Suellen Miller, PhD, RN, CNM, MHA

Professor, Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology & Reproductive Sciences
Director, Safe Motherhood Program
Adjunct Professor, Maternal Child Health Program, School of Public Health, UC Berkeley


Dr. Miller was the principal investigator on multiple studies of the Non-pneumatic Anti-Shock Garment (NASG) for the management of obstetric hemorrhage in Nigeria, India, Egypt, Zimbabwe and Zambia. These studies include comparative projects in hospitals in Egypt and Nigeria, and randomized cluster trails at midwife-staffed primary health care centers in Zimbabwe and Zambia.

Dr. Miller is a contributing investigator to the Continuum of Care for Post-Partum Hemorrhage Project, a multi-phase community-to-facility maternal health project in Nigeria and India. She is a co-PI, along with PIs from University of Illinois, Chicago, KNM Medical College and Gynuity Health Projects on a health delivery systems study of two approaches for using misoprostol to prevent postpartum hemorrhage at home deliveries in rural India. She is PI on an innovative, mixed methods study to develop a tool to measure reintegration among women with fistula repairs who return to their communities.

Dr. Miller’s expertise is called upon for international technical consultations by bi-lateral organizations, such as the World Health Organization (WHO) and UNICEF. She is on the Expert Panel on Induction and Augmentation of Labor, the California Maternal Quality Care Collaborative’s (CMQCC) Hemorrhage Task Force, the Prevention of Post-Partum Hemorrhage Initiative’s (POPPHI) First Interventions Task Force, and the WHO Partnership for Safe Mothers’, Newborns’, and Children’s Health Effective Interventions Working Group. She was on the Technical Advisory Board of No Woman, No Cry, the global documentary on maternal mortality. She sits on the Safe Motherhood and Newborn Health Committee of the International Federation of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (FIGO), for whom she has recently co-authored guidelines on the management of second stage labor, post-partum hemorrhage and best practice guidelines for NASG implementation. She is currently FIGO representative for the global Mother Friendly Facility Initiative, providing criteria for facilities to protect the human rights and dignity of women during childbirth.

She conducted a study funded by the National Institutes of Health to test traditional tibetan medicine vs. misoprostol for prevention of post-partum hemorrhage. Dr. Miller’s work in Tibet was the first randomized controlled trial ever conducted there, and included two years of ethnographic research and multiple publications, including some on the ethics of informed consent in research-naïve populations.

Dr. Miller has published over 88 journal articles and is co-author of the Hesperian Foundation's A Book for Midwives. She wrote, directed and narrated a training video for Pathfinder International, "Saving Mother's Lives: Community and Clinical Action to Address Post-Partum Hemorrhage." A new web-based toolkit for policy makers, clinicians, and trainers was recently launched on the NASG website. UNICEF has adopted these training materials and is using them and the NASG in their projects in 15 countries; the NASG itself is now used in over 40 countries.

In 2015 Dr. Miller led an international panel of expert authors to write "Beyond Too Little, Too Much Too Soon," for the Lancet Series on Maternal Health, an exploration of the global use or lack of use of evidence-based, respectful maternity care.  Out of that work, she became the lead on a WHO Technical Consultation to develop bundles of PPH care, the consultation and its results were published in the Reproductive Health Journal.  This led to her being a co-investigator on the Bill and Melinda Gates funded, multi-university, multi-country project, "E-MOTIVE:  Early detection of postpartum haemorrhage and treatment using the World Health Organization MOTIVE ‘first response’ bundle: a cluster randomised trial with health economic analysis and mixed-methods evaluation", which is currently in the process of recruitment.  There are 88 facilities involved, with an estimated 250,000 births that will be monitored; the trial should be completed in early 2023.

Areas of interest:

  • Obstetric hemorrhage
  • Evidence-based obstetrical medicine
  • International safe motherhood


Awards and honors: