Improving the health of mothers during pregnancy and of their fetuses and children has been a primary goal of NICHD since its founding in 1962.
Various NICHD components conduct and support research to advance scientific evidence and develop new information and treatments to improve pregnancy outcomes for mothers and infants.
Some of the goals for NICHD related to pregnancy include studies to:
- Understand the biology of pregnancy at a molecular level.
- Help define an optimal pregnancy in terms of fetal, maternal, and paternal biology.
- Advance knowledge and treatment of premature labor and preterm birth.
- Evaluate environmental effects on the developing fetus.
- Advance training for scientists.
- Advance the development of technology, including the application of genomics, proteomics, and bioinformatics for pregnancy research.
- Further research on the appropriate use of medication in pregnancy.