MAMAACT – ethnic equality in maternal and child health – University of Copenhagen


MAMAACT – ethnic equality in maternal and child health

Assistant professor Sarah Fredsted Villadsen and professor Anne-Marie Nybo Andersen from the Section of Social Medicine have in collaboration with The Danish Research Centre for Migration, Ethnicity and Health (MESU) received a grant from TrygFonden to continue the project “Healthy Reproduction among Migrants”, which was part of the SULIM project (Sustainable Healthy Lifestyle Interventions among Migrants). In addition to the grant from TrygFonden the project is made possible through a financial collaboration with the midwifery education at the Metropolitan University College.

MAMAACT is currently doing an investigation in collaboration with the majority of Denmark's maternity wards. MAMAACT wants to change the social and ethnic inequality in maternal and child health in Denmark. We wish to strengthen the dialogue between pregnant women and the midwives. To do that, we need you if you are currently pregnant! Hear more about it in the video here: MAMAACT video.

MAMAACT has made videos in English, Arabic, Urdu, Turkish and Somali, you can see them here: MAMAACT Vimeo

Since 2012, Sarah Fredsted Villadsen and Anne-Marie Nybo Andersen and fellow researchers have studied the causes of ethnic inequity in negative pregnancy outcomes and sought to establish a better understanding of the factors leading to an increased risk of stillbirth and infant mortality among certain migrant groups in Denmark.

They have developed the multicomponent antenatal care (ANC) intervention called MAMAACT, which was created in close collaboration with the midwives at Hvidovre Hospital. The goal of MAMAACT is to create change in the clinical setting by improving the communication between pregnant women and midwives regarding body symptoms, which are signs of complications in pregnancy, and to ensure optimal and timely response to warning signs in pregnancy from both the women and the health system.

MAMAACT consists of a combination of:

  • educational materials (an information sheet and a smartphone application) about body signals related to pregnancy complications 
  • post graduate training of midwives in diversity sensitivity
  • more time for conversation during the midwifery consultation (if further external funding is obtained).

MAMAACT was implemented and evaluated as a pilot study at Hvidovre Hospital in 2014-2015 and due to the grant from TrygFonden MAMAACT is now implemented and evaluated across all of Denmark as a randomized controlled trial. The MAMAACT intervention is adapted to local settings and the effect evaluated as a complex intervention with a focus on what works where under which circumstances. This is achieved through a qualitative evaluation of the implementation of the MAMAACT intervention in combination with a quantitative effect evaluation of the women’s health literacy, mutual trust, experiences of the midwife consultations, contact pattern at emergency units as well as health and mortality among newborn babies.

The evaluation of the MAMAACT project will be based on the findings of two Ph.D. projects.