Tracy R. Nichols, Ph.D.


Lived mothering captures the experience of daily mothering. Becoming a mother was one of the most significant events in my life and has shaped me in ways I can only begin to describe. The intersection of lived mothering and health, specifically health promotion, has become the linchpin of my academic research and informs my teaching.

This website is designed to examine the intersection of lived mothering and health through my research and teaching experiences. While there are many blogs that chronicle the lived experiences of individual mothers and there are academic websites devoted to maternal health and/or reproductive health, I've yet to find one that combines the two. Here you will find my informal writings about my work; accounts of my research as it unfolds; my discussions of other peoples' work (both in academia and advocacy)  related to lived mothering, as well as various resources from my teaching and my research.

After many years of engaging in large-scale evaluation studies, I have happily reinvented my research career to focus on qualitative methodology and advocacy. Methodology needs to follow research questions and several years ago I found myself asking what and how questions. I found myself curious about the experiences of women who mother, particularly marginalized mothers. I wanted to understand not only how public health can better serve mothers but how institutions, such as education and public health and motherhood itself, may be hindering women's health. I wanted to understand how mothers conceptualize health; to understand what health means to women who are actively engaged in the caring of others. As I began to answer these questions, my desire to advocate for mothers and to transform institutions has grown. 

My work and my identity as a mother are inextricably linked. As a qualitative researcher, I position myself within my research. My identity as a mother is also an important aspect in my teaching and informs both how I teach and how I mentor. All of the above can be found on this website. 

I hope you enjoy what you find on this website and that it proves helpful to you personally and/or professionally.