Shelley Swann Blankenship Thibeau, PhD, RNC-NIC

Adjunct Professor
Shelley Swann Blankenship Thibeau
Career Highlights
  • 32 years+ experience caring for preterm infants and their families
  • Program of research is breastmilk immunology and preterm infant child health
  • Mentor DNP and MSN students attending universities across the Gulf South

Dr. Shelley Thibeau is an adjunct professor in the graduate nursing program who uses her award-winning research and nursing-leadership skills to elevate the quality of education in her students. In her 30+ years as an RN, she’s worked diligently as a senior RN researcher and clinical coordinator to improve the health of mothers and preterm infants.

Dr. Thibeau has given oral and poster presentations regionally, nationally, and internationally on a number of topics including: preterm babies and their mothers’ health and breast milk. Current projects include how the immune components of a mother’s milk are influenced by maternal infant t variables, how to increase milk supply, milk use as oral care for low-birth-weight babies, breast milk storage, and parental stress in the neonatal intensive care unit.

Dr. Thibeau extends her leadership skills to mentoring students in FNP and DNP nursing programs in specific activities on the following topics: Parental Stress in the NICU- An Integrated Review, The effect of NICU lighting on preterm infant growth and development- An Integrated Review, Hypertension Management among MediCare Ambulatory Patients, An Integrated Review of Cue-Based Feedings in the NICU, Evidenced Based Nursing Interventions for Infants with Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome in the NICU- An Integrated Review, Breastfeeding the Preterm Infant- An Integrated Review.

She’s written and received funding for two Vanderbilt Institute for Clinical and Translations Research CTSA Awards. The first was for, Relationships Among Maternal Stress and Immune Components of Mothers Milk. The second Vanderbitt award was given for a Feasibility Study on Collection, Storage and Analysis of Preterm Breastmilk Immune Factors. Dr.Thibeau also wrote the grant and received funding for the Ochsner Excellence Fund: Parents Empowering Every Parent Support (PEEPs).

Her recent research includes topics surrounding workplace spirituality, an express bank for milk biospecimens, an infant/child health database, and a pilot study to asses the feasibility of implementing non-contact, low-frequency ultrasound in the management of suspected deep tissue injuries.

Dr. Thibeau’s a current member of the American Nurses Association (2016), Academy of Neonatal Nursing (2012), International Society for Researchers of Human Milk and Lactation (2012), Southern Nursing Research Society (2011), Sigma Theta Tau- Epsilon Nu Chapter (2007), and the National Neonatal Association of Nurses (2002).

A major key to infant child population health is mothers’ milk yet Louisiana state continues to have one of the lowest breastfeeding rates in the nation. Our mothers need scientific evidence of how their milk can protect their infant for life to be able to make informed feeding decisions for their infants.

Courses Taught

16F-NURS-G735-WVF - Advanced Research Methods
NURS 732 Population Health Management
17S-NURS-G724-WUD-Ouctomes Measurement & Data Management

Published Works

Bazzano, A., Litrell, L., Brandt, A., Thibeau, S., Ley-Thriemer, K. Theall, K. (2016). Health provider experiences with galactagogues to support breastfeeding: a cross sectional study. Journal of Multidisciplinary Healthcare.
Bazzanno, A., Hoffer, R., Thibeau, S., Gillispie, V., Jacobs, M., Theall, K. (2016). A review of herbal and pharmaceutical galactagogues for breastfeeding. The Ochsner Journal. TOJ-16-0012.R1.
Bazzano, A., Thibeau, S., Brandt, A., Theall, K. (2016). Mothers’ experiences with using galactagogues for lactation: An exploratory cross sectional study. Abstract from Breastfeeding International Conference. International Breastfeeding Journal.
Thibeau, S., D’Apolito, K., Minnick, A. S., Dietrich, M., & Groer, M. (2015). Relationships of maternal stress with milk immune components in African American mothers of healthy term infants. Breastfeeding Medicine. DOI: 10.1089/bfm.2015.0117.
Groer, M., Gregory, K., Louis-Jacques, A., Thibeau, S., & Walker, A. (2015). The very low birth weight infant microbiome and childhood health. Birth Defects Research (Part C). DOI: 10.1002/bdrc.21115.
Thibeau, S., D’Apolito, K. Minnick, A. Deitrich, M., & Groer, M. (2015). Dissertation: Relationships among Maternal Stress and Immune Components of Mothers’ Milk. March 2015, Vanderbilt University School of Nursing, Nashville Tennessee. (Abstract available upon request).


PhD, Vanderbilt University School of Nursing
MSN, Vanderbilt University School of Nursing
BSN, LSUHSC School of Nursing