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1976 …2023

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Personal profile

Research interests

Since 1990, Dr. Kristen Kjerulff has been conducting research on women’s health, with a particular focus on reproductive health. Her research has focused on the outcomes and effectiveness of common treatments, such as hysterectomy and cesarean section, health care utilization and costs, and associated psychosocial factors including stress, depression and social support.

Dr. Kjerulff’s research has made seminal contributions to understanding the outcomes of hysterectomy, both positive and negative, in terms of quality of life, symptom relief, and mental health.

Dr. Kjerulff’s recent work has focused on maternity care, with a particular focus on cesarean section. She was principal investigator of a large-scale prospective study titled "Mode of First Delivery and Subsequent Childbearing," which was funded by NIH, from 2008 to 2014. Thus far this study, known as the First Baby Study, has generated 31 publications addressing a range of topics relevant to childbirth and women’s health including the effects of previous miscarriage on the birth experience and maternal-infant bonding, unintended pregnancy and postpartum depression, exercise during pregnancy and gestational weight gain, fear of childbirth and the birth experience, psychosocial stress during pregnancy and infant health outcomes, gestational age and breastfeeding, postpartum depression over the course of the first year, risk factors for dyspareunia, the protective effect of a helpful father on infant colic, the effect of labor induction on cesarean delivery, the effects of women’s attitudes toward cesarean delivery and preference on delivery mode, women’s preference for mode of delivery in subsequent deliveries, early maternal-newborn contact and birth experience, patterns of gestational weight gain across pregnancies, and the effect of breastfeeding on child health outcomes.

Current research is addressing the association between mode of first delivery and subsequent subfertility, factors related to childbirth-related post-traumatic stress disorder, and patient-centered maternity care.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being


Dive into the research topics where Kristen Kjerulff is active. These topic labels come from the works of this person. Together they form a unique fingerprint.
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