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Maternal Microbiome and Pregnancy Outcomes That Impact Infant Health

A Review

Dunlop, Anne L. MD, MPH, FAAFP; Mulle, Jennifer G. MHS, PhD; Ferranti, Erin P. PhD, MPH, RN; Edwards, Sara MN, MPH, CNM; Dunn, Alexis B. MSN, CNM; Corwin, Elizabeth J. PhD, RN, FAAN

Section Editor(s): Gregory, Katherine E. PhD, RN; Series Editor

doi: 10.1097/ANC.0000000000000218
Special Series: Unraveling the Microbiome

The maternal microbiome is recognized as a key determinant of a range of important maternal and child health outcomes, and together with perinatal factors influences the infant microbiome. This article provides a summary review of research investigating (1) the role of the maternal microbiome in pregnancy outcomes known to adversely influence neonatal and infant health, including preterm birth, cardiometabolic complications of pregnancy such as preeclampsia and gestational diabetes, and excessive gestational weight gain; (2) factors with an established link to adverse pregnancy outcomes that are known to influence the composition of the maternal microbiome; and (3) strategies for promoting a healthy maternal microbiome, recognizing that much more research is needed in this area.

Emory University School of Nursing, Atlanta, Georgia (Dr Dunlop); Department of Human Genetics, Rollins School of Public Health and School of Medicine, Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia (Dr Mulle); and Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing, Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia (Dr Ferranti, Ms Edwards, Ms Dunn, and Dr Corwin).

Correspondence: Anne L. Dunlop, MD, MPH, FAAFP, Emory University School of Nursing, 1520 Clifton Road NE, Atlanta, GA 30322 (

This work was supported in part by a grant from the National Institutes of Health, National Institute of Nursing Research (R01NR014800).

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

© 2015 by The National Association of Neonatal Nurses