EU Birth Research – Building Intrapartum Research Through Health – an interdisciplinary whole system approach to understanding and contextualizing physiological labor and birth (2014-2018)

Getting maternity care right for mothers and babies is vital for all countries and societies. The BIRTH COST Action brings together over 100 scientists, artists, professionals, activists, political stakeholders and service users from around 30 countries in Europe and beyond, to try to understand the range and limits of normal childbirth physiology in different populations, individuals, and contexts. It includes five key areas: 1. Biomedicine (epigenetics and the hygiene hypothesis); 2. Biomechanics (maternal and fetal movement); 3. Socio-cultural perspectives (social expectations and experiences, including marginalized and migrant populations); 4. Organizational perspectives (the effect of organizational contexts and cultures on variation in rates of childbirth interventions) 5. Neuro-psycho-social perspectives (how inter-personal actions and behaviors affect physiological processes). More information about this COST Action can be found at

The main objective of the Action is to improve the wellbeing of women, babies and families, and the economic sustainability of maternity services in Europe, through advancing scientific knowledge about the normal physiology of labor and birth for populations and individuals in diverse social, political, and health care contexts.

Principle Investigator: Prof. Soo Downe (University of Central Lancashire, UK)

Co-Principle Investigator: Dr. Ramon Escuriet Peiro

Coordinator: University of Central Lancashire, UK

Partner: Cluj School of Public Health and institutions from other 30 EU countries (click here for a complete list of all partners)

Funder: COST (European Cooperation in Science and Technology) Programme, as part of EU Horizon 2020.

Budget: N/A