Professor, Chair for Divsion of Women, Children, and Family Health
Dr. Lowe is focused on maximizing health and well-being of childbearing women, their newborns, and their families. To maximize positive outcomes and minimize unnecessary costly medical intervention, pregnancy/birth/parenting must be viewed within a holistic, health-promotion framework, a framework that is best constructed by nurse-midwives. Dr. Lowe’s primary research foci are (a) biobehavioral aspects of the childbearing experience and its processes, (b) care during labor, and (c) postpartum outcomes of healthy, nulliparous women. In recent years there has been a spike in interventions during labor and birth for this group of first-time mothers. Despite this high level of intervention--in particular, a high level of cesarean section--there have been no improvements in outcomes for these mothers or newborns. For reasons that remain obscure, healthy first-time mothers are particularly vulnerable to a diagnosis of labor dystocia, the most common indication for cesarean delivery in this population. Dr. Lowe’s research is investigating an acute-stress-and-adiposity biobehavioral model in relationship to uterine dystocia in first-time mothers. Her secondary line of research is an ongoing collaboration with Dr. Nancy Ryan-Wenger (Nationwide Children’s Hospital, Columbus, OH) to develop a field-expedient, self-diagnosis and self-treatment kit for deployed military women with genitourinary infection. Another area of research and scholarship was with Dr. Jeanne-Marie Guise (Oregon Health & Science University) in which the team tested the clinical utility of simulation team training for obstetrical emergencies in hospitals throughout Oregon. Dr. Lowe is the Chair of the Division of Women, Children, & Family Health in the College of Nursing; currently serves on the Board of Directors of the newly formed Nursing Alliance for Quality Care (NAQC); and is the editor-in-chief of the Journal of Obstetric, Gynecologic, and Neonatal Nursing (JOGNN).