In the news, focus on the neglected postpartum period sheds light on questions of maternal mental health, and new research exposes the benefits of remote blood pressure monitoring in the postpartum period. Delivering equitable care continues to be a primary concern for care providers, plus two new articles in our Consumer Corner from Babyscripts' Senior Medical Director, Dr. Lauren Demosthenes.
The term “desert” calls to mind geographic isolation — a place far removed from society and economic infrastructure. And when it comes to maternity care deserts in rural populations, that image is not far removed from the reality.
It’s no secret that distance and socio-economic risk contribute to the high rate of maternal deaths in the US. Many women lack immediate access to necessary care, and don’t have the means or the time to travel to distant providers. This problem is pervasive in rural areas — but it doesn’t stop there. Many of the country’s maternity care deserts are not geographically isolated at all, but exist in the heart of its most densely populated areas.
The Black Maternal Health Caucus unveiled the Momnibus Act last week, a legislative package of 12 standalone bills targeted to address maternal health disparities for Black mothers and other mothers of color. Covid concerns continue to keep the spotlight on virtual care as industry professionals weigh the benefits of remote monitoring and digital tools for enhancing maternal health outcomes during the pandemic and beyond.
Yasmiin Jones* was entering into her 39th week of pregnancy when she started feeling that something might be off. She had been using a monitor to track her blood pressure through her pregnancy, and on week 38, day 5, she clocked a reading higher than normal.
“I thought, you know what, maybe the reading is wrong — maybe I was in the wrong position,” said Yasmiin. So she took her reading again. It was still high.
The effects of hypertension in pregnancy and its ongoing implications for women's health were under consideration this week, partially due to Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine’s 2021 Virtual Annual Meeting. Experts weigh the importance of remote patient monitoring to supplement telehealth and debate ongoing concerns about COVID, the vaccine and pregnancy.
The 116th Congress closed in January on a disappointing note for maternal health advocacy. Two maternal health bills that cleared the House of Representatives with bipartisan support in September 2020 failed to reach the Senate floor for a vote, sending legislators back to the drawing board.
Despite this setback, the general outlook for maternal health advocacy is positive. President Biden has pledged to make women’s health issues a key part of his agenda, and Vice President Harris is well known for her support of maternal health legislation in the Senate, particularly that affecting Black and minority women.
As we welcome a new administration to the White House, the maternal health field is hopeful for a future where maternity issues take a primary position in Congress. A story from our backyard in Washington DC shows how far we have still to go in advocating for maternal health policy.
Plus, a new section in our roundup brought to you by Babyscripts Senior Medical Director, Dr. Lauren Demosthenes - check out the Consumer Corner!
As a new administration enters the White House, we're taking a step back to look at where we've come from and where we need to go from here. We’re hopeful for a future in which maternal health issues receive the attention from Congress that they deserve and demand.
Welcome to 2021, and the first birthday of our Virtual Care Resource Center.
This year, we've used this blog as a place to share all things maternity care; including first hand accounts from providers, payers, and our own team on the benefits and challenges of using digital tools in the maternal health field; market insights; on-the-ground resources; updates around changing policies and protocols; projections on the future of digital health and the maternity care; and insights into the issues affecting mothers across the nation.
The new year has brought with it an onrush of predictions about digital health in 2021, while the new coronavirus vaccine has raised questions about whether health systems will continue to invest in digital health post-pandemic. Venture capitalists are putting their dollars and confidence into digital transformation, and digital healthcare startups are navigating the new normal.