• Germany was the first country to publish its findings from the BS survey through the country coordinators (Marina Weckend, see below) Masters thesis.
  • Talk about B3 on the Midwifery Conference (“Hebammenkongress”) of the German Midwives Society (DHV) in May 2016.

Country Coordinator

Frederike Biermann

Country Members

Dr. Mechthild Gross

Mechthild has been a midwifery researcher for more than 30 years. After training as a qualified nurse and midwife, and a BSc and MSc in psychology at the Universities of Koblenz-Landau and Constance, Germany, Mechthild graduated from the University of Bremen with a PhD in 2001. In 2009, she submitted her post-doctoral thesis (Habilitation) at Hannover Medical School and became professor in 2015.

She founded the Midwifery Research and Education Unit at Hannover Medical School in 2001 and has been the head of the research group since then. Since 2009, Mechthild has been head of the European Master of Science in Midwifery programme at Hannover. In addition to supervising PhD’s, she supervised 36 master theses of students who conducted their MSc projects in Bangladesh, Belgium, Canada, Germany, the Netherlands, Iceland, Switzerland, Thailand, and the United Kingdom.

The main areas of research are onset of labour and its various symptoms, early labour, labour duration as a dependent process, attitudes of women and clinicians, interinstitutional variations of perinatal outcomes, oxytocin augmentation during labour, and health related outcomes during labour and birth.

Mechthild has conducted several multicentre-studies funded by the German Research Council (DFG), FP7, and H2020. Currently, she is the principal investigator of the German arm of the H2020 ALERT consortium (2020-2024), led by Prof. C. Hanson, Karolinska Stockholm. The aim is to develop and evaluate a multifaceted intervention to reduce in-facility perinatal mortality and morbidity through a multidisciplinary approach in Benin, Malawi, Tanzania and Uganda.

Mechthild was the vice chair and German representative on the Management Committee of the COST Action IS0907 Childbirth cultures, concerns and consequences, led by Prof. Soo Downe. She was the German representative on the Management Committee of the COST Action IS1405 (2014-18) Building Intrapartum Research Through Health (BIRTH), which was also led by Professor Soo Downe. She is the German representative on the Management Committee of the COST Action CA18211 (2019-2023) Perinatal Mental Health and Birth-Related Trauma, (DEVoTION).

Mechthild contributed to the Lancet Stillbirth Series, the WHO recommendations on intrapartum care, the recommendations on non-clinical interventions to reduce unnecessary caesarean section, and the German national health care aim “Around Childbirth”. She is a founding member of the International Early Labor Research Group and keeps her clinical commitment to midwifery once a week.  

Mechthild participated in the B3 survey since its beginning. The project was partly managed  between 2014-2018 by Mechthild and Marina Weckend who worked at that time at the Midwifery Research and Education Unit at Hannover Medical School. 


Contact Details for Hannover Medical School (MHH)

Medizinische Hochschule Hannover

AG Hebammenwissenschaft 


30625 Hannover


Tel.: +49 511 532-6971, Fax: +49 511 532-6191

Prof. Dr. Mechthild M. Gross

Leitung AG Hebammenwissenschaft

Frederike Biermann