Maternal Health Awareness Day 2024
Maternal Health Awareness day is January 23, 2024. The theme is 'Access in Crisis' , highlighting the truth that all kinds of supports need to be provided to women to safeguard their health as they experience the pregnancy and post-partum periods.
Arkansas has the highest rate of maternal mortality in the US. It is estimated that over 80% of maternal deaths in our state are preventable. Women of Color are 2½ times more likely to die during pregnancy than other racial or ethnic groups. Half of Arkansas counties are designated as maternity care deserts. If there ever was a time what we needed to command all resources which can lend a hand in addressing this dismal state of maternal health, now is that time!
Significance of Maternal Health Awareness Day
Anxiety and Postpartum depression, extreme insomnia, sleep deprivation, increased risk of cardiovascular disease, infections, thyroid inflammation, urinary tract infections, increased uterine bleeding, incontinence and pelvic floor issues are just some of the real health problems faced by new mothers. Many of these problems do not manifest themselves until months after the baby has been delivered. It is important for new mothers to get continuous care and support from not only family members but also their local communities as well as their state and federal government.
Recommendations such as extending post-partum insurance coverage through the first year after delivery, lengthening maternity leave for new moms and diversifying the maternal care workforce to better reflect the population of those giving birth are a few of the solutions to the health dilemma faced by numerous women after giving birth.
Maternal death and disability leads to long term health issues for children as well as financial instability for families. Mothers are the primary or co-Breadwinner for over 65% of families. Eliminating preventable maternal illnesses and deaths would reduce the economic and human capital losses they cause in families and in our communities.