NICHD’s mission is to lead research and training to understand human development, improve reproductive health, enhance the lives of children and adolescents, and optimize abilities for all.
Maternal Morbidity and Mortality A to Z Topic
Maternal health is central to NICHD’s research mission. Setting the foundation for healthy pregnancies and lifelong wellness and advancing safe and effective therapeutics and devices for pregnant and lactating people are key themes in the institute’s strategic plan.
Office of Research on Women’s Health (ORWH)
ORWH supports and works to strengthen research on women’s health topics. ORWH is committed to advancing the public’s understanding of the potential impact of pregnancy across the life course. In addition, ORWH promotes interdisciplinary research focused on the effects of sex and gender influences at the intersection of social determinants such as race and ethnicity, socioeconomic status, education, health literacy, and urban/rural residence—in human health and illness through a program focused on understudied, underreported, and underrepresented populations of women (U3). This U3 program is especially critical in considering the social determinants of maternal health.
Maternal Morbidity and Mortality Fact Sheet (PDF 635 KB)
This resource highlights a multidimensional framework to understand the health of women across the life course. Consideration of this framework is critical to improving maternal health outcomes, such as maternal morbidity and mortality, and addressing disparities.
Maternal Morbidity and Mortality Web Portal
This extensive resource provides trustworthy, science-based information on healthy pregnancies, deliveries, and post-pregnancy experiences for scientists, researchers, consumers, and advocates. Among the resources available is the 2020 informational booklet, Maternal Morbidity and Mortality (PDF 1.14 MB), which provides a comprehensive overview of this effort.
Resources for Researchers
Consortium on Safe Labor
The consortium explores the underlying causes of high cesarean rates in the United States and seeks to understand the most appropriate time to perform a cesarean delivery in women with labor protraction and arrest.
Data and Specimen Hub (DASH)
DASH is a centralized resource that allows researchers to share and access de-identified data from studies funded by NICHD. DASH also serves as a portal for requesting biospecimens from selected DASH studies.
Global Network for Women's and Children's Health Research
The Global Network supports and conducts clinical trials in resource-limited countries by pairing foreign and U.S. investigators, with the goal of evaluating low-cost, sustainable interventions to improve maternal and child health and simultaneously building local research capacity and infrastructure.
Human Placenta Project (HPP)
HPP is a collaborative research effort to understand the role of the placenta in health and disease. HPP aims to develop new tools to study the placenta in real time to learn how it develops and functions throughout pregnancy.
Maternal-Fetal Medicine Units (MFMU) Network
The MFMU Network aims to reduce maternal, fetal, and infant morbidity related to preterm birth, fetal growth abnormalities, and maternal complications and to provide the rationale for evidence-based, cost-effective obstetric practice.
Nulliparous Pregnancy Outcomes Study: Monitoring Mothers-to-Be (nuMom2b)
NuMoM2b was established in 2010 and has compiled data on a racially, ethnically, and geographically diverse sample of more than 10,000 women, beginning in the sixth week of pregnancy and continuing through delivery. The data were collected from interviews, questionnaires, clinical measurements, patient charts and biological specimens. NuMoM2b aims to identify pregnancy risks for women who have not given birth previously.