While most mothers can safely give birth at a local hospital, there are some mothers and babies who require access to specialist care and sophisticated technologies.
This program of research uses existing NSW population health data from up to 10 different data sources for mothers and babies which are linked together to provide a complete history of pregnancy and allows us to track mothers and babies health over time and look at subsequent pregnancies and effect of events in one pregnancy on future pregnancies.
This research will provide evidence that will improve the way pregnancy and childbirth are managed, and health services for mothers and babies are delivered.
Some of our current projects include:
• Determining to what extent women and babies are delivering in risk-appropriate hospitals or whether there is room for improvement through increased transfer of at-risk pregnancies to higher levels of care
• Analyzing historical data to better understand changing trends in maternal conditions such as gestational diabetes and hypertension in pregnancy and serious maternal or neonatal complications
• Determining how common and the risk factors for interventions such as caesarean section deliveries, vacuum versus forceps delivery, epidurals or drugs used to induce or speed up labour
• Research for developing maternity care policies for births in risk-appropriate settings, placental complications and major bleeding following delivery
• Assessing the effects of government policies such as the baby bonus payment and its impact on maternity services; and recommendations on where babies with birth defects should be delivered
• Determining the accuracy and reliability of the reporting of population health data for investigating maternal and infant health