About Us

Safe motherhood begins before conception with proper nutrition and a healthy lifestyle and continues with appropriate prenatal care and the prevention and treatment of complications when possible. The ideal result is a full-term pregnancy without unnecessary interventions, the delivery of a healthy infant, and a healthy postpartum period in a positive environment that supports the physical and emotional needs of the woman, infant, and family. CDC provides technical assistance, consultation, and training worldwide to help others identify and address male and female reproductive issues, maternal health, and infant health issues.

To better understand the burden of maternal complications and mortality and to decrease disparities among populations at risk of death and complications from pregnancy, CDC supports national and state-based surveillance systems to monitor trends and investigate health issues. CDC also conducts epidemiologic, behavioral, demographic, and health services research, and works with partners to translate research findings into health care practice, public health policy, and health promotion strategies.

Priority Areas and Health Outcome Goals

Within each of the three main priority areas, the outcome goals further define how we will measure the outcomes and effects from our work.

Women’s Reproductive Health

Improve women’s health from menarche through menopause.

  1. Increase the percentage of pregnancies that are intended.
  2. Increase the proportion of women of reproductive age who practice key preventive health behaviors.
  3. Integrate selected reproductive and non-reproductive health services.

Pregnancy Health

Improve pregnancy health and care.

  1. Increase screening, prevention, and treatment for infections and chronic conditions before, during, and after pregnancy.
  2. Increase the proportion of women who practice behaviors that foster healthy pregnancies.
  3. Increase the number of countries and US states that use effective surveillance systems to monitor and review maternal deaths.

Infant Health

Improve fetal, newborn, and infant health.

  1. Reduce morbidity and mortality by reducing the burden of preterm birth.
  2. Reduce SUID (Sudden Unexpected Infant Death) through improved surveillance, and reduction of disparities.
  3. Improve the health of the fetus and newborn through optimal care before, during, and after pregnancy.

Strategic Areas of Focus

The strategic areas of focus (SAFs) are specific targets used to measure the effect of  CDC’s efforts throughout the next 3 to 5 years. They are not inclusive of all work, but will help us measure accountability and achievement of successes.

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Chronic Disease Prevention among Women of Reproductive Age (WRA)

Advance evidence-based guidelines, policies, and practice related to chronic disease prevention among WRA to improve pregnancy outcomes and improve women’s health through the life course.

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Reducing Teen and Unintended Pregnancy

Advance evidence-based practices, policies, and programs related to reducing teen and unintended pregnancies, focusing on improving access to and use of quality family planning services.

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Maternal Mortality and Complications of Pregnancy

Identify, review, and monitor maternal deaths and complications of pregnancy to prevent them.

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Infant Morbidity and Mortality

Provision of epidemiologic and programmatic subject matter expertise in infant (0-12 months) morbidity and mortality, with special emphases on sudden unexpected infant deaths (SUID), preterm birth, neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS) and working towards health equity therein.

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Global Reproductive Health

Provide technical assistance for activities to reduce maternal and neonatal mortality and severe morbidity in high mortality settings, primarily through program monitoring and evaluation, and building in-country capacity.

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Science to Practice

Identify and implement effective strategies for promoting the translation of science to practice and policy to impact population health outcomes.