NIH-funded technique enables automatic detection of placental compartments, oxygen status and structural abnormalities.
NICHD issues News Releases and Media Advisories to the news media. Spotlight and Research Feature articles explain NICHD research findings and public health issues to the general public. An Item of Interest is a short announcement of relevant information, such as a notable staff change.
Release: NIH launches $8 million prize competition to reduce maternal deaths in regions that lack maternity care
The National Institutes of Health is offering up to $8 million in cash prizes to accelerate development of technologies to improve maternal health outcomes for those who live in areas lacking access to maternity care.
Science Update: Placental inflammation could explain link between air pollution and pregnancy complications, NIH-funded study in mice suggests
The increase in pregnancy complications linked to air pollution exposure could result from the pollutants’ direct effects on the placenta, suggests a study in mice funded by the National Institutes of Health. Placentas of mice exposed to a mixture of common urban air pollutants before and during pregnancy were inflamed and had a loss of blood vessel cells. The study authors say the findings could provide insight into how air pollution might affect pregnancies and lead to strategies for preventing pregnancy complications.
Director's Corner: Visualizing The Placenta, a Critical but Poorly Understood Organ
The placenta supports pregnancy and influences the lifelong health of both mother and child. Yet it is the least understood, and least studied, of all human organs. In a guest post for the NIH Director’s Blog, Dr. Bianchi discusses work from NICHD’s Human Placenta Project to understand how the placenta functions in real time during pregnancy.
Item of Interest: PregSource® Mobile App Allows Access from Anywhere
It just got easier to participate in the PregSource®: Crowdsourcing to Understand Pregnancy research project. The free app allows participants to track their weight, sleep, mood, and other features of their pregnancy in just a few taps.
Release: NIH announces winners of data challenge to identify risk factors for first-time pregnancies
Awarded projects seek to reduce pregnancy complications and prevent maternal deaths.
Item of Interest: Una Grewal Appointed Director of the Division of Population Health Research
Dr. Grewal has been acting director of the division since February 2020.
Spotlight: Developing Mobile Health Solutions for Women in Guatemala
NIH-supported program reduces maternal deaths, complications in rural Guatemalan communities.
Release: NIH-funded study highlights stark racial disparities in maternal deaths
Racial and ethnic disparities in maternal mortality in the United States may be larger than previously reported, suggests an NICHD-funded study.
Release: NIH data challenge seeks innovative methods for identifying complication risks in first-time pregnancies
The National Institutes of Health will award up to $400,000 to individuals or groups who design an effective method for analyzing a large data set of first-time pregnancies and identifying risk factors for adverse outcomes, such as hypertensive disorders, diabetes and infection. A total of $50,000 will be awarded to each of seven winners designing the most effective means to analyze the data. An additional $10,000 will be awarded to the top five winners whose methods identify risk factors in disadvantaged populations.
Director's Corner: A Mother’s Day Message: Time for Action to Improve Maternal Health
NICHD Director Dr. Diana Bianchi is joined by NIH Office of Research on Women’s Health Director Dr. Janine Clayton in assessing the growing maternal health crisis in the United States and describing NIH’s efforts to address it.
Media Advisory: NIH calls for greater inclusion of pregnant and lactating people in COVID-19 vaccine research
Pregnant people need to be protected through research rather than from research, the authors contend.
Director's Corner: Including pregnant and lactating people in SARS-CoV-2 vaccine research
As the COVID-19 pandemic persists, SARS-CoV-2 vaccines offer the potential to halt the spread of the virus. Yet, we know very little about the effectiveness and safety of the vaccines during pregnancy.
Media Advisory: Severe COVID-19 in pregnancy associated with preterm birth, other complications
NIH-funded study suggests mother-to-infant transmission appears to be rare
Spotlight: Selected NICHD Research Advances of 2020
Read about NICHD’s research findings and activities from 2020.
Release: Postpartum depression may persist three years after giving birth
National Institutes of Health study suggests women with mood disorders, gestatational diabetes may have a higher risk.
Science Update: Placental DNA in maternal blood could predict later pregnancy complications, NICHD funded study finds
Traces of genetic material from the placenta and other organs circulating in a pregnant woman’s blood stream could potentially be used to predict the risk for complications in later pregnancy, according to a new NICHD-supported study.
Science Update: Mouse study links embryo culture after IVF with reduced placental, fetal growth
A mouse study funded by the National Institutes of Health suggests that a step in the in vitro fertilization (IVF) procedure could account for the higher rate of complications in pregnancies resulting from this form of assisted reproductive technology (ART). The researchers linked the culture of embryos in laboratory dishes after fertilization with impaired growth of the placenta, smaller fetal size, and a higher risk of preeclampsia, a serious pregnancy-related blood pressure disorder.
Science Update: Pregnancy, birth complications higher among deaf and hard of hearing women, suggests NIH-funded study
Compared to other women, deaf and hard of hearing women have a higher risk for pregnancy and birth complications such as gestational diabetes and blood pressure disorders, according to a study funded by NIH’s Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. Moreover, infants of deaf and hard of hearing women were more likely to be born preterm, have low birth weight, and receive a low Apgar score—a screening test used to determine the baby’s need for additional medical services.
Media Advisory: NIH-funded study to investigate pregnancy outcomes resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic
Researchers to evaluate medical records of 21,000 pregnant women