Pregnancy and Childbirth

Pregnancy and Childbirth

Maternity Hospital Main entrance sign

“Whether your pregnancy was meticulously planned, medically coaxed, or happened by surprise, one thing is certain — your life will never be the same “

Catherine Jones

Woman who experience pregnancy loss or complicated pregnancy/childbirth may live with lifelong consequences, whether physical, social or psychological.

Pregnancy loss affects over 250,000 couples in the UK every year and many more worldwide - most common in the early weeks but 1 in 250 late pregnancies also result in death of the unborn baby.

  • Childbirth complications affect at least one third of women in the UK, whether resulting in operative birth, significant tears or excessive blood loss.
  • Pregnancy and childbirth complications can carry both physical and psychological consequences which impact on women’s quality of life, affecting them emotionally, socially and professionally.

The University of Aberdeen has led a high quality program of research over several decades aimed at improving understanding of complications of pregnancy, from early pregnancy loss through to pre-eclampsia, preterm birth, stillbirth and intervention in labour. Local and National databases have facilitated research into the long-term effects of these problems. The work has influenced both advice given to women and care provided in order to improve health outcomes.

Key research areas:

Pregnancy as a screening tool for offspring health

  • Cardiovascular health in pregnant women
  • Inherited conditions in pregnancy
  • Predicting the future after pregnancy loss
  • Linking pregnancy events to later health of the mothers and children

Researching pregnancy in populations

  • Mapping out pregnancy events and complications
  • Understand how pregnancy is affected by health states & past history


PhD Students:

  • Heba Farajallah - Maternity care experiences of asylum seeker and refugee women in Scotland
  • Lorna Henderson - Induction of labour methods and prediction of success
  • Siang Ing Lee (University of Birmingham) - Multimorbidity in pregnancy
  • Paolo Mazzone (University of Edinburgh) - What can big data tell us about maternal epilepsy?
  • Elinor Sebire - Impact of Non-Invasive Prenatal Testing (NIPT) on pregnancy and postnatal outcomes of babies affected by Down’s syndrome in Scotland
  • Stella Mahama - Understanding caesarean section uptake in Ghana
  • Olivia Chingara - Making healthy babies – an exploration of barriers and facilitators to optimising pre-conception health