ijerph-logo

Journal Browser

Journal Browser

Women's Health, Pregnancy and Child Health

Special Issue Editors

Centre for Agroecology, Water and Resilience (CAWR) & Centre for Healthcare Research (CHR), Coventry University, Coventry CV8 3LG, UK
Interests: nutrition; maternal and women’s health; health inequality; equity and diversity; obesity; dairy intake; gestational outcomes; chronic diseases; oral health
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Centre for Intelligent Healthcare, Coventry University, Coventry CV1 5FB, UK
Interests: serious games; games for health; gamification; behaviour change in children and adolescents; technology-based intervention research; postpartum weight management
Josué de Castro Nutrition Institute, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro 21941-902, Brazil
Interests: maternal and child nutrition; pregnancy; gestational outcomes; blood pressure; mental health; lipid metabolism; leptin; translational research and cohort studies
Josué de Castro Nutrition Institute, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro 21941-902, Brazil
Interests: sustainability; nutrition assessment; public health; epidemiology; gestational weight gain; gestational diabetes

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Despite significant improvements in maternal and child health in the last two decades, preventable pregnancy complications and maternal and child death remain key issues in global health and should remain at the top of the global agenda including the UN Sustainable Development goals.

Worldwide maternal and child-health-related outcomes are markedly affected by environmental and socio-demographic factors including access to healthcare, vaccination, good nutrition, adequate housing, clean water and sanitation, education and employment. Evidence shows that women and babies from Black and minority ethnic groups or other deprived communities are more likely to have poorer health outcomes compared to White peers and more affluent communities.

The World Health Organization (WHO) [1] states that tackling inequalities affecting health outcomes, particularly gender, sexual and reproductive health and human rights, is vital to ensure that “all women have access to respectful and high-quality maternity care”.

Following the success of the previous Special Issue “Pregnancy and Child Health”, this Special Issue aims to further advance scientific and professional knowledge in the field of maternal and child health. We have a particular interest in studies related to equity, diversity and inclusion and sustainable interventions addressing health inequalities among women, mothers and children.

This Special Issue will accept manuscripts addressing maternal and child health practice, policy and research, exploring a wide range of topics and disciplines, such as epidemiology, public health, nutrition, nursing, social sciences, demography, health status assessment, innovative service initiatives, service evaluation, economic evaluation, policy analysis, advocacy and professional development. It will include the following types of articles:

  • Primary research (qualitative, quantitative and mixed-methods studies);
  • Systematic, mapping, scoping and narrative reviews;
  • Methodological papers;
  • Case studies;
  • Commentaries and position papers;
  • Brief reports.

Reference

[1] The World Health Organization (WHO). Maternal Health. Available online: https://www.who.int/health-topics/maternal-health#tab=tab_1 (accessed on 16 November 2022).

Prof. Dr.  Amanda Rodrigues Amorim Adegboye
Dr. Kim Bul
Dr. Dayana Rodrigues Farias
Dr. Maria Beatriz Trindade De Castro
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2500 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • maternal health
  • pregnancy
  • child health
  • women’s health and wellbeing
  • health inequalities
  • diversity and inclusion and sustainability

Related Special Issue

Published Papers (7 papers)

Order results
Result details
Select all
Export citation of selected articles as:

Research

Jump to: Other

17 pages, 1281 KiB  
Article
Implementing E-Cigarettes as an Alternate Smoking Cessation Tool during Pregnancy: A Process Evaluation at Two UK Sites
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2024, 21(3), 291; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph21030291 - 01 Mar 2024
Viewed by 52
Abstract
Smoking during pregnancy increases the risk of adverse maternal and foetal health outcomes, with effective smoking cessation support important. E-cigarette use in the general population has increased rapidly in recent years, with their use viewed as an alternate, additional offer to nicotine-replacement therapy [...] Read more.
Smoking during pregnancy increases the risk of adverse maternal and foetal health outcomes, with effective smoking cessation support important. E-cigarette use in the general population has increased rapidly in recent years, with their use viewed as an alternate, additional offer to nicotine-replacement therapy and behavioural support. However, their use in pregnancy has limited investigation. This study aimed to understand how two e-cigarette pilots for pregnant women were delivered and implemented. Referrals to the general stop smoking in pregnancy service, as well as pilot enrolment, engagement and outcomes were recorded. Seven professionals involved in pilot 2 design, setup and/or delivery took part in semi-structured interviews informed by the Consolidated Framework for Implementation Research (CFIR). Transcripts were deductively coded into CFIR. In total, 124 of 296 women accessed at least one visit after being contacted and offered the e-cigarette pilot (Pilot 1: N = 99, Pilot 2: N = 25). In Pilot 2, 13 (of 25) reached 4 weeks, and common reasons for withdrawal by 12 weeks included relapse, loss of contact and no further support wanted. Forty-five (36.3%) validated quits were reported (Pilot 1: 32 of 99 (32.3%); Pilot 2: 13 of 25 (52%)). Facilitators included regular communication and the advisors physically taking e-cigarettes to home visits. Barriers included misalignment between the pilot and the standard treatment offer and availability of the staff resource. Enrolment to both pilots was demonstrated, with greater enrolment in one pilot and notable quit rates among women across both pilots. The perceived role of e-cigarettes for pregnant women varied, and a lack of staff resources explained some challenges. Adaptations may be needed during scale-up, including additional resources and the alignment of the e-cigarette provision to standard treatment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Women's Health, Pregnancy and Child Health)
13 pages, 541 KiB  
Article
Knowledge, Attitudes, and Subjective Norms Associated with COVID-19 Vaccination among Pregnant Women in Kenya: An Online Cross-Sectional Pilot Study Using WhatsApp
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2024, 21(1), 98; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph21010098 - 16 Jan 2024
Viewed by 1109
Abstract
COVID-19 vaccination during pregnancy has been recommended, but the perceptions related to uptake remain unexplored. This pilot study aimed to explore how perceptions influence COVID-19 vaccine uptake among a sample of 115 pregnant women in Kenya, recruited via WhatsApp. Data were collected using [...] Read more.
COVID-19 vaccination during pregnancy has been recommended, but the perceptions related to uptake remain unexplored. This pilot study aimed to explore how perceptions influence COVID-19 vaccine uptake among a sample of 115 pregnant women in Kenya, recruited via WhatsApp. Data were collected using an adapted online questionnaire between May and October 2022. Logistic analyses assessed the relationship between COVID-19 vaccination uptake and the Theory of Reasoned Action (TRA) constructs: attitudes and subjective norms. COVID-19 vaccination coverage was 73%, with vaccine hesitancy estimated at 41.4% among the unvaccinated group. Most participants had completed college education and had good knowledge of COVID-19 vaccines. There was no significant effect of enrollment in WhatsApp pregnancy groups on attitudes toward COVID-19 vaccination. Pregnant women were concerned about vaccine effectiveness (31.1%), and almost one-half (47.3%) were discouraged from receiving COVID-19 vaccines. Positive attitudes towards vaccination were associated with COVID-19 vaccination (aOR 2.81; 95% CI 1.12–7.04; p = 0.027), but no significant relationship was found between COVID-19 vaccination and strong subjective norms (influences to get COVID-19 vaccines). Our findings suggest that strategies to improve vaccination should consider targeting attitudes and proximal social networks (friends/family) to facilitate vaccination decision-making. WhatsApp can be used for research distribution and enhance the dissemination of accurate information. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Women's Health, Pregnancy and Child Health)
Show Figures

Figure 1

12 pages, 355 KiB  
Article
The Challenge of Weight Stigma for Women in the Preconception Period: Workshop Recommendations for Action from the 5th European Conference on Preconception Health and Care
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2023, 20(22), 7034; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph20227034 - 08 Nov 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1701
Abstract
Weight stigma is a well-recognised public health issue affecting many members of society including women during the preconception period. The impacts of preconception weight stigma on women are significant and may result in decreased access to and uptake of healthcare, and mental health [...] Read more.
Weight stigma is a well-recognised public health issue affecting many members of society including women during the preconception period. The impacts of preconception weight stigma on women are significant and may result in decreased access to and uptake of healthcare, and mental health concerns. The consequences of this weight stigma may translate to negative maternal outcomes and even intergenerational effects on the child. Eliminating weight stigma is therefore imperative. The aim of this paper is to report recommendations to reduce weight stigma for preconception women produced at a workshop with clinical and academic experts on preconception health and weight stigma at the 5th European Conference on Preconception Health and Care. The recommendations are related to two key areas: general societal recommendations prompting all people to acknowledge and adjust our attitudes towards larger-bodied people; and healthcare-specific recommendations imploring clinicians to upskill themselves to reduce weight stigma in practice. We therefore call for urgent approaches to address societal weight-stigmatising attitudes and norms related to both the general population and preconception women, while providing professional development opportunities for healthcare professionals relating to weight stigma. Eliminating weight stigma for preconception women may have positive impacts on the outcomes for mothers and children during pregnancy and beyond. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Women's Health, Pregnancy and Child Health)
15 pages, 1074 KiB  
Article
Childbearing with Hypermobile Ehlers–Danlos Syndrome and Hypermobility Spectrum Disorders: A Large International Survey of Outcomes and Complications
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2023, 20(20), 6957; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph20206957 - 21 Oct 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 6946
Abstract
One in 20 births could be affected by hypermobile Ehlers–Danlos syndrome or Hypermobility Spectrum Disorders (hEDS/HSD); however, these are under-diagnosed and lacking research. This study aimed to examine outcomes and complications in people childbearing with hEDS/HSD. A large online international survey was completed [...] Read more.
One in 20 births could be affected by hypermobile Ehlers–Danlos syndrome or Hypermobility Spectrum Disorders (hEDS/HSD); however, these are under-diagnosed and lacking research. This study aimed to examine outcomes and complications in people childbearing with hEDS/HSD. A large online international survey was completed by women with experience in childbearing and a diagnosis of hEDS/HSD (N = 947, total pregnancies = 1338). Data were collected on demographics, pregnancy and birth outcomes and complications. Participants reported pregnancies in the UK (N = 771), USA (N = 364), Australia (N = 106), Canada (N = 60), New Zealand (N = 23) and Ireland (N = 14). Incidences were higher in people with hEDS/HSD than typically found in the general population for pre-eclampsia, eclampsia, pre-term rupture of membranes, pre-term birth, antepartum haemorrhage, postpartum haemorrhage, hyperemesis gravidarum, shoulder dystocia, caesarean wound infection, postpartum psychosis, post-traumatic stress disorder, precipitate labour and being born before arrival at place of birth. This potential for increased risk related to maternal and neonatal outcomes and complications highlights the importance of diagnosis and appropriate care considerations for childbearing people with hEDS/HSD. Recommendations include updating healthcare guidance to include awareness of these possible complications and outcomes and including hEDS/HSD in initial screening questionnaires of perinatal care to ensure appropriate consultation and monitoring can take place from the start. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Women's Health, Pregnancy and Child Health)
Show Figures

Figure 1

16 pages, 861 KiB  
Article
Co-Created Solutions for Perinatal Professionals and Childbearing Needs for People with Hypermobile Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome and Hypermobility Spectrum Disorders
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2023, 20(20), 6955; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph20206955 - 21 Oct 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1972
Abstract
Individuals living with hypermobile Ehlers-Danlos syndrome (hEDS) and Hypermobility Spectrum Disorders (HSD) have reported feeling discredited and unsupported by healthcare professionals. However, the level of knowledge about hEDS/HSD among maternity staff remains unknown. Informed by patient and public involvement, this research aimed to [...] Read more.
Individuals living with hypermobile Ehlers-Danlos syndrome (hEDS) and Hypermobility Spectrum Disorders (HSD) have reported feeling discredited and unsupported by healthcare professionals. However, the level of knowledge about hEDS/HSD among maternity staff remains unknown. Informed by patient and public involvement, this research aimed to investigate maternity staff’s knowledge and confidence in supporting people with hEDS/HSD, examine people with hEDS/HSD’s experiences of perinatal care, and co-create tools to help maternity staff support people childbearing with hEDS/HSD. Two online mixed-methods international surveys were completed by childbearing people with hEDS/HSD (N = 955) and maternity staff (N = 307). This was followed by the co-creation of three tools with 17 co-creators and a design team. Two main qualitative themes were identified through thematic analysis: (1) a need for recognition of hEDS/HSD in perinatal care and (2) the delivery of appropriate individualised perinatal care. Quantitatively, people with hEDS/HSD perceived maternity professionals to have a low level of knowledge about the conditions. Respectively, maternity staff reported low levels of confidence in supporting people with hEDS/HSD. The co-created tools provide applicable outputs for both education and practice and include an i-learn module hosted by the Royal College of Midwives, a tool for perinatal records, and infomercials. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Women's Health, Pregnancy and Child Health)
Show Figures

Figure 1

9 pages, 336 KiB  
Communication
Pregnancy Care during the COVID-19 Pandemic in Germany: A Public Health Lens
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2023, 20(3), 2721; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph20032721 - 03 Feb 2023
Viewed by 1769
Abstract
The COVID-19 pandemic has led to various challenges in German health care, including pregnancy care. This paper aims to provide an overview of the pandemic-related challenges faced by pregnant women, new mothers, and their families in maternal and newborn care. A literature review [...] Read more.
The COVID-19 pandemic has led to various challenges in German health care, including pregnancy care. This paper aims to provide an overview of the pandemic-related challenges faced by pregnant women, new mothers, and their families in maternal and newborn care. A literature review was performed by including international literature as well as recommendations of institutions and official stakeholders. These challenges refer to restrictions at all stages of pregnancy, including wearing masks during labour, limitations of a companion of choice during birth, and restrictions of unvaccinated women from attending, e.g., antenatal classes. Compared with the general population, COVID-19 vaccination of pregnant women was recommended later, as pregnant women were initially excluded from clinical trials. Women who gave birth during the COVID-19 pandemic also reported mental health issues. The findings stress the importance of the inclusion of pregnant women in clinical trials. This might also help to overcome vaccine hesitancy among pregnant women and women seeking family planning. Taking the COVID-19 pandemic as an example, one must weigh the changes and restrictions associated with the potential disadvantages for mothers, newborns, and their families in pregnancy care against the measures to control the pandemic. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Women's Health, Pregnancy and Child Health)

Other

Jump to: Research

13 pages, 1244 KiB  
Study Protocol
The MothersBabies Study, an Australian Prospective Cohort Study Analyzing the Microbiome in the Preconception and Perinatal Period to Determine Risk of Adverse Pregnancy, Postpartum, and Child-Related Health Outcomes: Study Protocol
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2023, 20(18), 6736; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph20186736 - 09 Sep 2023
Viewed by 1673
Abstract
The microbiome has emerged as a key determinant of human health and reproduction, with recent evidence suggesting a dysbiotic microbiome is implicated in adverse perinatal health outcomes. The existing research has been limited by the sample collection and timing, cohort design, sample design, [...] Read more.
The microbiome has emerged as a key determinant of human health and reproduction, with recent evidence suggesting a dysbiotic microbiome is implicated in adverse perinatal health outcomes. The existing research has been limited by the sample collection and timing, cohort design, sample design, and lack of data on the preconception microbiome. This prospective, longitudinal cohort study will recruit 2000 Australian women, in order to fully explore the role of the microbiome in the development of adverse perinatal outcomes. Participants are enrolled for a maximum of 7 years, from 1 year preconception, through to 5 years postpartum. Assessment occurs every three months until pregnancy occurs, then during Trimester 1 (5 + 0–12 + 6 weeks gestation), Trimester 2 (20 + 0–24 + 6 weeks gestation), Trimester 3 (32 + 0–36 + 6 weeks gestation), and postpartum at 1 week, 2 months, 6 months, and then annually from 1 to 5 years. At each assessment, maternal participants self-collect oral, skin, vaginal, urine, and stool samples. Oral, skin, urine, and stool samples will be collected from children. Blood samples will be obtained from maternal participants who can access a study collection center. The measurements taken will include anthropometric, blood pressure, heart rate, and serum hormonal and metabolic parameters. Validated self-report questionnaires will be administered to assess diet, physical activity, mental health, and child developmental milestones. Medications, medical, surgical, obstetric history, the impact of COVID-19, living environments, and pregnancy and child health outcomes will be recorded. Multiomic bioinformatic and statistical analyses will assess the association between participants who developed high-risk and low-risk pregnancies, adverse postnatal conditions, and/or childhood disease, and their microbiome for the different sample types. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Women's Health, Pregnancy and Child Health)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Back to TopTop