Delta Omega selects doctoral student Laura Drew to present at APHA 2018
Laura Drew, a fourth-year Maternal and Child Health doctoral student, is one of 29 students selected nationwide to present her research at the Delta Omega Honorary Society in Public Health poster session at this year’s American Public Health Association annual meeting. Her research was nominated by the UMD SPH's Delta Omega Gamma Zeta chapter for presentation at the national meeting.
The sessions will be held on Monday, Nov. 12 and Tuesday, Nov. 13 at the APHA meeting this year in San Diego, CA. Drew’s presentation will be about the association between the rates and incidences of potentially deadly neonatal conditions in babies born with significantly larger than average birthweight in the United States.
Little research has looked at the relationship between high birth weights, or macrosomia, and neonatal conditions like having a low Apgar— a test that assesses a child’s condition after birth — score, being immediately placed on a ventilator after birth or being admitted to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.
“The majority of maternal and child health research focuses on low birth weight outcomes; however, there are implications of macrosomic births on the health of the mother and newborn,” Drew said. “Also, the prevalence of gestational diabetes has been increasing in the US, and it is associated with macrosomia.”
To look at these relationships, Drew used U.S. birth certificate data to examine the relationship between macrosomia and maternal delivery complications as well as neonatal morbidities.
She is working on the research with her advisor, Marie Thoma, an Assistant Professor in the Department of Family Science.
Last year at APHA, the two presented findings on macrosomia and maternal delivery complications.
“My goal from every research project is that its findings will influence policy and decisions that lead to better health outcomes for mothers and children,” Drew said.
Throughout the course of her studies at Maryland, Drew has become increasingly passionate about the relationship between female genital cutting and reproductive health outcomes, she said. The subject will be the focus of her dissertation.