Hannah Tello is a PhD candidate in Applied Psychology at the University of Massachusetts Lowell, U.S. After a decade in reproductive health and sexuality education, she transitioned her focus to maternal-infant health research after the birth of her son, Pax.
Hannah’s work is specifically and transparently directed towards centering parental empowerment in the perinatal period, which necessitates the creation and enforcement of prevention and accountability measures for providers who participate in or perpetuate mistreatment.
Her current research project utilizes Narrative Self Storytelling and Analysis to explore the role of birth trauma, obstetric mistreatment and postpartum wellbeing, especially in the context of the infant feeding relationship. Her work explores both the content and structure of birth and postpartum narratives; in particular, her work illuminates the ways that the social pressure to demonstrate “good mothering” impact both the content and structure of the birth stories we tell, especially when those stories include trauma. Variations of her studies have most recently been featured at the International Society for Research on Human Milk and Lactation in Tokyo, Japan and the World Congress on Controversies in Obstetrics, Gynecology and Infertility in London, UK. Hannah has also recently developed and deployed a training initiative for birth workers around the creation of Universal Trauma Precautions.
When she isn’t working on data and birth-related projects, she dresses up like a taco for Let’s Taco Bout Sex each Tuesday to distribute reproductive health materials and taco-shaped ice cream to students on her campus, just to keep one foot firmly in sexuality education.