Indicators for disaster-affected pregnant women, postpartum women, and infant
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Indicators for disaster-affected pregnant women, postpartum women, and infant

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      Disaster has been associated with a decrease in access to healthcare and medications, increased stress and maternal risk factors, and poor birth outcomes. However, these associations have not been shown consistently, perhaps partly due to disparate study designs, measures of exposure, and outcomes. To bring consistency to the study of post-disaster factors affecting pregnant and postpartum women and infants, the CDC Division of Reproductive Health (DRH) Emergency Preparedness and Response Program initiated a collaborative process with partners to identify a list of common post-disaster epidemiologic indicators for this at-risk group. The purposes of the project are below.

      Purposes for developing a list of common epidemiologic indicators for pregnant and postpartum (P/PP) women and infants affected by disaster:

      1. To identify salient conditions (e.g. infant feeding, gender-based violence) and outcomes (e.g. maternal and birth outcomes) to be monitored via surveillance or post-disaster data collection.

      2. To promote use of consistent measures across post-disaster studies.

      3. To build scientific knowledge regarding disaster effects on P/PP women and infants.

      The focus was on catastrophic events, defined as any disaster “including terrorism, that results in extraordinary levels of mass casualties, damage, or disruption severely affecting the population, infrastructure, environment, economy, national morale, and/or government functions” (National Response Framework, January 2008). For this project we did not focus on infectious diseases or pandemic illnesses.

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