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Professor Fionnuala McAuliffe


Prof. Fionnuala Mculiffe

Professor Fionnuala McAuliffe

Professor Fionnuala McAuliffe


Head of Women’s and Child’s Health & Head of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at UCD


Fionnuala McAuliffe is Professor of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at National Maternity Hospital Dublin. She graduated from UCD and following initial training in Dublin, moved to the UK. At King’s College Hospital, London she did a fellowship in fetal medicine and subsequently undertook maternal and fetal subspecialisation at Mount Sinai Hospital, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada.

Professor McAuliffe then returned to UCD and the National Maternity Hospital where she is a consultant Obstetrician & Gynaecologist and a sub-specialist in maternal and fetal medicine. She is Director of the maternal and fetal medicine subspecialisation programme. She is the Head of Women’s and Child’s Health and Head of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at UCD.


She has been involved and continues to head up, very important research in areas such as:

  • Nutrition in pregnancy
  • Diabetes in pregnancy
  • Prenatal ultrasound
  • Prenatal diagnosis

Professor Fionnuala Mc Auliffe Research

The Professor’s research has been supported by various grants, from both the European Union and the Health Research Board of Ireland. Dr. Rhona Mahony, the current Master of Holles Street, said in a feature in the Irish Medical Times on the 14th March 2013:

That there are some “fantastic researchers” across the hospital, including Prof. Fionnuala McAuliffe, who has been leading research into low glycaemic index diet in pregnancy and which recently received an award at the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine (SMFM) annual meeting in San Francisco.

Exercise During Pregnancy

In 2011, Professor Fionnuala McAuliffe’s and her team’s research, revealed that pregnant women in Ireland were not keeping fit. It does seem that there are some conflicting views about exercise during pregnancy, however the following statement from the Professor sums up the issue quite well:

“There are significant benefits to mild and moderate exercise while pregnant. However, strenuous exercise during pregnancy should be avoided as it has been linked to pre-term birth and low birth-weight. Regular exercise during pregnancy helps better prepare women for labour and delivery, and may also offer long-term benefits for the baby. Moderate exercise during pregnancy helps reduce the risk of pre-eclampsia and gestational diabetes, less gestational weight gain and less somatic complaints including insomnia and low mood.”

Weight in Pregnancy

Her research in healthy pregnancies has also focused on weight gain during pregnancy. It has also focused on the fact that a number of women are already overweight when they become pregnant. Her research team surveyed 621 women, of which they found that 38% were overweight pre-pregnancy and 21% were obese. If you would like to read more about this just click on the link Professor Fionnuala McAuliffe’s research.

Diet in pregnancy

Prof. Fionnuala McAuliffe and Ciara McGowan studied the importance of diet in pregnancy, honing in on the specific dietary and nutritional needs of pregnant women, to help them achieve the best health for both themselves and their babies. These days the awareness and appreciation of the long-term implications of prenatal nutrition has increased. Both medical practitioners and lay people, understand that prenatal nutrition will go on to affect the health of both the infant and mother long after pregnancy.


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40 weeks onwards


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All articles on the blog and website are intended as information only. Please do not consider any of the information provided here as a substitute for medical advice. At all times seek medical advice directly with your own doctor and medical team.


This website was formerly Merrion Fetal Health. The clinic has undergone a rebrand and is now known as Merrion Ultrasound.