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Our team designs and evaluates public health interventions to address the major causes of maternal and newborn morbidity and mortality in low-income countries.

OUR RESEARCH AND INNOVATIONS CENTER AROUND THE FOLLOWING THEMES
IMPROVING ANTENATAL CARE AND PREGNANCY HEALTH

In low- and middle-income countries, infections are common in pregnancy and under-treated due to lack of testing and treatment.  Maternal malnutrition is also prevalent in many settings.  These factors adversely affect the health of the mother and fetus, and lead to preterm birth and fetal growth restriction. Learn more about our ENAT (“Mother”) Study in Ethiopia.

PRETERM BIRTH & FETAL GROWTH RESTRICTION

One in five babies do not grow to their optimal potential in the womb and one in eight are born premature. We have been developing methods to improve  pregnancy dating, identify vulnerable babies, and testing interventions to prevent preterm birth and fetal growth restriction in low resource settings. Learn more about our studies in Bangladesh  and Ethiopia.

DEVELOPING TOOLS FOR NEWBORN CARE

We are designing tools to help frontline health workers manage small and sick babies in low-resource settings. One of our innovations, the Bili-ruler, is a simple, low-cost color matching tool to identify newborn jaundice. We also have developed a mobile phone application for community health workers to assess and manage newborn illness, including prematurity and infections.

UNDERSTANDING CAUSES OF NEWBORN DEATH & ILLNESS

We aim to improve evidence of the major causes and outcomes of newborn illness and deaths in low-income settings, where a majority of births and deaths are never recorded. Our epidemiologic research on the global burden of preterm birth, birth asphyxia, newborn infections, and fetal growth restriction has helped influence the Every Newborn Action Plan of the World Health Organization and UNICEF.

UNDERSTANDING CAUSES OF BREASTFEEDING DISPARITIES

We are collecting quantitative and qualitative responses from birthing parents of different racial and ethnic backgrounds to better identify specific barriers and facilitators to exclusive breastfeeding. This initiative will examine Black/White differences in hospital breastfeeding support practices at the Brigham through a survey questionnaire and sub-set of key informant interviews of mothers.

MAMA SANA PROGRAM

We are introducing Nutrition and Breastfeeding services for mothers delivering at the Brigham in Spanish. Mama Sana, which translates to “health mother”, was developed after nation, state and hospital wide data showed lower breastfeeding initiation and duration rates in Hispanic mothers, and even lower in non-English-speaking Hispanic mothers. Mama Sana’s goal is to decrease that gap and provide cultural and language specific support to ensure all mothers achieve their breastfeeding goals.

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