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Ensuring the Long-Term Health of Mother and Children

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The Pregnancy and Perinatology Branch (PPB) also focuses on aspects of birth, newborn, and infant care that may influence the long-term health of children and mothers, such as:

  • Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)
  • Neurodevelopmental outcome for high-risk infants

For SIDS, the Branch supports studies to find the underlying mechanisms and its probable causes, ways to identify infants at risk of SIDS, and potential prevention strategies. In addition, the Branch provides scientific expertise and a research foundation for the Safe to Sleep® campaign – an expansion of the original Back to Sleep campaign started in 1994 – which aims to educate parents, caregivers, and healthcare providers about ways to reduce the risk of SIDS and other sleep-related causes of infant death.

Safe to Sleep® is named for its recommendation from NICHD-supported research that healthy babies be placed to sleep on their backs to reduce the risk of SIDS. Since the 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%. You can learn more about the research agenda of the SIDS program at NICHD by reading Targeting SIDS: A Strategic Plan.

The PPB uses a variety of funding mechanisms to support the following multicenter research networks and projects:

BOND National Institues of Health Home Home Division of Intramural Population Health Research