Pregnancy Loss: NICHD Research Goals

The NICHD conducts and supports research on pregnancy and disorders of pregnancy to find ways to treat and prevent pregnancy disorders, as well as to understand the healthy development of the fetus, in order to improve the health of both mothers and their fetuses.

Specifically, the Institute’s research is aimed at understanding the normal progress of a healthy pregnancy and factors that contribute to it, including prenatal care, maternal characteristics, and health history. The NICHD also supports work that strives to understand disorders both mechanistically and in terms of their contributing risk factors and associations. Previous NICHD work has investigated questions related to miscarriage and stillbirth, birth defects and developmental disabilities, and preterm labor and premature birth, as well as the factors that contribute to them, including genetic or cellular conditions, fetal chromosomal abnormalities, maternal uterine or placental problems, obesity, infection, and exposure to environmental toxins, including alcohol and drug use or smoking.

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