Pub. date: 2008 | Online Pub. Date: November 27, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412953948 | Print ISBN: 9781412928168 | Online ISBN: 9781412953948| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Maternal and Child Health Epidemiology
Ellen Aagaard Nohr & Ellen Aagaard Nohr Olsen
Maternal and child health epidemiology is concerned with determinants of health in populations of women, infants, children, and families, with a particular focus on women's health during pregnancy and after giving birth and on neonatal and early childhood health. This entry describes frequently used indicators of maternal and child health from different parts of the world. It also discusses problems related to obtaining valid data about child and maternal health and puts these issues into a public health perspective. Mother and child form the most basic partnership in evolution, and the health of the child is to a large extent determined by the health of the mother. In the very early phase of life, they also compete for nutrition. An example of this competition is that the average birthweight is less than the optimal birthweight (the birthweight with the lowest mortality). The mother needs to reserve a certain amount of ...