Maternal, Fetal and Perinatal Health
The research, teaching and practice activities of faculty in Maternal, Fetal and Perinatal Health address the physical and mental health and well-being of birthing populations prior to, during, and after pregnancy as well as the health and well-being of their newborns and infants. These activities focus on social, structural, psychosocial, environmental, biological, and health services determinants as viewed through a health equity lens.
The Department has a rich history of scholarship and teaching in maternal and perinatal health focusing on low birth weight and neonatal mortality, and on researching different models of and quality of maternity care, in Baltimore, the United States, and in low- and middle-income country settings. Maternal health and maternal mortality have been an important topic during this history and have emerged as a critically important research topic during recent years. Other critical topics addressed by faculty and students are understanding the impact of pregnancy and fetal behavior on the health of children, the impact of racial, ethnic, and social disparities on maternal and newborn health, the long-term impact of pregnancy complications on the health of women as they age, and the impact of structural determinants on maternal and newborn health.
Faculty currently use a variety of methodologic, conceptual, and disciplinary approaches to study maternal, fetal and perinatal health and to evaluate interventions to improve the health of birthing and newborn populations. These methodological approaches Include both quantitative and qualitative methods, development of measures to assess maternal and newborn health and quality of care for each, as well as epidemiological, demographic, and health services approaches. This work is embedded in a life course framework.