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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.

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Projects 1986 2014

longitudinal study
Patient Acceptance of Health Care
Health Expenditures
Delivery of Health Care
Insurance Coverage
Pelvic Floor Disorders
Health Care Surveys
Uterine Prolapse
Urinary Incontinence

Research Output 1976 2019

  • 2335 Citations
  • 22 h-Index
  • 69 Article
  • 7 Conference contribution
  • 1 Comment/debate
  • 1 Letter

Breastfeeding initiation and duration and child health outcomes in the first baby study

Pattison, K. L., Kraschnewski, J., Lehman, E., Williams, J. S., Downs, D. S., Leonard, K. S., Adams, E. L., Paul, I. & Kjerulff, K., Jan 1 2019, In : Preventive Medicine. 118, p. 1-6 6 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Breast Feeding
Weights and Measures
Pediatric Obesity

Early maternal-newborn contact and positive birth experience

Brubaker, L. H., Paul, I., Repke, J. & Kjerulff, K., Mar 1 2019, In : Birth. 46, 1, p. 42-50 9 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Newborn Infant
Insurance Coverage
Pregnancy Complications

Mode of Delivery Preference among Pregnant Nulliparous Women

Kjerulff, K., Attanasio, L. B., Edmonds, J. K. & Repke, J., Jun 1 2019, In : Journal of Women's Health. 28, 6, p. 874-884 11 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Patient Preference
Pregnant Women
Odds Ratio
Confidence Intervals

Patterns of Gestational Weight Gain and Infants Born Large-for-Gestational Age Across Consecutive Pregnancies

Adams, E. L., Marini, M. E., Leonard, K. S., Downs, D. S., Paul, I., Kraschnewski, J., Kjerulff, K. & Williams, J. S., Mar 1 2019, In : Women's Health Issues. 29, 2, p. 194-200 7 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Gestational Age
Weight Gain
Africa South of the Sahara
Contraceptive Agents
Confidence Intervals