This Week is National Public Health Week

Today’s theme is Maternal and Child Health. There are some statistics put out by the American Public Health Association that are very important and should be sent to any woman you know so she can tell another and they can tell another. Some of the facts and statistics broken down by Science, Action,Health and Justice will astound you! Give thanks to those in the healthcare and health-related fields who fight every day to educate, advocate and save lives.

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For science.
The United States has the highest national spending on health care yet ranks low among its peers for maternal and infant mortality, two indicators of the health of a country. Thirty-one percent of women who will become pregnant and give birth in the U.S. will face pregnancy complications.[1] Black mothers are up to six times more likely to die due to pregnancy complications than white mothers nationwide.[2] Approximately 25% of women in the U.S. do not receive the appropriate number of prenatal appointments with a health provider, but the percentage is even higher among black women (32%) and American Indian/Alaska Native women (41%).[3]

For action.
Advocate for bias training in medical school education. Encourage policymakers to pass laws that create a more equitable and just society. Address access to prenatal and perinatal care for mothers and babies in communities with limited maternal health care. Expand access to WIC and SNAP. Eliminate the work and income requirements that are barriers to prenatal care and improved nutrition. Expand Medicaid for pregnant women and children. Advocate for programs that support breastfeeding. Work to make doula services available for all pregnancies and births.

For health.
In order to address and fight maternal mortality, we need to address income inequity and racism. Advocate for policies that address maternal health gaps and create programs and funding sources to address gaps in care, education, access and resources. Provide technical assistance and funding for states to allow them to create their owned review boards for mortality related to pregnancy.[4]

For justice.
Acknowledge the history of harm that has been perpetuated on women of color.[5] Explore racism as a cause for persisting inequities, and work toward addressing implicit bias in maternal care.[6] Advocate for more equitable access to education, health care and economic mobility for communities of color.