In the 1950s and 1960s, researchers Leon Chesley, John Annitto, and Robert Cosgrove investigated the possible familial factor for the conditions of preeclampsia and eclampsia in pregnant women. Preeclampsia and eclampsia, which are related to high blood pressure, have unknown causes and affect at least five percent of all pregnancies.
Virginia Apgar worked as an obstetrical anesthesiologist, administering drugs that reduce women's pain during childbirth, in the mid-twentieth century US. In 1953, Apgar created a scoring system using five easily assessable measurements, including heart rate and breathing rate, to evaluate whether or not infants would benefit from medical attention immediately after birth. Apgar's system showed that infants who were previously set aside as too sick to survive,
In 2010, a team of US researchers concluded that the more peanuts a pregnant woman ate during her pregnancy, the more likely her newborn was to be sensitive to peanuts.