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Safe Motherhood

Safe motherhood begins before conception with proper nutrition and a healthy lifestyle and continues with appropriate prenatal care, the prevention of complications when possible, and the early and effective treatment of complications. The ideal result is a pregnancy at term 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.

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To better understand the burden of maternal complications and mortality and to decrease disparities among populations at risk of death and complications from pregnancy, the Division of Reproductive Health supports national and state-based surveillance systems to monitor trends and investigate health issues; 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.

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Emergency Planning Tips If You're Pregnant or Have Young Children image Emergency Planning Tips If You're Pregnant or Have Young Children
If you are pregnant or someone with infants or young children, find out how to plan for an emergency or disaster.
MMWR logo Prevalence of Self-Reported Postpartum Depressive Symptoms 17 States, 2004–2005
Postpartum depression (PPD) affects 10%–15% of mothers within the first year after giving birth. Younger mothers and those experiencing partner-related stress or physical abuse might be more likely to develop PPD.
MCH EPI logo: Mother, baby and child Fourteenth Annual Maternal and Child Health Epidemiology Conference: Call for Abstracts
December 10–12, 2008
Crowne Plaza Hotel - Atlanta Perimeter at Ravinia
Atlanta, Georgia
2005 ART cover 2005 Fertility Clinic Success Rates and National Summary
The 2005 is the most recent report of pregnancy success rates is the eleventh report to be issued under the Fertility Clinic Success Rate and Certification Act. The report includes a national overview that uses information from 422 U.S. fertility clinics.
Pregnant mother and child Pregnant? Don't Smoke: Learn Why and How to Quit for Good
Quitting smoking can be hard, but it is one of the best ways a woman can protect herself and her baby's health. For free help, call 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669).

image of women

Depression During and After Pregnancy: A Resource for Women, Their Families, and Friends
A new booklet on perinatal depression released by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) contains tips on identifying the condition in mothers and offers six steps to help treat it successfully. Perinatal depression includes a broad range of physical and emotional symptoms that many women face during pregnancy or within a year following the birth of a child

Wildfires: Information for Pregnant Women and Parents of Young Infants
Learn what pregnant women and parents of young children can do if they are, or may be, evacuated from their home. For more information about wildfires, see:

Men Seek Infertility Services
Many couples struggle with
infertility and seek help to become pregnant; however, it is often thought of as only a women’s condition. But a CDC study analyzed data from the 2002 National Survey of Family Growth, and found that a total of 7.5% of all sexually experienced men reported a visit for help with having a child at some time during their lifetime—this equates to 3.3–4.7 million men. Of men who sought help, 18.1% were diagnosed with a male-related infertility problem, including sperm or semen problems (13.7%)
and varicocele (5.9%).
Anderson JE, Farr SL, Jamieson DJ, Warner L, and Macaluso M. Infertility services reported by men in the United States: national survey data. Fertility and Sterility 2008. [Epub ahead of print]


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Page last reviewed: 8/29/08
Page last modified: 8/29/08
Content source: Division of Reproductive Health, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion

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A surveillance project of CDC and state health departments. PRAMS collects state-specific, population-based data on maternal attitudes and experiences prior to, during and immediately following pregnancy.


The Maternal and Child Health Epidemiology Program (MCH EPI) provides financial and technical support to states, and in some cases, time-limited assignments of senior epidemiologists to state maternal and child health programs.

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