Perinatal and Infant Health

Short- and long-term health risks exist for mothers and their babies before, during, and after birth.

We promote and provide essential programs and services to increase access to quality care and ultimately reduce illness and death.

Nearly 100% of babies born in the U.S. (about 4 million/year) are screened for serious condition at birth.

What are our goals?

Ensure that higher-risk mothers and newborns deliver at hospitals that can provide proper care.

  • Very Low Birth Weight (VLBW) infants are the most fragile newborns. But when born in a facility with a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), their chances to survive and thrive improve greatly.

Increase the number of infants who are breastfed and those who are exclusively breastfed through six months.

  • The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends all infants exclusively breastfeed for about six months. Human milk supports optimal growth and development. Mothers also benefit, as breastfeeding may lessen the likelihood of developing certain cancers and other health risks.

Increase the number of infants placed to sleep on their backs.

  • The AAP recommends using back-sleep position on a separate firm sleep surface and without loose bedding.

Increase the number of children who receive a developmental screening.

  • Early identification of developmental disorders is critical to the well-being of children and their families.

Increase the number of children who are adequately insured.

  • Inadequately insured children are more likely to lack appropriate and timely care, be without a medical home, and be less likely to receive needed referrals and receive family-centered care.

How do we accomplish our goals?

We accomplish our goals through the following programs and initiatives:

Contact Us

Key Staff


Open Funding Opportunities

View open and previously funded opportunities.

Access the HRSA grants forecast.

Recent Research

Access the latest funded projects, news and information from the Maternal and Child Health Research Program.

American Board of Pediatrics Annual Report 2017 Exit Disclaimer (PDF - 6.7 MB)

Evaluation of a Comprehensive Oral Health Services Program in School-Based Health Centers

Related Resources

Understanding Breastfeeding Benefits

CDC: Infant and Toddler Nutrition

Oral Health

Healthy Start EPIC Center exit disclaimer

Advisory Committee on Heritable Disorders in Infants and Children

Secretary's Advisory Committee on Infant Mortality

Child Health USA

Data Resource Center for Child and Adolescent Health exit disclaimer

Early Periodic Screening, Diagnostic and Treatment (EPSDT)

Depression During and After Pregnancy (English) (PDF - 1.6 MB)

Find Grants – Search for active and awarded grants from FY 1999 – present.

Date Last Reviewed:  September 2021