As the primary Federal agency responsible for biomedical and public health research, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) is committed to investing in research to understand maternal morbidity and mortality (MMM) by encouraging scientists to study pregnancy and apply the life course perspective, with the ultimate goal of improving the lives of women everywhere.
The NIH Office of the Director established the Office of Research on Women’s Health (ORWH) in 1990 specifically to promote research focused on the health of women within and beyond the NIH scientific community. ORWH is also responsible for coordinating NIH-wide initiatives and developing and identifying opportunities to advance research on the health of women. One of the scientific areas identified is the critical—and growing—public health issue of MMM.
ORWH strives to raise awareness of MMM across the NIH Institutes, Centers, and Offices (ICOs) and the broader scientific community and to coordinate efforts to connect the dots across maternal health research at NIH. This page highlights conversations on NIH-focused maternal health research areas and shares links to NIH-wide and ICO-specific maternal health research efforts. More specifically, the “Critical Conversations” section provides a high-level overview of important MMM-related topics and related NIH efforts. The “NIH-Wide Initiatives” section provides links to information on multi-ICO-supported maternal health efforts. The last section, “Maternal Health–Related Efforts of NIH Institutes, Centers, and Offices,” provides statements from ICOs on their interest in and involvement with maternal health research. Learn more about NIH’s efforts on maternal health below.