(HealthDay News) – A strategic alliance, including researchers, funders, and key stakeholders in the fields of pregnancy, childbirth, and early life, will help alleviate the lack of consensus among researchers about how to prevent the adverse outcomes of pregnancy.

Michael G. Gravett, MD, and Craig E. Rubens, MD, PhD, from the Global Alliance to Prevent Prematurity and Stillbirth Technical Team at the University of Washington School of Medicine in Seattle, surveyed researchers and funders in an effort to develop a global framework to reduce preterm birth and stillbirth.

The researchers found that, based on recent surveys, there was a lack of consensus on research priorities and development of interventions among researchers, and funders were unclear about projects that need to be undertaken and what to support given competing priorities. The researchers recommend reducing the burden of preterm birth by the creation of an alliance of funders, researchers, and key stakeholders in the fields of pregnancy, childbirth, and early life. Modeling of the true cost of prematurity will be beneficial for raising awareness. After establishment of an alliance, research opportunities can be identified and promoted. Coordination and harmonization of data collection will facilitate research.

“This lack of consensus provides an opportunity to engage with funders and researchers to recognize the importance of understanding healthy pregnancies and the consequences of adverse pregnancy outcomes,” the authors write. “A strategic alliance of funders, researchers, nongovernmental organizations, the private sector, and others could organize a set of grand challenges centered on pregnancy and childbirth that could yield a substantial improvement in reproductive health.”

Full Text