Jan 16, 2024 RWJBarnabas Health Recognizes 2024 Maternal Health Awareness Day


System Helps Raise Awareness of Underlying Causes of Maternal Mortality

RWJBarnabas Health, the health system that delivers the most babies in New Jersey, together with the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology (ACOG), is observing Maternal Health Awareness Day on January 23, raising awareness among both clinicians and patients on the two leading causes of maternal mortality.

The ACOG theme for the 2024 Maternal Health Awareness Day, “Access in Crisis,” focuses on how access to maternal health care has become increasingly challenging for many patients in the United States. Ongoing financial, staffing and policy challenges have resulted in patients needing to travel long distances for care or going without needed care.

The twelve months immediately after delivery can be critical, as it is when some of the most deadly pregnancy-related complications can occur. Those living with maternal mental health conditions need continuous access to care. We can all play a role in helping to improve maternal health outcomes.

RWJBarnabas Health is committed to implementing programs that increase a woman’s access to outstanding care from the moment she begins planning for pregnancy or learns she is pregnant, throughout her pregnancy and delivery, and the 12-month postpartum period. These programs include supportive outreach and early identification for moms with substance use disorder through a partnership among the RWJBH Institute For Prevention and Recovery, hospital maternity programs and OB/GYN practices; comprehensive mental health outreach and support through the Center for Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorders in Eatontown and West Orange; Centering Pregnancy, an evidence-based group prenatal support program for at-risk moms; and TeamBirth NJ, an evidence-based initiative to help ensure outstanding communication, teamwork and shared decision-making throughout the birthing experience.

Maternal Health Awareness Day was created in 2017 by the state of New Jersey to raise awareness and provide education to both health care providers and families about maternal health. Since then, a statewide patient safety initiative led by the New Jersey Hospital Association found that collaborative efforts by the state’s birthing centers are estimated to have averted more than 10,000 C-sections over five years.