Several of our programmes contribute to the health of mother and child during pregnancy and birth, exploring matters such as healthy conception, care of vulnerable pregnant people, screening, comprehensive birth care and the efficiency of interventions, as well as fundamental research.

Promising Start

The health of a child prior to, during and after birth has been found to be a reliable predictor of physical and/or mental health problems later in life. In the national Promising Start action programme several parties work together to give more children a good start in life. Several studies are supplying knowledge to help give children a promising start.

Maternity care

Five research projects on maternity care have provided insight into the effectiveness and constituent elements of maternity care. ‘Customised care’ is an important principle.

Vulnerable pregnant people

To give everyone, every child, a good start in life, it is important that all research and implementation projects consider families living in vulnerable circumstances. They may be parents with psychological problems, refugees, families in debt or living in poverty, or homeless families.

Network of Regional Birth Care Consortiums

Various professionals play a role in care and support before, during and after pregnancy. It is very important that they work together. In the Pregnancy and Birth programme regional consortiums have formed a national knowledge network focused on the specific needs of midwifery practices, healthcare and social welfare professionals, and local authorities in their region. These different regional consortiums are members of the National Network of Regional Birth Care Consortiums (NRCG).

Unwanted pregnancy and vulnerable parents

There is still a lot of room for improvement in terms of contraceptive use, abortion and reducing the number of teenage pregnancies. Certain high-risk groups require more attention. The Unwanted Pregnancy and Vulnerable Parents programme has 25 ongoing projects for better prevention of unwanted pregnancy, and care and support for those experiencing unwanted pregnancy, as well as for vulnerable parents.

Preconception healthcare

A good start in life begins even before conception, but awareness of this fact is growing only slowly. Seven projects in the Pregnancy and Birth programme worked on improving the reach of preconception information and healthcare.

Prenatal and neonatal screening

Screening during pregnancy and just after birth can identify any complications, illnesses, medical conditions and impairments at an early stage. Research into screening during pregnancy (prenatal) and just after birth (neonatal) is an important element of the Pregnancy and Birth programme.

Maternity care

Research projects on maternity care provide insight into the effectiveness and constituent elements of maternity care. The key principle is ‘customised care’.