pregnant women with a doctor

In response to rising U.S. rates of pregnancy-related deaths, or maternal mortality, NIH launched the Implementing a Maternal health and PRegnancy Outcomes Vision for Everyone (IMPROVE) initiative. The initiative supports research to reduce preventable causes of maternal deaths and improve health for women before, during, and after delivery.

The IMPROVE initiative focuses on the leading causes of maternal mortality in the United States—cardiovascular disease, infection, and immunity—as well as contributing health conditions or social factors, such as mental health disorders, diabetes, obesity, substance use disorders, and structural and healthcare system issues. The initiative also focuses on significant pregnancy-related health complications called severe maternal morbidity.

IMPROVE prioritizes comprehensive, interdisciplinary research that engages communities with high rates of maternal deaths and complications. Overall, the work will help create tailored, evidence-based solutions for women across the country.