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Maternal and Infant Health

IHI has a large portfolio of work in maternal and infant health around the world, including in the US, Africa, Asia-Pacific, and Latin America.

For more than a decade, IHI has been a leader in improving perinatal safety in the United States, working with hospitals and health systems to prevent adverse events and obstetric harm, as well as to reduce primary cesarean section rates and early elective deliveries. The IHI-led Perinatal Improvement Community (2006 to 2015) was the longest-running continuous perinatal safety collaborative in the US and internationally.

In 2015, IHI began to focus more attention on addressing inequities in health outcomes for women and infants. Starting with the USA, where inequities in health and health care result in a threefold difference in outcomes between African American and white mothers (as well as infants), IHI has been developing a population approach to maternal and infant health. The focus of this work was on reducing inequities in outcomes and reducing the rate of preterm birth for pregnant Medicaid beneficiaries.

In 2018, IHI was awarded a grant from Merck for Mothers to support a large-scale, three-year project to improve outcomes for women and babies in the US and reduce inequities in maternal health. The goals are to spread the use of evidence-based care practices to reduce complications such as hemorrhage, hypertension, and blood clots; deploy strategies to reduce inequities in maternal outcomes; and partner with women, their caregivers, health care providers, and community initiatives to better learn and address factors that improve health outcomes for mothers and newborns.​​​​​

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