Our research and expertise cover a wide range of subjects in the field of perinatal health.

Project examples

All projects


This qualitative project will focus on understanding the individual, social and healthcare system-related factors that are important when it comes to providing adequate care for women with perinatal mental health problems. We plan to carry out structured interviews with healthy women who have been affected in the past twelve months and to hold focus groups with a range of different health professionals who provide women with perinatal care.

MATERNAL OBESITY – Obesity in pregnancy

This project looks at the prevalence of excess bodyweight and obesity in pregnancy in Switzerland over a ten-year period. The aim is to examine whether increased bodyweight during pregnancy presents a risk of birth complications. In a population of obese pregnant women, we demonstrate the theoretical benefits of losing weight before the pregnancy. The results are designed to help public health authorities draw up policies to prevent obesity.

PERICARE – Perinatal Care of Refugees

The PERICARE project examines what sort of access female asylum seekers have to perinatal healthcare in Europe. As the Leading House, BFH has brought together an international consortium from Germany, Greece and Lebanon. Quantitative assessments of healthcare provision for pregnant refugees form a central aspect of this research project. The vulnerable position of pregnant refugees lends particular importance and urgency to the qualitative assessment of their health-related needs. As a needs-oriented applied research project, we expect that PERICARE will facilitate and support significant improvements in the provision and use of perinatal healthcare in Europe.

Transition to Home (TtH) after Preterm Birth

This project focuses on the development and implementation of a sustainable, interprofessional model for optimising transitional care and supporting families with a preterm infant. It also examines effectiveness and cost-efficiency.

Coercion during childbirth: A population-based survey and interview study

The goal of the current project is to understand, how often and by what means informal and formal coercion takes place during births in Switzerland and how contextual and personal factors influence it.

4th Symposium on Obstetrics – Perinatal care for women and their children following displacement and migration

In 2017, the 4th Symposium on Obstetrics focused on healthcare provision for women and children following displacement and migration, a contentious topic in the field of public health policy. Pregnant women and mothers who have fled their homeland, who have experienced violence and hardship on their journey and who are now faced with integrating into society, form a particularly vulnerable group. It is vital to find out their needs and offer appropriate and innovative healthcare concepts.

12th International Symposium on Paediatric Pain 2019 (ISPP)

This international pain symposium will bring together academics from various disciplines and specialists from different fields of healthcare with the common aim of promoting the research and treatment of pain in children and adolescents. The overarching theme of the 12th Symposium is ‘Children and families as partners in pain management’.

Barrier-free communication in maternity care of allophone migrants BRIDGE

Providing obstetric care for migrants who do not speak German is a challenge. The BRIDGE study is designed to provide guidance on improving both barrier-free, transcultural understanding between mothers and healthcare professionals and coordination between service providers.

eMatrix: eHealth platform for health care during pregnancy, birth and the postpartum period

To ensure integrated healthcare before, during and following birth, a central information system is of key importance to all parties involved, both inside and outside the hospital.

GEF expert report on ‘Midwife-led obstetrics in the canton of Bern’

This report analyses factors that promote or impede the implementation of a midwife-led perinatal care model in the canton of Bern.

Promoting ethical competence in midwife training and practice (INEC)

Certified midwives need pronounced ethical competence in their daily clinical practice. These skills should be fostered through mentoring and supervision during training, both in ethics classes and in clinical settings.

MOKA Moral competence of midwives in German-speaking Switzerland

This study examines the extent to which the development of ethical conduct depends on training, practical work experience and the professional setting.

Obstetric care has a major effect on the health of women, children and families. This study aims, for the first time, to assess its quality and effectiveness from the perspective of women in Switzerland.

Perinatal mental disorders in Switzerland: prevalence and use of mental-health services

In this study, three major Swiss health databases were analysed to assess the prevalence of mental health problems and the use of basic cover mental health services during pregnancy and up to one year after the birth (perinatal phase). The study found that every year, 16.7% of all women in the perinatal phase made use of mental healthcare provisions. Around half of all treatments included or consisted of medication. On obstetric wards, there was very little mental health consultation or treatment, and in midwife-delivered care at home, mental health issues were rarely reported. It was concluded that researchers and practitioners should take better account of the high prevalence of perinatal mental health problems to ensure that the women affected receive adequate advice and treatment in all settings.

REFUGEE Sexual and reproductive healthcare provision for women and their newborn babies in asylum centres in Switzerland

This study investigated sexual and reproductive healthcare provision for pregnant and postpartum women and their newborn babies in asylum centres in Switzerland. Recommendations were drawn up on the basis of the findings.

Substance screening for the benefit of maternal and child health

The aim of this follow-up study is to investigate the change in screening practice and advice relating to cigarette and alcohol consumption since the introduction of a public health guideline that came into force in 2011 and was revised in 2017. This follow-up investigation evaluates the guidance for midwives and also asks whether and how frequently midwives apply the guidance in practice.

Video des Forums Tabakprävention und Behandlung der Tabakabhängigkeit in Gesundheitsinstitutionen Schweiz FTGS

Drafting of a proposal for the study Transition to Home after Preterm Birth (TtH) – an Advanced Practice Nurse (APN)-led care model for families following a preterm birth

The new model of transitional care is designed to guarantee structured and individual support for families. To ensure the best possible development of the preterm infants, it is important to improve the mental health of the parents and reinforce their parenting skills over the long term. The aim is also to achieve an overall reduction in costs.

Validation of the Bernese Pain Scale for Neonates (BSN)

Validation of the BSN on the basis of a large random sample of newborns of different ages. Examination of the influence of contextual factors on pain reactions, and modification of the BSN with regard to the relevant contextual factors.