) Maternal control during the weaning period: Differences between mothers following a baby-led or standard approach. Maternal and Child Health, 15(8), 1265-71

Brown A. E., Lee M.D. (2011) A descriptive study investigating the use and nature of baby-led weaning in a UK sample of mothers. Maternal and Child Nutrition, 7(1):34-47

Brown, A.E. & Lee, M.D. (2011) Maternal child-feeding style during the weaning period: association with infant weight and maternal eating style: Eating behaviour 12, 108 – 11.

Brown, A.E., Raynor, P. & Lee, M.D. (2011) Comparison of health professionals’ and mothers’ perceptions of factors that influence the decision to breast or bottle feed. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 67, 1993-2003.

Brown, A.E. & Lee, M.D. (2011) An exploration of the attitudes & experiences of mothers who breastfeed exclusively for 6 months: Breastfeeding Medicine 6, 197 – 204.

Brown, A.E., Raynor, P. & Lee, M.D. (2011) Young mothers who choose to breast feed: the importance of a supportive breast-feeding community. Midwifery, 27 (1), 53 – 59.

Brown, A.E., Raynor, P. & Lee, M.D. (2011) The development of a controlling maternal feeding style: a comparison of formula and breast feeding mothers. JHND, 24(2), 177-86.

Brown, A.E., Raynor, P. Benton, D. & Lee, M.D. (2011). Indices of Multiple Deprivation predict breastfeeding duration. European Journal of Public Health, 20 (2), 231 – 235.

Brown A. E., Lee M.D. (2011). Intended maternal control over milk feeding is measurable prenatally. Appetite, 55 (1), 166 – 167

Public engagement articles

Brown, A. (2016) The UK Launch Of The World Breastfeeding Trends Initiative Highlights Why we must work together to support breastfeeding. Huffington Post Parents 17/11/2016

Brown, A. (2106) We Must Keep Talking About Breastfeeding Until We Get The Investment New Mothers Deserve. Huffington Post Parents 02/11/2016

Brown, A. (2016) How the myth of the good baby is damaging breastfeeding. Huffington Post Parents 13/10/2016

Brown, A. (2016) Why Fed Will Never Be Best: The FIB Letting Our New Mothers Down. Huffington Post Parents 05/10/2016

Brown, A. (2016) Why getting babies into strict routines isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. The Conversation 29/09/16

Brown, A. (2016) Childhood obesity plan forgets about babies and toddlers. The Conversation. 19/08/2016

Brown, A. (2016) Traumatic breastfeeding experiences are the reason we must continue to promote it. The Conversation 05/08/2016

Brown, A. (2106) Breastfeeding older children might be uncommon but that doesn’t make it wrong. The Conversation 29/07/2016

Brown, A. (2016) Social media is putting pressure on pregnant woman to look perfect. The Conversation 13/07/2016

Brown, A. (2015). Milk supply and breastfeeding decisions: the effects of new mothers’ experiences. NCT Perspectives 29

Brown, A & Jordan, S. (2014) Breastfeeding and childbirth. Association of Breastfeeding Mothers Magazine

Brown, A. (2012) Breastfeeding and Obesity. Association of Breastfeeding Mothers magazine.


Recent Invited conference presentations

UNICEF Baby friendly conference 2016: Examining how society damages responsive breastfeeding

British Science Festival 2016: Breastfeeding Uncovered: Who really decides how we feed our babies?

Breastfeeding Festival (2016): Breastfeeding Uncovered: Who really decides how we feed our babies?

Durham Infant Sleep conference (2016): Infant sleep and solid foods

ILactation (2016): How psychosocial influences damage breast milk supply

ESRC Seminar series (2015): Breastfeeding and being a good mother

Gold Lactation (2015) Personality and breastfeeding

LATCH (2014) Breastfeeding and obesity


SURGE (£6, 800) Exploring population attitudes to breastfeeding (PI)

Welsh Crucible: (£7,659) Creative Motherhood: 2014 – 2015 (PI)

Welsh Crucible:(£5, 436) The culture of disgust: 2014 – 2015 (CI)

Swansea University PhD Bursary (£56,000) Developing early life strategies to tackle obesity: the impact of baby-led weaning on weight gain in the first 3 years: 2015 – 2017

NIHR HTA (£293,589) A novel peer-support intervention using Motivational Interviewing for breastfeeding maintenance: a UK feasibility study. 2014 – 2017 CI

Little Steps, Big Steps (£33,000) Parenting support for teenage mothers. 2014 – 2017. CI

CYPRN (£2,500) RDG: Importance of fathers. 2012 – 2013. CI

ESRC (£97,000) Postdoctoral fellowship: Maternal control of early milk feeding. PI

CYPRN (£2,500). RDG: Antenatal breastfeeding education. 2011 – 2012. PI

CYPRN (£2,500) RDG: Empathy in neonatal units. 2010 – 2011. CI/ PI

CYPRN (£7500) RDG: Infant feeding and medications. 2009 – 2012. CI

Book Start (£13,500). Importance of children’s reading. 2009 – 2011. PI

ESRC (£50,000) PhD Studentship: Influences on breastfeeding duration. 2005 – 2009. PI


Research Students


  1. Nutrition in Pregnancy: Midwives role. Alison Scouller, MPhil, awarded 2013
  2. Promoting Healthy Dietary Behaviour in Pregnancy.
 Lucie Warren, PhD. Awarded 2013.

 Current (first supervisor)

  1. Exploring the impact of childbirth on infant behaviour. Carmen Power, PhD.
  2. Nutrient intake using baby-led or traditional weaning style. Hannah Rowan, PhD.
  3. Cultural influences upon childhood obesity. Murhaf Legend, PhD
  4. Public Health advice in first 1001 days. Andrea Bevan. ProfD
  5. Appetite regulation, weight and introduction of solid foods. Sarah Jones, PhD.
  6. Examining attitudes to behavioural management of gestations diabetes. Zuna Almawali
  7. Culture preservation of the Choctaw Nation through HeadStart. Jenny Richard
  8. Understanding failure to attend antenatal appointments. Wdad Alanzay



  • Winner Swansea University Research Impact awards 2015 (public engagement) for ‘Nobody puts baby in the corner’ (bringing research findings to service users)
  • Runner up Swansea University Research Impact awards 2014 (health strand) for Breastfeeding and medications management
  • UoA3b Impact Lead
  • Lead REF2020 case study UoA3b
  • Contributor REF2014 case study UoA3b: Improved breastfeeding rates through evidence-based guideline changes
  • Significant global media engagement of research including mainstream newspapers, filming for news and documentaries, discussed on major TV shows and social media


Reviewing and editor experience

  • Editor International Breastfeeding Journal and Plos One
  • ESRC Peer Review College
  • ESRC DTC Review College
  • Journal Reviewer including BMJ; Pediatrics; BMC Pregnancy; Appetite; MCN; MCH; JAN;
  • Funding Reviewer ESRC; NIHR; New Zealand Health Research Council