Maternal Health

We are developing, testing and implementing solutions to save women’s lives across the world by improving their standards of care during pregnancy and childbirth.

Worldwide, pregnancy and childbirth are the number one killer of girls and young women aged 15-19 years, with 50,000 deaths per year in this group alone). Maternal deaths are obviously not the only concern in pregnancy, and many otherwise healthy women suffer significant repercussions.  

Through significant investment from partners including Tommy’s, the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, we have established strong infrastructure and a dedicated research community to save mothers’ lives.  

We lead Europe’s largest miscarriage research centre – the Tommy’s National Centre for Miscarriage Research – and were awarded a WHO Collaborating Centre for Global Women’s Health in 2019.

Our collaborative approach puts the needs and priorities of women, healthcare providers and policy makers at the heart of our agenda. Researchers from across the University of Birmingham are working together to co-create the solutions. 

Our researchers are focused on: 

  • Addressing the issues that are most important to women and partners who experience miscarriage, with four key themes emerging from the questions asked by those who have lived this tragedy: ‘Why did it happen?’, ‘Will it happen again?’, ‘Can we prevent it happening again?’ and ‘How can we bear it emotionally and move forward from here?’ 

  • Exploring a package of interventions that could save mothers around the world by implementing an early detection strategy and a ‘first response’ bundle of care for cutting down deaths and complications related to postpartum haemorrhage by 25%. 

  • Understanding how COVID-19 affects pregnant women and their babies, by running a living systematic review to assess the impact of COVID-19 in pregnancy, one that is continuously updated to share the latest data. 

Our work is focused around a shared vision to develop, test and implement solutions to save women’s lives and improve their standards of care during pregnancy and childbirth, not just within the UK, but across the world. To deliver this, we have spent decades building a collaborative ecosystem where researchers, clinicians, patients, charities and policymakers can work together to create change and impact.

Professor Arri Coomarasamy

Professor Arri Coomarasamy

Professor of Gynaecology and Reproductive Medicine

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Key researchers

  • Professor Arri Coomarasamy

    Professor of Gynaecology and Reproductive Medicine, Director of the Tommy’s National Centre for Miscarriage Research and Joint Director of the WHO Collaborating Centre for Global Women’s Health

  • Professor Shakila Thangaratinam

    Professor of Maternal and Perinatal Health and Joint Director of the WHO Collaborating Centre for Global Women’s Health