White House releases blueprint to improve maternal health

The White House last week released its Maternal Health Blueprint, which takes actions at the federal level to combat maternal mortality and morbidity. Among the provisions to advance equitable maternal health are extending Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Plan coverage for one year postpartum; strengthening federal maternal health programs; bolstering research efforts; addressing behavioral health needs; promoting cultural competency training; growing and diversifying the perinatal workforce; and confronting the societal factors that influence health. The blueprint’s release coincided with a study finding maternal deaths increased during the pandemic, especially among Hispanic and Black women. The American Hospital Association’s Aisha Syeda, MPH, senior program manager, strategic initiatives, wrote in a blog “leveraging data and patient stories can empower all of us to advocate for equitable policies, more culturally competent care and a safer birthing experience for women of color.”