Clinical research

Randomised controlled trials help us answer priority research questions that benefit the wellbeing of women, their babies, and future generations.

Mother and baby clinical research is about conducting high quality randomised controlled trials to answer priority research questions with relevance to lifelong health and wellbeing. This is essential to determine which treatments and care practices are effective, in what setting and for whom, and for identifying potential adverse impacts. Results from trials provide the evidence base to make recommendations for clinical practice and also identify questions for further research.

We work in association with specialist clinicians in the Obstetric Departments and Newborn Services at Auckland’s main hospitals. The clinical research team comprises neonatal paediatricians, neonatal nurse practitioners, neonatal nurses, obstetricians, midwives, dietitians, clinical research fellows and PhD students.

Fetal, perinatal and maternal clinical research includes:

  • Systematic reviews of the literature on maternal and perinatal health. These provide information to assist in evidence-based decision making in clinical practice, and identify areas requiring further research.
  • Randomised controlled trials (RCTs) of modified procedures for maternal and neonatal care. We both undertake local single-centre trials and participate in large multi-centre international trials.
  • Cohort and follow-up studies in young children and adults to determine the developmental and later health effects of treatments during pregnancy and in the newborn period.
  • Knowledge translation projects to generate clinical guidelines based on the latest research, and to assist with their implementation into clinical practice.

We also work closely with colleagues at the Liggins Research Farm. This ensures our research is informed by both large animal and molecular studies which investigate the underlying mechanisms that drive these long-term outcomes.