Summary and Conclusion: Framing a New Research Agenda on Maternal Morbidities and Mortality in the United States

J Womens Health (Larchmt). 2021 Feb;30(2):280-284. doi: 10.1089/jwh.2020.8877. Epub 2020 Nov 19.


Maternal mortality in the United States is at an alarming rate. Research can have an important role in addressing maternal mortality, but our current understanding of its causes and prevention remains woefully incomplete. The collection of articles in this volume begin to frame a new research agenda by asking four critical questions. First, what truly makes vulnerable populations vulnerable? Second, how do we prevent pregnancy complications and their long-term sequelae? Third, how can we make maternity care safer for all women? Finally, what can we do about the social, structural, and environmental determinants of maternal health? Answers to these questions can help inform practice, systems, and policy change to reduce and ultimately eradicate maternal deaths in the United States.

Keywords: maternal mortality; prevention; research agenda; safety bundle; social determinant; vulnerable populations.

MeSH terms

  • Female
  • Humans
  • Maternal Health
  • Maternal Health Services*
  • Maternal Mortality
  • Morbidity
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications* / prevention & control
  • United States / epidemiology