PhD, RN, IBCLC
Health Promotion & Development
Dr. Demirci’s research focuses on diverse aspects of human lactation, with an emphasis on clinical and behavioral interventions to address uptake, duration, and intensity of chest/breastfeeding. She is especially interested in the design and implementation of mHealth breastfeeding support interventions, addressing policy and infrastructure barriers to breastfeeding goal attainment, and the etiology, prevention and treatment of perceived insufficient milk.
Dr. Demirci has received NIH, foundation, and institutional funding in the following areas: lactation trajectories and problems among parents of late preterm infants, complementary and alternative therapies to address perceived insufficient milk, SMS- and telelactation-based lactation support, lactation supportive policies and practices in child care centers, and antenatal milk expression among birthing parents of healthy and surgical infants. Dr. Demirci has methodological expertise in qualitative methods and behavioral intervention research/RCTs with birthing and lactating people.
Dr. Demirci is Co-Director of the Maternal/Perinatal and Reproductive Health Research Hub at the School of Nursing and the Chair/Director of the BSN Honors Program. She leads an ongoing lactation education initiative for students at the School of Nursing.
Dr. Demirci’s clinical background is as postpartum staff nurse at UPMC Magee-Womens Hospital and an International Board-Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) at UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh Primary Care Oakland. She holds a secondary appointment in the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine.
Dr. Demirci teaches NUR 1250C and NUR1057 (Nursing Care of Mothers, Newborns and Families Clinical) and NUR0005 (Honors Freshman Seminar).
Dr. Demirci has held leadership positions at the national, regional/state, and local/university levels. Nationally, she has served on the Association of Women’s Health, Obstetric, and Neonatal Nurses (AWHONN) Public Policy Committee, Editorial Advisory Board, Nominating Committee, and Research Advisory Panel. She is a grant and abstract reviewer for AWHONN and American Nurses Foundation (ANF). Dr. Demirci serves on the editorial boards of several journals, including BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth and Journal of Perinatal and Neonatal Nursing (contributing editor) and reviews manuscripts for journals within her area of expertise. She has contributed to and reviewed lactation support position statements and clinical practice guidelines for AWHONN and the International Lactation Consultant Association, respectively.
Regionally, she is a board member of the Mid-Atlantic Mothers’ Milk Bank and the Pittsburgh-based Human Milk Science Institute and Biobank. As part of her secondary appointment within the Department of Pediatrics, Dr. Demirci participates in programmatic improvement for research fellows. At the School of Nursing, she currently serves or served on the following committees and organizations: Sigma Eta Chapter; Admission, Progression, & Graduation; Schoolwide Curriculum; and Honors Committee.