Wibke Jonas

Assistant senior lecturer

About me

I am midwife by training and I received my degree from the Rheinische Friedrich Wilhelms University of Bonn, Germany in 1996. I received my PhD in September 2009 from the Department of Women’s and Children’s Health at Karolinska Institutet (KI). For my thesis, I have studied the effects of different labor ward routines, including pain relief by epidural analgesia and augmentation of labor through intrapartum oxytocin administration on breastfeeding related outcomes.

I then conducted post-doctoral studies in the Department of Psychology, University of Toronto, Canada (09/2011 - 02/2014), working with Professors Alison Fleming and Meir Steiner on a prospective, longitudinal and multi-center cohort study entitled “Maternal Adversity, Vulnerability and Neurodevelopment (MAVAN)”. This project was designed to understand the pre- and postnatal influences on maternal health and wellbeing on child socio-emotional, behavioral and cognitive development, focusing on biological, genetic and environmental influences. 

Currently, I am holding an assistant professorship (2018-2019) at the Department of Women's and Children's Health, which is funded through the Strategic Area Health Care Science (SFO-V) at KI. I have recently become research group leader. My main focus in research, which is funded by the Swedish Scientific Council (VR) is the “Immediate Parent- Infant Skin-to-Skin Contact Study (IPISTOSS)”, a randomized controlled multicenter trial where we study the effects of skin-to-skin contact after birth in very preterm infants and their parents on breastfeeding outcomes and on many biological and psychological aspects of child development. I am the primary PI on this grant.  

Throughout the years, I have been working as a midwife at the ante-, labour- and postnatal wards at BB Stockholm, Danderyds Hospital and at BB Stockhom family. 

Since 2009, I have also been working as a lecturer at the Department of Women’s and Children’s Health at KI, where I have dedicated my efforts on pedagogical development and teaching within the midwifery program. For example, I have been leader for the Scientific methods and the Master’s thesis courses. I have also been responsible for developing the course “Intercultural perspectives on reproductive health”, a web-based course which was solely taught in English and together with students from Sweden (KI), the Netherlands and Malawi.

I have received funding from various funding agencies including the Swedish Council for Work Life and Social Research (FORTE), the Fernström Foundation at KI and Sällskapet Barnavård at Karolinska Hospital, and by a Canadian Institutes for Health Research grant (Fleming, P.I.), Vetenskapsrådet (VR) and Kempe Carlgrenska Foundation. 

Languages: Swedish, English, German.


1996 Registered Midwife, Rheinische Friedrich Wilhelms Universität, University Hospital, Bonn, Germany


Doctoral degree

2009–09-21 Thesis: “Mother and newborn adaptations after birth: Influence of administration of oxytocin and epidural analgesia during labour”, Karolinska Institutet

Academic honours, awards and prizes

‘Hot topic’ presentation – 9 out of over 100 abstracts were selected for a plenary presentation at the ‘Parental Brain Conference’ in Regensburg, Germany (11-14/7 2013).

Winner of a ‘Best Scientific Poster Award’ at the Connaught Global Challenge International Symposium “Investing in Mothers and Children” (Fraser Mustard Institute for Human Development), University of Toronto 27-29/9 2012.

Travel award for “Northeastern ADVANCE Future Faculty Workshop” at the World Conference on Neurohypophysial Hormones, Boston, Northeastern University (26-30/7/2011). Unfortunately, I had to cancel participation.