We must raise public awareness
Promoting Maternal Health Awareness Day is a start but you must learn how expectant women, mothers, and newborns are all at risk.
What is Maternal Health Awareness Day?
23rd of January 2020, New Jersey's annual Maternal Health Awareness Day is about raising awareness of important maternal health and safety issues and joining forces to reduce maternal mortality.
New Jersey is the first state in the nation to designate a day calling for action to raise public awareness about maternal health and promote maternal safety. Governor Phil Murphy issued a proclamation recognizing the day.
Why must we raise awareness to maternal health?
Despite advances in medical science and technology, deaths related to complications from pregnancy and childbirth are on the rise.
According to Acting Health Commissioner Christopher Rinn, “Every woman should have a healthy pregnancy and delivery and be assured that if problems arise, they will have the medical treatment and support they need.”
Do African Americans suffer the highest risk?
According to the World Health Organization, the United States ranks near the bottom in the number of women who die from pregnancy and childbirth complications. However in New Jersey, pregnant women and new mothers die at a rate above the national average, according to the United Health Foundation’s America’s Health Rankings.
Unfortunately, the New Jersey Maternal Mortality Case Review Team found that African-American women are five times as likely as white women to die from pregnancy-related complications.
What is the leading cause of pregnancy-related death?
The leading causes of pregnancy-related death include:
Factors that may contribute to maternal deaths include:
What are they doing about it?
For more than 80 years New Jersey's team of experts reviews all maternal mortality cases. With this data, they can develop educational programs and recommendations for healthcare professionals and clinical practices.
The Department of Health provides a variety of programs in collaboration with other agencies, that focus on helping women stay healthy and prepare for healthy pregnancies. These programs include:
- Family planning services help low-income and uninsured women in all 21 counties meet their healthcare needs
- Home Visiting provides health screening and guidance to high-risk women and families
- WIC (Women, Infants and Children) services include supplemental food packages and healthcare referrals to pregnant women
Improving Birth Outcomes Initiative formed to reduce preterm birth rates in the state and to ensure more newborns have a healthy start to life. They coordinate services and integrate care for women and families in high-risk communities. This provides access, screening and referrals for clients with the help of community health workers to provide useful information that will help future pregnancies.
In 2017, the New Jersey Perinatal Quality Collaborative received a federal grant to improve perinatal care.
The New Jersey Hospital Association (NJHA) is improving perinatal care by reducing severe pregnancy complications associated with high blood pressure and hemorrhage, and reducing racial/ethnic and geographic disparities.
Is Postpartum Depression a part of Maternal Health Awareness Day?
Yes, the Postpartum Depression Program assists pregnant and postpartum women to with mental health treatment services. A toll-free Family Health Line (1-800-328-3838) is available 24/7. Includes trained counselors who refer women to a variety of resources.
Other available programs
Nutrition education is provided by SNAP-Ed’s “Eating Smart, Being Active,” a training program for pregnant women and new mothers.
How can I participate in Maternal Health Awareness Day?
- Support the Helping Moms Act
- Participate in a maternal health forum
- Become an ambassador - fundraise and promote awareness
- Host a Facebook Group for pregnant women + mothers
- Educate yourself and women you know
- Attend your prenatal doctor visits
- Offer to take a pregnant woman to her doctor visits
- Share nutritious meals with other moms on Instagram
- Provide local resources to families struggling with mental health issues
- Donate to Every Mother Counts
- ShoptheKei.com donates a portion of every purchase to EMC
For more information, visit:
Maternal Health Awareness Day, postpartum women, pregnant women, new mothers, mental health treatment, mental health treatment services, helping moms act, maternal health forum, prenatal doctors, mental health issues, donations, every mother counts, EMC, NJ Perinatal Quality Collaborative, NJ Hospital Association, maternal healthcare for low income, prenatal care, pregnancy, childbirth, ShoptheKei.com