Maternal and Infant Health
Safe motherhood begins before conception with good nutrition and a healthy lifestyle. It continues with appropriate prenatal care and preventing problems if they arise. The ideal result is a full-term pregnancy without unnecessary interventions, the delivery of a healthy baby, and a healthy postpartum period in a positive environment that supports the physical and emotional needs of the mother, baby, and family.
Pregnancy and childbirth have a huge impact on the physical, mental, emotional, and socioeconomic health of women and their families. Pregnancy-related health outcomes are influenced by a woman's health and other factors like race, ethnicity, age, and income. CDC's Division of Reproductive Health conducts research and supports programs to improve women health before, during, and after pregnancy to reduce both short- and long-term problems. CDC collaborates with partners to reduce the higher rates of poor outcomes experienced by some racial and ethnic groups, to improve the pregnancy and delivery experiences of all women. Our goal is to help ensure that all women have a safe and healthy pregnancy.
Tobacco Use and Pregnancy
Quitting smoking can be hard, but it is one of the best ways a woman can protect herself and her baby's health.
Problems during pregnancy may include physical and psychological conditions that negatively affect the health of the mother or the baby.
- Pregnancy-Related Deaths
The death of a woman during pregnancy, at delivery, or soon after delivery is a tragedy for her family and for society as a whole. Sadly, about 650 women die each year in the United States as a result of pregnancy or delivery complications.
Many women experience depression. Trying to get pregnant, being pregnant, or the birth or loss of a baby can increase the risk for depression.
Preterm birth is the birth of a baby at least 3 weeks before the due date. Being born early is the greatest risk factor for infant death.
Perinatal Quality Collaboratives
PQCs are networks of perinatal care providers and public health professionals, working to improve pregnancy outcomes for women and newborns by advancing evidence-based clinical practices and processes.
Sudden Infant Death Syndrome is defined as the sudden death of a baby less than 1 year of age that cannot be explained after a thorough investigation.
The death of a baby before his or her first birthday is called infant mortality.
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