Maternal, Paternal, and Reproductive Health
The perinatal period is one of the most important "window of opportunities" for health promotion. For many women, it is the first time that they seek and receive routine care. The Social and Behavioral Sciences faculty focuses on understanding factors that impact the determinants and consequences of a healthy pregnancy and post-partum, particularly among those traditionally vulnerable and underserved populations such as adolescents, racial minorities, and those who are poor (Ickovics, Kershaw, Cunningham). We examine factors such as obesity and weight gain (Ickovics, Duffany), mental health (Smith), and the role of interpersonal relationships (Kershaw). Interventions in pregnancy and throughout the perinatal period (from before to after) include prenatal care as well as social, structural and technological approaches to improve health outcomes for mothers, fathers, and families. The Social and Behavioral Sciences faculty partners with others from the Medical School (e.g., Obstetrics) as well as organizations such as the Center for Interdisciplinary Research on AIDS, the Center for Perinatal, Pediatric and Environmental Epidemiology, and the MOMS Project to conduct research to understand and improve reproductive health.