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Maternal, Newborn, Child and Family Health


Maternal health is a research field that focuses on the health of women and children (including unborn and newborn infants) in relation to pregnancy, childbirth and the post-partum. It lay within the larger research domain of women’s health and is closely related to overall health of families.

Maternal, newborn and child health is often perceived as an indicator of the overall health of populations and performance of health systems. Social inequity in health starts at conception with children being specifically sensitive to psychical, social and psychological exposures. Despite efforts, increases in social inequity are seen also in high-income countries, and improvement of maternal, newborn and child health is therefore an important public health goal.

The overall objective for the research group activities in this field is to contribute to development of safe, high-quality, patient-centered and social and culturally sensitive heath policies, services and preventive, health promotive and rehabilitative initiatives in order to support and improve maternal, newborn, child and family health and well-being and reduce social inequity of health at an early stage.

The main areas of research are:

  • Quality and safety of different models for maternity care services
  • The use of interventions in childbirth (especially cesarean section) and immediate and long-term effects on maternal and newborn health
  • Outcomes and improvement of care for women with gestational diabetes
  • Placental physiology and intrauterine growth retardation
  • Breastfeeding and the impact of breastfeeding on maternal, newborn and child health
  • Parental/family education and support of parental skills and family health and wellbeing
  • Health and wellbeing of children placed outside the family
  • Psycho-social aspects of and user perspectives on care, services and initiatives
  • Social inequity in maternal, newborn, child and family health and service use
  • Prevention (including screening), health outcomes and rehabilitation in relation to women-specific conditions / diseases (especially breast cancer and cervix cancer)