Spotlight on Public Health

Is women’s health care your area of interest? What about initiatives that promote women’s health and healthy pregnancies, like the National Birth Defects Prevention Network’s Prevent to Protect? You might consider a career in public health with a focus on maternal and child health.

The National Birth Defects Prevention Network has deemed January National Birth Defects Prevention Month, dedicating the first month of the year to promoting ways that women can increase their chances of having healthy babies.

The Network spends this month drawing attention to preventable birth defects by sharing resources like social media campaigns, infographics and more that state program staff and others can use to draw attention to this important public health concern.

Public Health: An Overview
Public health focuses on creating healthy communities through education, research and the promotion of healthy lifestyle choices. Rather than diagnosing and treating illnesses and conditions after they occur, public health professionals analyze and develop programs to prevent disease and injury. Common areas of study within the field of public health include:

  • Behavioral and Social Science
  • Biostatistics and Informatics
  • Community Health
  • Epidemiology
  • Environmental Health
  • Global Health
  • Health Policy and Management
  • Health Promotion and Communication
  • Maternal and Child Health
  • Minority Health and Health Disparities

What Do Maternal and Child Health Experts Do?
Public health professionals with a maternal and child health focus dedicate their time to the issues that affect women, children and their families. For example, they provide information and access to sexual reproductive health services as well as promote the health of pregnant women and their children through increasing vaccination rates.

Overall, maternal and child health specialists aim to improve the health delivery system for women and children and they accomplish this by discovering and testing solutions through applied research and by developing, implementing and evaluating health programs at the local, state, national and international levels—health programs like the National Birth Defects Prevention Network’s Birth Defects Prevention Month.

Use the Career Explorer to learn more about how you can make a difference for your community as a maternal and child health expert.

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