Maternal and Child Health Journal recently released a special issue with the theme of “Advancing MCH Life Course,” co-edited by Cheri Pies, clinical professor with the Maternal & Child Health and the DrPH programs. The issue promotes the germination of new and innovative MCH Life Course approaches to theory, policy, local and state practice, research, education and training.
Pies was motivated by the absence of published literature on Life Course in maternal and child health to bring together scholars and practitioners to contribute to this publication. The Life Course perspective is a multidisciplinary approach to understanding the mental, physical, and social health of individuals—looking at life as a continuum, and incorporates both life span and life stage concepts as well as social determinants of health and health equity that as factors that contribute to one’s health trajectory.
“We hope that these articles are valuable to our community of scholars, practitioners, clinicians, and others as we begin to develop a MCH Life Course practice literature,” Pies and co-editor Milton Kotelchuck, Harvard School of Medicine, wrote in their editorial notes. “We also hope that the work contained in this special issue stimulates new and better practice—new MCH Life Course learning.”
The issue contains articles divided into six topic areas: theory, local practice, state practice and state policy, education, domain commentaries, and research.
"This special issue offers each of us an opportunity to return to our field’s social determinant and longitudinal roots,” Pies and Kotelchuck write, “and inspires us to develop MCH practice initiatives that will genuinely improve birth outcomes, reduce disparities, and optimize health for all of our children and their families.”
By Linda Anderberg