Category Archives: Maternal Health

The Best and Worst States to Have a Baby

Image by Uzuri Art.

I write about maternal health a lot on Social Good Moms and sometimes I don’t write enough about newborn health. I saw some interesting information this month about the best and worst states to have a baby and thought the data was interesting to share. The data was compiled by Wallet Hub.

They compared the 50 states and the District of Columbia across four key dimensions:

  • Cost
  • Health Care
  • Baby-Friendliness and
  • Family-Friendliness

Additionally, across these four dimensions, they evaluated 30 additional metrics including infant mortality rate, maternal mortality rate, Cesarean deliveries, preterm birth and low-birth weight infants.

The best and worst states are listed in the table below. One of the most important things for all parents to check for is their newborn health screenings. You can find yours based on your state at Baby’s First Test. And in North Carolina, mothers can sign up for an additional two free tests ( fragile X syndrome and spinal muscular atrophy (SMA))at EarlyCheck.org. The tests are led by RTI International.

BESTWORST
1 Vermont 42 West Virginia
2
Massachusetts
43
Florida
3 North Dakota 44 Nevada
4 Rhode Island 45 Arkansas
5 Minnesota 46
Georgia
6 New Hampshire 47 Oklahoma
7 Washington 48 Louisiana
8 Colorado 49
South Carolina
9 Connecticut 50 Alabama
10 Utah 51 Mississippi

Best vs. Worst

  • Mississippi has the lowest average annual cost for early child care, $3,192, which is 4.9 times lower than in the District of Columbia, the highest at $15,515.
     
  • Alaska has the lowest share of childbirths with low birth weight, 6.19 percent, which is 1.9 times lower than in Mississippi, the highest at 11.60 percent.
     
  • The District of Columbia has the most obstetricians and gynecologists (per 100,000 residents), 25, which is 25 times more than in Oklahoma, the fewest at 1.
     
  • Massachusetts has the highest parental leave policy score, 160, while 9 states, such as Alabama, Michigan and South Dakota, tie for the lowest at 0.

To learn about the data visit WalletHub.com.

NEW: Drug That Prevents PostPartum Hemorrhage Added To WHO Essential Medicines List

As I have written many times before postpartum hemorrhage (PPH) or excessive uterine bleeding after childbirth is the leading cause of maternal mortality in low-and-middle income countries. The recommended drug to prevent PPH according to the World Health Organization (WHO) is oxytocin. When administered in its recommended dose it causes little to no side effects. Oxytocin, the WHO’s current gold standard therapy, however, must be refrigerated and administered by skilled health workers posing two obstacles to its wider use in low resource, tropical settings.

Some countries have approved misoprostol, an oral drug, to prevent PPH, but there are several concerns that its use can be misappropriated for abortions instead of used solely for PPH. The World Health Organization has listed misoprostol as an alternative to oxytocin if it is not available.

Now, another PPH preventative drug, carbetocin, has been added to the latest updated 2019 WHO Essential Medicines List. The announcement was made last week. Unlike oxytocin, even at high temperatures carbetocin remains effective. The recommendation is that carbetocin can be used when oxytocin is not available or if its quality is uncertain. Additionally, the cost must be comparable to oxytocin.

Continue reading NEW: Drug That Prevents PostPartum Hemorrhage Added To WHO Essential Medicines List

Congressional Black Maternal Health Caucus Launches on Capitol Hill

On Tuesday the first congressional caucus on black maternal health launched on Capitol Hill. Led by Democrat congresswomen Rep. Alma Adams (D-NC) and freshman Rep. Lauren Underwood (D-Il.) the caucus’s mission is to ensure black women are not dying senselessly during or after childbirth

As has been noted here many times before black women experience maternal mortality rates four times higher than white mothers no matter black women’s socioeconomic status or even the level of education achieved. In general, the United States has the highest maternal mortality rate of any developed country. Black women fare the worst.

Continue reading Congressional Black Maternal Health Caucus Launches on Capitol Hill

A Pregnancy Series You Can Really Binge on Facebook Watch

After recently receiving a press release about a pregnancy docuseries on Facebook Watch I have been hooked!  As a maternal health advocate, it takes a lot to stop me in my tracks, but 9 Months With Courteney Cox has really opened my eyes on the realities of pregnancy in America. After all, it has been twenty years since I had my last child, so things have definitely changed!

My proclivity these days is to focus on vulnerable communities when it comes to maternal health and mortality and yet there are so many women who have to deal with pregnancy complications and care, health issues, and disparities, as well as fertility options and disappointments when it comes to carrying a baby full-term. The most important thing for all of us to remember is that women the world over have personal struggles with pregnancy.  Those experiences are certainly different from one country to the next, and most certainly from one woman to the next. They all are valid for those who are carrying a baby or are desperately trying to.

9 Months With Courteney Cox has honestly shone a brilliant light on pregnancy in the United States in its docuseries from a mother who found out she was pregnant and had cancer at the same time, to a couple who have tried for years to get pregnant, only to miscarry time and time again, to a mother who couldn’t imagine ever delivering a ninth child to add to her already eight children. These are just a few of the couples’ experiences of the ten that are laid bare in this riveting Facebook Watch show.

Want to watch? Start on episode one and enjoy.   I will admit, I wish the episodes were longer because I really want to know what happens, but they are timed perfectly for busy people. Each episode is about 15 minutes.

 

 

11 Maternal Health Organizations to Support This Year

Maternal mortality continues to be a major problem the world over. The United States is the only developed country where maternal death rates are increasing especially for non-Hispanic black women. And in low-and-middle income countries, approximately 830 women die each day from pregnancy-related, preventable causes.

Maternal health organizations are working diligently to save more mothers’ lives, but one death is still too many especially when it is likely preventable. I like to list organizations that you can support with donations in order to help them keep more women and their children alive on the local level and make sure mothers are a part of their families’ lives.

This list highlights local organizations that help some of the most vulnerable communities in countries with some of the highest maternal mortality rates. And, in the cases of the United States and Australia, the organizations help the communities that experience the most maternal deaths. Each site allows direct donations that go directly to maternal care and/or advocacy.

Continue reading 11 Maternal Health Organizations to Support This Year