Reproductive Health

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Focus is aimed at sexual, reproductive and perinatal health, i.e. human reproduction and the beginning of life.

The research is focused on issues related to the clinical work of midwives. The philosophy of science as well as the design of the projects is thus generally based on caring and public health science, but also to some extent on social and medical science.

The unit is also engaged in international research projects and education in Asia, Africa and South America, as well as in student-teacher exchange programmes such as Erasmus and Linnaeus-Palme.


Some examples of research projects:

  • Caring routines in relation to childbirth (delivery, caesarean section, pain relief and preterm birth) and their effect on the mother/parent-infant interaction, well-being (physiological as well as psychological/behavioural) and breastfeeding.
  • Normal childbirth incl. pregnancy and the postnatal/partum period
  • The complexity of being a pregnant teenager and having to decide on continuing the pregnancy towards motherhood versus opting for an abortion.
  • Infertility, mental ill health and social support related to reproductive health throughout the life span.


Each year 64 midwives graduate at the Division, and many PhD students are supervised. Several courses are given, focusing on different target groups such as doctorial level courses, master's level courses, elective courses and commissioned education.

Research area Research leader
Reproduction, Childbirth and Parenting Helena Lindgren

Healthy skin contact

Skin-to-skin contact immediately after delivery has been shown to have many positive health effects for both the mother and the newborn child. Together with colleagues at Makerere University and University of Gulu, researchers at the Division of Reproductive Health, Karolinska Institutet have developed a routine to increase the proportion of mothers and newborns in Uganda who have early skin-to-skin contact. This film has been produced in collaboration with the Healthy Children Projectin the US, and will be used to educate midwives and doctors.

Health careObstetrics