IOE - Faculty of Education and Society


Secondary effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on perinatal outcomes in the US

08 December 2021, 1:00 pm–2:00 pm

Pregnant woman. Photo by freestocks on Unsplash

In this webinar, Alison Gemmill will present a study of indirect effects of the Covid-19 pandemic on maternal and perinatal health.

This event is free.

Event Information

Open to







Jenny Chanfreau

Using vital statistics data, this seminar will elaborate on study design challenge for estimating COVID-19 “effects” on perinatal outcomes and illustrate how use of naïve counterfactuals can produce spurious results.

It will also estimate the impact of exposure to initial pandemic lockdowns on preterm birth among gestations exposed to this shock in early, mid, and late gestation.

There is growing interest in understanding the secondary effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on pregnant people and gestation, especially in light of several early reports documenting counterintuitive declines in preterm birth during initial widespread lockdowns.

These suggested improvements in perinatal and maternal health offer a potential window to better understand mechanisms and identify new prevention strategies. Indeed, beyond changes in clinical care, the pandemic disrupted people’s social ties, widened economic inequality, and led to short-term changes in environmental, occupational, and infectious exposures, all of which may have indirectly impacted maternal and perinatal health.

This event will be particularly useful for those interested in quantitative social science, Covid-19 research, pregnancy and birth outcomes.

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About the Speaker

Dr Alison Gemmill

Assistant Professor at Department of Population, Family and Reproductive Health, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

Dr Gemmill is a demographer with expertise in maternal, perinatal, and reproductive health and fertility, and has published numerous articles in these areas. Her previous and current work on U.S. fertility examines fertility intention dynamics of childless women, state-level variation in fertility responses to the Great Recession, and patterns and determinants of fertility postponement.

Her other recent research studies how women’s risk preferences and perceptions impact reproductive health behaviors and outcomes, the relationship between macrosocial stressors and perinatal health, and global and regional patterns of maternal health indicators.