NICHD Labor and Delivery Research Goals

Healthy, safe labor and delivery are fundamental to maximizing health for women and infants in both the short term and the long term.

NICHD research on labor and delivery addresses the following topics, among others:

  • Basic biology of labor and how labor progresses
  • How to determine the appropriate time for a cesarean delivery when labor does not progress
  • New, evidence-based definitions of labor protraction and arrest
  • Basic and clinical studies to improve birth outcomes
  • Long-term health outcomes of elective cesarean deliveries and labor inductions
  • Prevention and management of preterm labor
  • Childbirth practices to prevent mother-to-child transmission of HIV and other infectious diseases
  • Efficacy and safety of vaginal birth after cesarean delivery
  • Effects of different types of childbirth on maternal health
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