Carol Sakala, PhD
Adjunct Assistant Professor
Boston University School of Public Health
Dept of Community Health Sciences

PhD, Boston University
MSPH, University of Utah
MA, University of Chicago
BA, University of Chicago

Carol is an experienced maternity care advocate, educator, researcher, author, and policy analyst. With a continuous focus on meeting the needs and interests of childbearing women and families, she works to

• improve the quality, outcomes, and value of maternity care
• give voice to the needs and interests of childbearing women and families
• advance evidence-based maternity care, woman- and family-centered health policies, and maternity care shared decision making
• help women navigate the maternity care system.

Carol has served on deliberative and advisory bodies of the National Quality Forum, National Committee for Quality Assurance, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Guidelines International Network, and the US Breastfeeding Committee, among others.

Carol creates resources that are widely used to improve maternity care policy, practice, education, and research. She has served as:

• co-investigator of national Listening to Mothers surveys to illuminate experiences and views of childbearing women
• member of the PregnantMe team that is creating state-of-the-science maternity care decision aids
• lead author of the “Milbank Report,” Evidence-Based Maternity Care: What It Is and What It Can Achieve (2008)
• founding author (2003-2007) of the continuing “Current Resources for Evidence-Based Practice” column, which is published jointly in 2 professional journals
• author of the “Letter from North America” column in the journal Birth from 2006 to 2012
• member of founding team and contributor to the Consumer Panel of the Cochrane Collaboration Pregnancy and Childbirth Group
• co-author of the Cochrane review, “Continuous Support for Women During Childbirth”

Carol helps foster, develop, and/or apply high-quality clinical effectiveness tools – including systematic reviews, performance measures, clinical practice guidelines, and decision aids – to help address widely recognized patterns of maternity care overuse, underuse, and practice variation.

Publications listed below are automatically derived from MEDLINE/PubMed and other sources, which might result in incorrect or missing publications. Faculty can login to make corrections and additions.

iCite Analysis       Copy PMIDs To Clipboard

  1. Levine A, Souter V, Sakala C. Are perinatal quality collaboratives collaborating enough? How including all birth settings can drive needed improvement in the United States maternity care system. Birth. 2022 03; 49(1):3-10. PMID: 34698401; PMCID: PMC9298427; DOI: 10.1111/birt.12600;
  2. Edmonds JK, Declercq E, Sakala C. Women's childbirth experiences: A content analysis from the Listening to Mothers in California survey. Birth. 2021 06; 48(2):221-229.View Related Profiles. PMID: 33538003
  3. Sakala C, Belanoff C, Declercq ER. Factors Associated with Unplanned Primary Cesarean Birth: Secondary Analysis of the Listening to Mothers in California Survey. BMC Pregnancy Childbirth. 2020 Aug 14; 20(1):462.View Related Profiles. PMID: 32795305; PMCID: PMC7427718; DOI: 10.1186/s12884-020-03095-4;
  4. Declercq E, Sakala C, Belanoff C. Women's experience of agency and respect in maternity care by type of insurance in California. PLoS One. 2020; 15(7):e0235262.View Related Profiles. PMID: 32716927; PMCID: PMC7384608; DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0235262;
  5. Sakala C. Toward a Workforce That Reliably Delivers High-Value Maternity Care in the United States. J Midwifery Womens Health. 2020 09; 65(5):605-608. PMID: 32232959
  6. Declercq ER, Belanoff C, Sakala C. Intrapartum Care and Experiences of Women with Midwives Versus Obstetricians in the Listening to Mothers in California Survey. J Midwifery Womens Health. 2020 Jan; 65(1):45-55.View Related Profiles. PMID: 31448884; PMCID: PMC7028014; DOI: 10.1111/jmwh.13027;
  7. Nijagal MA, Wissig S, Stowell C, Olson E, Amer-Wahlin I, Bonsel G, Brooks A, Coleman M, Devi Karalasingam S, Duffy JMN, Flanagan T, Gebhardt S, Greene ME, Groenendaal F, R Jeganathan JR, Kowaliw T, Lamain-de-Ruiter M, Main E, Owens M, Petersen R, Reiss I, Sakala C, Speciale AM, Thompson R, Okunade O, Franx A. Standardized outcome measures for pregnancy and childbirth, an ICHOM proposal. BMC Health Serv Res. 2018 Dec 11; 18(1):953. PMID: 30537958; PMCID: PMC6290550; DOI: 10.1186/s12913-018-3732-3;
  8. Kennedy HP, Kozhimannil KB, Sakala C. Using the Blueprint for Advancing High-Value Maternity Care for transformative change. Birth. 2018 12; 45(4):331-335. PMID: 30379349
  9. Declercq ER, Cheng ER, Sakala C. Does maternity care decision-making conform to shared decision- making standards for repeat cesarean and labor induction after suspected macrosomia? Birth. 2018 09; 45(3):236-244.View Related Profiles. PMID: 29934981
  10. Avery MD, Bell AD, Bingham D, Corry MP, Delbanco SF, Gullo SL, Ivory CH, Jennings JC, Kennedy HP, Kozhimannil KB, Leeman L, Lothian JA, Miller HD, Ogburn T, Romano A, Sakala C, Shah NT. Blueprint for Advancing High-Value Maternity Care Through Physiologic Childbearing. J Perinat Educ. 2018 Jun; 27(3):130-134. PMID: 30364339; PMCID: PMC6193356; DOI: 10.1891/1058-1243.27.3.130;
Showing 10 of 76 results. Show More

This graph shows the total number of publications by year, by first, middle/unknown, or last author.

Bar chart showing 76 publications over 29 distinct years, with a maximum of 7 publications in 2010


2005 National Women's Health Network: Honored as Women's Health Activist
1986-1988 Boston University: Pew Health Policy Fellowship
1986-1987 Frieda Wolff National Health Service Fund Doctoral Research Fellowship
1985 University of Utah: Phi Kappa Phi National Honorary Society
In addition to these self-described keywords below, a list of MeSH based concepts is available here.

Women's Health
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