Jenny Cresswell BA MSc PhD

Assistant Professor


Jenny is an epidemiologist in the MARCH Centre for Maternal, Adolescent, Reproductive and Child Health and the Maternal and Newborn Health Group. Jenny has an MSc in Demography & Health. Her PhD research, conducted at LSHTM, investigated the effect of maternal obesity on reproductive health outcomes in Sub-Saharan Africa. After completing her PhD, Jenny briefly worked on a study of the quality of antenatal care at the University of East London, before returning to LSHTM as a staff member in October 2011.




Jenny co-organises the module 'Foundations in Reproductive Health', which is a core compulsory course for students studying for the MSc in Reproductive & Sexual Health Research. She also teaches on various epidemiology and statistics modules within the School.


Jenny's research interests include reducing unintended pregnancies, the measurement of maternal morbidity, and methods for evaluating complex interventions. She is currently working on three main projects:

  1. An impact evaluation of a large-scale programme aiming to reduce maternal deaths from unwanted pregnancy through increased use of family planning and reduced recourse to unsafe abortion. The main evaluation activities are taking place in Zambia, in addition to a desk-based evaluation across 14 countries in Africa and Asia where the interventions are taking place.
  2. An inter-disciplinary prospective cohort study of productivity, family planning and reproductive health in Burkina Faso; following a cohort of postpartum women to look at the interactions between birth preparedness, family planning and the resumption of both income generating and non-income generating work after pregnancy.
  3. A cluster-randomised trial evaluating the Alive & Thrive programme in Burkina Faso to determine if the intervention is successful in increasing exclusive breastfeeding rates among infants less than six months, in addition to improving other infant feeding practices.

Other ongoing and previous work includes: a systematic review on maternal morbidity and health-related functioning; evaluation of user fee exemption policies for maternity care in Benin, Burkina Faso, Mali and Morocco; and systematic reviews on the global burden of maternal morbidity.

Research areas

  • Complex interventions
  • Evaluation
  • Impact evaluation
  • Maternal health
  • Perinatal health
  • Reproductive health


  • Demography
  • Epidemiology


  • Burkina Faso
  • Zambia

Other interests

  • Abortion
  • Breastfeeding
  • Contraception
  • Family Planning
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