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The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine
Board on Children Youth and  Families
Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education
  Assessing Health Outcomes by Birth Settings


Project Description:

An ad hoc committee will provide an evidence-based analysis of the complex findings in the research on birth settings, focusing particularly on health outcomes experienced by sub-populations of women. It will bring together key stakeholders in a public workshop to further inform this analysis, including representatives from government, academia, healthcare provider organizations, third party payors, and women’s health organizations.

The ad hoc committee will explore and analyze the current state of science on the following topics, identifying those questions that cannot be answered given available findings.

Statement of Task:

I. Risk factors that affect maternal mortality and morbidity

II. Access to and choice in birth settings

III. Social determinants that influence risk and outcomes in varying birth settings

IV. Financing models for childbirth across settings

V. Licensing, training, and accreditation issues pertaining to professionals providing maternity care across all settings
VI. Learning from International experiences 

Meetings of the Committee 

Meeting 1 | February 19-20, 2019                             

Washington, DC

Previous Reports:

An Update on Research Issues in the Assessment of Birth Settings Workshop Summary (2013)

Birth Settings Workshop Cover 


More than 30 years ago, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) and the National Research Council (NRC) convened a committee to determine methodologies and research needed to evaluate childbirth settings in the United States. The committee members reported their findings and recommendations in a consensus report, Research Issues in the Assessment of Birth Settings (IOM and NRC, 1982). An Update on Research Issues in the Assessment of Birth Settings is the summary of a workshop convened in March, 2013, to review updates to the 1982 report. Health care providers, researchers, government officials, and other experts from midwifery, nursing, obstetric medicine, neonatal medicine, public health, social science, and related fields presented and discussed research findings that advance our understanding of the effects of maternal care services in different birth settings on labor, clinical and other birth procedures, and birth outcomes. These settings include conventional hospital labor and delivery wards, birth centers, and home births. This report identifies datasets and relevant research literature that may inform a future ad hoc consensus study to address these concerns.

Download The Report Here 



Activity Information

Type: Consensus Study

Topics: Children, Youth

Board: Board on Children, Youth, and Families



Staff Information

Emily Backes, Study Director 
Kenne Dibner, Program Officer 
Lori Trego, Distinguished Nurse Scholar-in-Residence
Elizabeth Howe-Huist
, Associate Program Officer 
Dara Shefska, Research Associate 
Lesley Webb, Senior Program Assistant



Committee Members

Susan Scirmshaw, Chair
Jill Alliman
Wanda Barfield
Melissa Cheyney
Brownsyne Tucker Edmonds 
Wendy Gordon 
Marian MacDorman
Kathryn M. Menard 
Karen Milgate 
Jochen Profit 
Carol Sakala 
Neel Shah
Kathleen Simpson
Ruth Enid Zambrana 



Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD)



For more information, contact:

Natacha Blain, JD, PhD, Board Director 
Phone: (202) 334-2286

Emily Backes, MA, Program Officer 
Phone: (202) 334-3596

Elizabeth Howe-Huist, MA
Phone: (202) 334-3451

   Lesley Webb

Phone: (202) 334-1663

Mailing Address

Keck Center

500 Fifth Street, NW

Washington, DC 20001



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