Our research focuses on the beginnings of life spanning fertility and conception into pregnancy and birth, with the aim to improve outcomes and quality of care for mothers and babies.
Our mission is to provide the highest quality of evidence to improve outcomes and care for women prior to conception, through to pregnancy and birth and the long-term health and wellbeing of both the mother and child.
We bring together a group of established researchers in the field across the University, at the Western, Northern and Central precincts incorporating the School of Medicine, Susan Wakil School of Nursing and Midwifery, School of Health Sciences and School of Public Health.
In addition to research and clinical expertise, we are committed to establishing teaching and post-graduate research opportunities to train the next generation of researchers and clinicians responsible for the care of women and babies and the advancement of knowledge in the field.
Our research programme lies at the nexus of what is current and what is possible for women’s and children’s health, seeking to answer some of the most challenging questions in the field.
We address important and unanswered questions covering a broad range of reproduction, pregnancy and obstetrical care issues and encourages patient participation in clinical trials and research opportunities. This includes longer term health outcomes for the mother and child.
Our work extends from discovery science to translational research programmes. We aim to develop novel approaches to improve fertility and pregnancy outcomes for individual women and families and the larger population and society. Our Centre is focused on addressing the health needs of increasingly diverse reproductive populations.
High quality social support is known to improve health outcomes. During the COVID-19 pandemic Australia closed its international borders for nearly two years. We interviewed 24 participants (14 were migrant women) antenatally and then postnatally.
We identified that half of all participants felt unsupported antenatally however this dissipated postnatally for Australian born women but not for migrant women. Themes included ‘Husbands/partners filling the support gap’ and ‘Holding on by a virtual thread’.
Migrant women discussed partners stepped into traditional roles and duties of absent mothers and mothers-in-law. We identified in this study there was a high use of virtual support, which could be leveraged for improving clinical care and for future pandemic preparedness.
These findings highlight the adverse impact that the pandemic has had on our migrant population.