Shutdowns and restrictions early in the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted contraceptive services, abortion access, and other sexual and reproductive health care across the globe, new research shows. In many places, providers shifted toward telemedicine; in the United States, more women received medication abortions. But women from disadvantaged groups faced more obstacles to receiving care as the…Read More
The Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) supports research on maternal health and pregnancy outcomes, with the goal of preventing and treating pregnancy-related complications and reducing maternal mortality.
Infants born during the pandemic—regardless of whether their mothers had COVID-19 during pregnancy—scored slightly lower on certain tests of neurodevelopment at six months old, compared to a similar group of infants born before the pandemic, according to a study by researchers at Columbia University and the Columbia Population Research Center.1 The findings suggest that children…Read More
Drug- and alcohol-related death rates among pregnant and recently pregnant American women increased sharply between 2015 and 2019, faster than among women of childbearing age in general, new research shows. “We need to broaden our view and look beyond complications of childbirth and pregnancy to fully understand the threats to recently pregnant women’s lives,” says…Read More
In the United States, Black-white disparities in maternal mortality—deaths related to pregnancy or childbirth—may be larger than previously reported, new research shows. Closing the gap involves addressing structural racism—that is, those aspects of social, political, economic, and health care systems that reinforce inequity, researchers say. Because pregnancy is riskier to women’s health than abortion, state…Read More
The NICHD Decoding Maternal Morbidity Data Challenge has launched! NICHD is seeking innovative approaches to secondary analyses of data collected from the Nulliparous Pregnancy Outcomes Study: Monitoring Mothers-to-be (nuMoM2b). Using fresh and unique methods of computational analysis, data mining, or learning approaches, Challenge innovators can help identify factors and interventions that can reduce maternal morbidity and severe maternal morbidity….Read More
Racism-related stress may help explain why Black women in the United States are over 50% more likely to deliver a premature baby than white women. Just over 14% of Black women have premature births compared with 9% of white women.1 These stark racial disparities have been documented for more than a century, reports Catherine Cubbin…Read More