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Population, Family and Reproductive Health


Antihypertensive Medication in Pregnancy: An Update from the 2011 WHO Recommendations for Prevention and Treatment of Preeclampsia and Eclampsia

Donna Strobino, Saifuddin Ahmed, Erika Werner (Brown Univ, school of Medicine), Mahua Mandal, Laina Gagliardi, and Roxanne Beltran
The aim of this project is to update the science behind WHO recommended anti-hypertensive medications in pregnancy to prevent preeclampsia and manage hypertension and to estimates the prevalence of chronic hypertension, preeclampsia and all hypertensive disorders in pregnancy using data from population- based studies worldwide and facility based studies in resource poor settings. The study also using extant data to estimate unmet need and potential demand for antihypertensive medications in pregnancy in low resource settings.

Are unmet breastfeeding expectations associated with maternal depressive symptoms?

Emily Gregory, Arlene Butz, Sharon R Ghazarian, Sara Johnson, Susan Gross
Using the 2005 - 2007 Infant Feeding Practices Study II (IFPSII) followed US mothers from their third trimester to one year postpartum examining associations between breastfeeding practices, expectation and depression symptoms.

Associative Learning in the Fetus

Janet DiPietro
The goal of this project is to determine whether the late term fetus is capable of learning using a classical conditioning paradigm that pairs maternal postural adjustments with auditory tones.

Azithromycin to Prevent Bronchopulmonary Dsyplasia in Ureaplasma Infected Preterms: A Phase IIb randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind trial

Rose Viscardi (University of Maryland), Pamela Donohue and the AZIP study team
This multicenter randomized controlled trial aims to determine the safety and microbiological efficacy of a multiple dose course of azithromycin to eradicate respiratory tract Ureaplasma infection that might lead to physiologic bronchopulmonary dysplasia in preterm neonates.
To learn more please visit the Study Record Detail page. 

Effect of Maternal Psychosocial Behavioral Factors on Offspring's Developmental Outcomes

Xiaobin Wang, Xiumei Hong, Sheila Walker and other faculty from  BSPH and SoM 
This proposed study will investigate the link between a spectrum of maternal psychological stressors and offspring DNA methylation profiles at birth. It will provide a basis for expanding this study to examine postnatal DNA methylation changes and neuro-developmental outcomes in childhood. To learn more, please visit the Center on the Early Life Origins of Disease site.

Fetal Neurobehavioral Development & Postnatal Continuity

Janet DiPietro, Kristin Voegtline, Kathleen Costigan
This project spans the past 20 years and is focused on understanding neurobehavioral development in the human fetus and identifying the factors that may influence it.  In addition, it seeks to identify how the prenatal period sets the stage for postnatal child development.
To learn more, please visit the project's page.

Genome-wide Association Study of Preterm Birth

Xiaobin Wang, Guoying Wang, Xiumei Hong and faculty from BSPH, SoM and Boston University Medical Center (BUMC)
The major goal of this project is to conduct genome-wide association study to identify susceptibility genes of preterm delivery in a multi-ethnic, high-risk, U.S. birth cohort enrolled in Boston.

Integrating Obstetrical Care and WIC Nutritional Services to Address Maternal Obesity and Postpartum Weight Retention: Altering the Life Course Trajectory

David Paige, Susan Gross, Marycatherine Augustyn
This pilot study addresses maternal obesity, periconceptional health and postpartum weight retention. The objective is to provide coordinated services beginning in the intra-partum period through six months post-delivery. This effort will be coordinated by a unified independent record to track participant progress and inform clinical and nutrition decisions. All geared to improving maternal and infant health, assuring appropriate postpartum weight, providing high risk nutrition counseling, emphasizing the importance of breast feeding, improving dietary practices, preparing the household for appropriate dietary choices and patterns over the long term while maximizing participation in the full range of community support services.

Maryland MOLST for Pediatric Patients

Pamela Donohue, Elizabeth Harvey, Renee Boss, Nancy Hutton
Maryland is the first state to require consideration of Medical Orders of Life Sustaining Treatment eligibility for all pediatric patients.  This research will study the impact of this law and regulations on pediatric clinicians, their patients and families, and systems of care.

Maternal Mortality Estimation from Survey Data: Quality Assessment

Saifuddin Ahmed
This study examines the quality of sibling history data in the Demographic and Health Survey (DHS) and its impact on estimation of maternal mortality. DHS data are the main source of MMR estimation in developing countries, where complete vital registration data are not available.  

Maternal sleep and sleep disturbance in relation to the developing fetus

Janet DiPietro, Janice Henderson, Grace Pien
Evaluates sleep disorders in pregnancy using polysomnography and the influence of sleep apnea and other sleep problems on  the developing fetus.

Mercy Hospital Community Benefit Initiative: A Look at Low Birth Weight Outcomes in the Baltimore Region

Donna Strobino, Mary Webb, Robert Atlas, Jennifer White, Caroline Anderson and Elizabeth Harvey
This collaborative project with Mercy Medical Center (MMC) examines factors contributing to low birth weight among women delivering a live birth at MMC in 2010-11. It is one component of a larger assessment and community-benefit activity, intended to address needs of the surrounding community.

Postnatal Growth and Retinopathy of Prematurity Model Development Study

Gil Binenbaum (Children”s Hospital of Philadelphia), Pamela Donohue and the g-ROP research team
The objective of this multicenter research is to develop a prognostic model that includes postnatal weight gain, birth weight, and gestational age at birth to predict infants who are likely to develop severe Retinopathy of Prematurity (ROP), the leading cause of preventable childhood blindness.

Preconception Nutrition, Endocrine Disruptors, Reproductive Outcomes

Xiaobin Wang and other faculty from BSPH and Chinese institutions
This study aims to examine the complex interplay of preconception nutrition and exposure to DDT/DDE in relation to a comprehensive spectrum of reproductive outcomes in a preconception cohort in China. 
To learn more, please visit the Center on the Early Life Origins of Disease site.

Prevention of deaths from hypothermia among preterm neonates

Saifuddin Ahmed, Abul Hussam, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, George Mason University
We are developing a chemically induced thermal jacket for use in resource-poor settings where electricity and incubators are not available. The renewable heated jacket uses phase-changing materials for sustaining heat for prolonged periods. 

Prognosis, improvements in quality of life and social integration of women with obstetric fistula after surgical treatments

Saifuddin Ahmed, Rene Genadry
This study examines the quality of life and social integration of women with obstetric fistula in Bangladesh, Ethiopia, Niger, and Nigeria.

Reducing Cardiovascular Risk in Women with Hypertension or Diabetes in Pregnancy

Donna Neale, Jeanne Clark, David Levine
Utilization of primary care among women with complications in pregnancy. Compiled and analyzed large claims dataset.

Janice Henderson, Bobby Ehsinapoor
The HERA Study: Cohort study to identify predictors of primary care and health behaviors among women with pregnancy complications.

Shari Lawson, Bobby Ehsinapoor, Janice Henderson, Sarah Polk
The TechMom Study. A cross sectional survey to assess use of information and communication technology among women who are pregnant and postpartum.

Sarah Polk, Roxanne Jamshidi, Shari Lawson, Laura Hanyok, Tina Cheng, David Levine, Vicki Handa
Mommy and me transitional care pilot RCT. To test the effectiveness of a jointly located postpartum and newborn visit on postpartum visit attendance and women’s preventive care in the 1 yr after delivery.

Unintended Birth, Fetal and Infant Loss and Maternal Depressive Symptoms

Pamela Surkan, Donna Strobino, Parul Christian, Keith West and the Javita1 research team
This longitudinal study examines the relation of unintended pregnancy, fetal and neonatal loss, maternal prenatal and postpartum complications and child gender with prenatal and postpartum maternal depressive symptoms among women in Bangladesh.