Maternal and Child Health

smiling mother and babyMaternal and child health is an important public health issue because:

* we have the opportunity to end preventable deaths among all women, children and adolescents and to greatly improve their health and well-being.

* far too many women, infants and children worldwide still have little or no access to essential, quality health services and education, clean air and water, and adequate sanitation and nutrition.

* investments in prevention, health care and education last a lifetime.

Together with our partners, APHA is improving the health and well-being of women, children and adolescents, in support of global Every Woman Every Child movement. 

In 2016, APHA worked with the World Federation of Public Health Associations to globalize a policy statement on maternal mortality. Adopted at the 50th General Assembly in Geneva, the "Reducing Maternal Mortality as a Human Right" resolution recommends national governments design vital health statistics systems to track high rates of maternal deaths and create health workforces equipped to serve developing countries. The policy also echoes the Global Strategy for Women's, Children's and Adolescents' Health call for increased financing and resilient health systems and is the first to come out of WFPHA's Work Group on Women, Children and Adolescents, which is being spearheaded by APHA leadership.

Programs work from within to prevent black maternal deaths: Workers targeting root cause — Racism (from APHA's The Nation's Health)

Black women are up to four times more likely to die in childbirth than white women. Joia Crear-Perry, MD, of the National Birth Equity Collaborative and Black Mamas Matter Alliance suggests how we can close that gap.

Check out Black Mamas Matter: A Toolkit for Advancing the Human Right to Safe and Respectful Maternal Health Care and the Public Health Newswire posts about the Black Mamas Matter Alliance sessions at the APHA Annual Meeting and Expo in 202020192018 and 2017.

APHA and Partner Webinars

Some of the APHA Policy Statements addressing maternal and child health (search our database for more): 

Supporting Breastfeeding Worldwide through Maternity Protection
Reducing Non Medically Indicated Elective Inductions of Labor
Endorsing Caring for our Children: National Health and Safety Performance Standards
Reducing Barriers and Increasing Access to Children's Vision Care Services
Call to Action to Reduce Global Maternal, Neonatal and Child Morbidity and Mortality

Advocacy on Maternal and Child Health: 

  • Organization letter to Congress signed by 115 national organizations in support of Maternal Health Quality Improvement Act and the Helping MOMS Act of 2020   
  • Organization letter to Congress in support of investing in safety net providers that provide maternal and child health services, STI testing and other essential care during the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Organization letter to Congress in support of a minimum of $40 million for the Surveillance for Emerging Threats to Mothers and Babies program in FY 2021 
  • Organization letter in support of S.  3170, the Providing Urgent Maternal Protections for Nursing Mothers Act
  • Health organization letters to the House and Senate authors of H.R. 1551/S.1960, the Quality Care for Moms and Babies Act, in support of their introduction of this important legislation to address the nation's maternal mortality crisis and the rising number of preterm births

American Journal of Public Health: 

Effect of the Affordable Care Act on Disparities in Breastfeeding: The Case of Maine
The Zika Virus in Brazil: Knowledge Gaps and Challenges for Risk Reduction
The Interface Among Poverty, Air Mattress Industry Trends, Policy and Infant Safety
State-Level Progress in Reducing Black-White Infant Mortality Gap
Flint Kids: Tragic, Resilience and Exemplary
Machine Learning for Social Services: A Study of Prenatal Case Management in Illinois
The Effect of an Increased Minimum Wage on Infant Mortality and Birth Weight
Divergent Trends in US Maternity and Paternity Leave, 1994-2015
The Role of Socioeconomic Factors in Black-White Disparities in Preterm Birth

Read more AJPH  research on maternal and child health