Kimberly Kovach Trout, PhD, CNM, FACNM, FAAN
Throughout her career as a certified nurse midwife and a failure-to-thrive nurse clinician, Kimberly Kovach Trout has focused on providing safe, high-quality care, including improving nutrition during pregnancy. Her clinical practice as a nurse-midwife at Pennsylvania Hospital fuels many of Dr. Trout’s research questions, through which she seeks to pursue evidence to improve clinical practice where it is lacking.
But one area of research — gestational diabetes — comes from both her personal and clinical experience. After Dr. Trout was diagnosed with gestational diabetes in her second pregnancy, she began to conduct in-depth research on the causes, therapies, and impacts of this condition.
“My work centers on creating a healthy environment for mothers and babies, from pre-conception and prenatal care to birth and healthy options in their community.”
- PhD, University of Pennsylvania, 2005
- MSN, University of Pennsylvania, 1987
- BSN, University of Pennsylvania, 1980
Dr. Trout’s research on nutrition in pregnancies affected by gestational diabetes has illuminated the inequities that exist around food insecurity, food deserts and food swamps. Dr. Trout’s mission is to continue research in collaboration with community members about how best to address these issues in a sustainable manner. The impact of systemic racism and socioeconomic inequalities on pregnancy outcomes is finally being recognized.
Dr. Trout teaches midwifery and women’s health at Penn Nursing. Through her nurse-midwifery clinical practice at Pennsylvania Hospital, she integrates didactic lessons with clinical teaching. Dr. Trout precepts midwifery students, medical students, interns and residents, and views each birth and opportunity to “catch a baby” as a reminder of why she teaches midwifery and conducts research on gestational diabetes.
Though gestational diabetes is the most common type of diabetes during pregnancy, and one of the most common pregnancy complications, there have been few studies on diet recommendations, other than to restrict carbohydrate intake. With funding from the Diabetes Research Center at Penn, Dr. Trout is working on establishing evidence-based guidelines for carbohydrates, protein, and fat consumption in patients with gestational diabetes. Dr. Trout’s study investigates manipulated levels of carbohydrates and the impact of varied protein consumption on controlling blood glucose.
With the gestational diabetes rate escalating rapidly in African-American and Latina women in the United States, Dr. Trout’s research also focuses on growing disparities in the incidence and treatment of gestational diabetes. With NIH funding, Dr. Trout served as principal investigator for a randomized controlled trial on the effects of a carbohydrate-restricted diet on maternal and infant outcomes involving African-American and Latina women with gestational diabetes at two clinical sites: an urban, low-income area and a suburban, middle-class area. Dr. Trout found that despite similar levels of carbohydrate consumption at both sites, the infants born to the women at the suburban site had fewer complications.
As a clinician educator, Dr. Trout also works to expand midwifery education and practice in developing countries, where it can dramatically reduce preventable maternal deaths. In 2016, for example, Dr. Trout helped lead a Midwifery Leadership Conference in Haiti, where she presented research and clinical practice findings on normal birth preparation, hypertensive disorders in pregnancy and midwifery model of care, and non-pharmacological methods and techniques for pain relief and labor support during birth.
Opportunities to Learn and Collaborate at Penn Nursing
Through the Center for Human Phenomic Science at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, Dr. Trout continues to build on the results from her previous studies. The NIH-funded center supports high-quality clinical and translational research by investigators from all schools at Penn, the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, the Wistar Institute, the Monell Institute, and the University of the Sciences in Philadelphia.
Selected Career Highlights
- Excellence in Teaching Award, American College of Nurse-Midwives Foundation
- Recipient, Marion R. Gregory Award, Penn Nursing
- Guest Editor, Diabetes Spectrum, American Diabetes Association
- Chairperson, Pennsylvania Nursing Congress and Cabinet on Nursing Practice and Professional Development, Pennsylvania State Nurses Association
*Trout, K.K., Homko, C., Wetzel-Effinger, L., Mulla, W., Mora, R., McGrath, J., Basel-Brown, L., Arcamone, A., Samii, P., & Makambi, K. (2016) Macronutrient composition or social determinants? Impact on infant outcomes with gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM). Diabetes Spectrum, 29 (2), 71-78.
Trout, K.K., & Eshkevari, L. (2015). Chapter 28: Support for women in labor and beyond. In T.L. King, M.C. Brucker, J.M. Kriebs, J.O. Fahey, C.L. Gegor, & H. Varney (Eds.), Varney’s midwifery. (5th Ed.)(883-914). Burlington, MA: Jones & Bartlett.
Trout, K.K. (2014). Chapter 23: Gestational diabetes. In R.G. Jordan, J. Engstrom, J. Marfel, & C.L. Farley (Eds.), Prenatal and postnatal care: A woman-centered approach. (1st Ed.)(387-396). Ames, IA: Wiley-Blackwell.
Eshkevari, L., Trout, K.K., & Damore, J. (2013). Management of postpartum pain. Journal of Midwifery & Women’s Health , 58(6), 622-631.
- Trout, K.K., Ellis, K.A., & Bratschie, A. (2013). Prevention of obesity and diabetes in childbearing women. Journal of Midwifery & Women’s Health , 58(3), 297-302.
Trout, K.K., Blake, K., & Maroszan, H. (2012). Caring for the pregnant woman with a family history of cognitive/developmental disabilities. In E. Giarelli and M. Gardner (Eds.), Nursing of autism spectrum disorder: Evidence-based integrated care across the lifespan. (81-100). New York: Springer Publications.
- Trout, K.K., McGrath, J., Flanagan, J., Costello, M., & Frey, J. (2012). A pilot study to increase fruit and vegetable intake in Latina pregnant women. Journal of Primary Care and Community Health, 3(1), 42405.
- Trout, K.K., Averbuch, T., & Barowski, M. (2011). Promoting breastfeeding among obese women and women with gestational diabetes mellitus. Current Diabetes Reports, 11(1), 42563.
- Yehuda, I., Ramos, J.N., & Trout K.K. (2011). Fetal growth scans and amniotic fluid assessment in gestational diabetes. JOGNN, 40, 603-616.
- Trout, K.K. (2010). Human trafficking: The role of nurses in identifying and helping victims. Pennsylvania Nurse, 65(4), 18-20.