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Redesigning systems of postnatal
care to better enable all families to thrive

NC State University

Hundreds of women die each year from complications related to pregnancy and childbirth. The United States is the only high income country in the world in which maternal mortality rates are rising, with rates 3-4 times greater for non-Hispanic Black women than for non-Hispanic White women. A majority of these deaths are preventable.

Childbirth is the most common indication for hospitalization in the United States; more than 3.8 million women and their infants are discharged from postnatal care each year. Currently, the high volume, relatively short stays, multiple administrative tasks to be completed prior to discharge, and the absence of effective tools for morbidity detection, increases risk for patient harm. This system fails to adequately serve infants and mothers.

To be safe and well, birthing mothers need to be listened to, respected, and experience timely, risk-appropriate postnatal health care. However, care can be inequitable and undermine the people and outcomes it seeks to support. This project is about identifying opportunities to re-design postnatal care and improve outcomes for families and those serving them.

We are a group of designers, engineers, researchers and health care providers working together with parents to improve maternity care. Our aim is for our work to be inclusive, effective and inspirational. We are taking a human-centered approach to redesigning maternity care, by centering moms and their specific needs. Our vision is to better enable all families to thrive.




  • Carolina Gill
  • Bret Smith
  • Kelly Umstead
  • Justine Hollingshead
  • Justin Hammond
  • Sana Behnam Asl
  • Raunak Mahtani
  • Marissa Yankello
  • Ngoc Nguyen