Jill Demirci, assistant professor, has been named the recipient of the 2021 Award of Excellence in Research from the Association of Women’s Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses.
Demirci’s research and service has focused on improving community and clinical support for breastfeeding, and eliminating barriers to breastfeeding. Her program of research particularly derives from the premise that breastfeeding and the provision of human milk has significant, long-lasting, and dose-dependent benefits for the health and wellbeing of mothers/lactating parents and their children. The specific goal of Demirci’s research is to inform practice and policy changes that increase the availability and quality of breastfeeding support, remove structural barriers to breastfeeding, and ultimately improve the lives of birthing and lactating people and their families.
With her research team, Demirci has developed and trialed interventions for frequently encountered breastfeeding challenges, including perceived insufficient milk supply—the most common reason for early, unintended breastfeeding cessation. Her current research examines the feasibility and impact of several mHealth/telehealth breastfeeding education and support interventions. These interventions challenge current clinical and research paradigms related to breastfeeding support—a shift away from basic prenatal education and postpartum problems-based counseling to personalized, anticipatory and preventative support.