The Pregnancy and Perinatology Branch (PPB) also focuses on aspects of perinatal, neonatal, and infant care that may influence the long-term health of children and mothers.
For instance, the Branch supports studies to elucidate the underlying mechanisms of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) and its probable cause(s). Additional research strives to identify infants at risk of SIDS and develop preventive approaches.
You can learn more about the research agenda of the SIDS program at NICHD by reading Targeting SIDS: A Strategic Plan, which is one of several NICHD strategic planning documents.
The Branch also provides scientific expertise and a research foundation for the Safe to Sleep® campaign—formerly known as the Back to Sleep campaign, which aims to educate parents, caregivers, and health care providers about ways to reduce the risk of SIDS and other sleep-related causes of infant death.
Safe to Sleep® is an expansion of the original Back to Sleep campaign, which started in 1994 and was named for its recommendation that healthy babies be placed to sleep on their backs to reduce the risk of SIDS, a recommendation that resulted from NICHD-supported research. Since that campaign started, the percentage of infants placed on their backs to sleep has increased dramatically, and overall U.S. SIDS rates have declined by more than 50%.
The PPB uses a variety of funding mechanisms to support the following multicenter research networks and projects: