Maternal Health Awareness Day

Maternal Health Awareness Day

The theme for 2024 is Access in Crisis.

Join the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists on January 23 to help improve maternal health outcomes.

Access to maternal health care has increasingly become unobtainable for many patients in the United States. Ongoing financial, staffing, and policy challenges have forced hospital administrators in both rural and urban areas to shutter their labor and delivery units, causing patients to travel longer distances or go without needed care. Rural access to maternal care grows ever more challenging, with more than one-third of U.S. counties considered maternity care deserts, according to a 2022 March of Dimes report.

Many people, including those in the postpartum period, are also losing Medicaid coverage following the end of the COVID-19 public health emergency. The 12 months immediately after delivery can be critical because that is when some of the most deadly pregnancy-related complications occur. Those living with maternal mental health conditions must have continuous access to care, as they already face systemic challenges in accessing the treatment they need. While many state legislators have opted to extend postpartum Medicaid coverage, there are still states where people are not eligible for the full year of coverage that ACOG recommends. These crises are felt most profoundly by Black and American Indian and Alaska Native women, whose maternal mortality rate is two to three times higher than that of white women, based on CDC data.

To further compound these crises, in the wake of the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization decision, people are unable to access needed abortion care, leaving them at risk of complications and even death.

Observing Maternal Health Awareness Day 2024

The maternal access crisis in the United States is nothing short of catastrophic. We can all play a role in helping to reverse course and improve outcomes. Help ACOG raise awareness about how access to maternal health care is at risk in your state or community and how the lives, health, and safety of patients depend on stakeholders coming together to develop sound policy solutions and implement programs and initiatives to restore and protect access to care.

Join the  American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists on January 23, 2024, in discussing Access in Crisis using #MaternalHealthAwarenessDay on social media and using the graphic below, and stay tuned for additional resources from ACOG.

Resources on Maternal Health and Clinical Guidance

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