Maternal Health Awareness Day: Access in Crisis

Essex County OB/GYN stands with the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) for Maternal Health Awareness Day on January 23rd. Access to maternal health care has increasingly become unobtainable for many patients in the United States, and it’s time to make a change. Join us in raising awareness about the challenges we face in our state and community, working together to develop solutions and protect maternal healthcare access.

What is Maternal Health Awareness Day?

Maternal Health Awareness Day was first established by the state of New Jersey in 2017 to raise awareness about maternal health and educate both healthcare providers and families about maternal mortality. The day is meant to improve the physical and mental health of mothers and has been celebrated nationally by ACOG since 2021.

Why is Maternal Health Awareness Day important?

The maternal health access crisis in the United States is nothing short of catastrophic. Access to care has become increasingly difficult for many in the United States due to challenges in finances, staffing, and policy changes. Over one-third of United States counties have been deemed maternity care deserts, forcing patients to travel farther or go without access to necessary care. 

Some of the most deadly complications can occur in the 12 months immediately after delivery, making sufficient access to care even more critical. Those experiencing maternal mental health conditions, not just physical complications, need continuous access to care but face systemic challenges. Due to the end of the COVID-19 public health emergency, many people are also losing access to Medicaid coverage and are not eligible for the full year of coverage recommended. According to the CDC, Black and American Indian and Alaska Native women experience these crises more intensely, facing maternal mortality rates two to three times higher than that of white women

Over 80% of US maternal deaths are preventable (Source: CDC). Lives, health, and safety depend on raising awareness about the risks of limited maternal healthcare access! To learn more and be part of the solution, visit ACOG’s website

Mental Health in Pregnant and Postpartum Patients

According to ACOG, perinatal depression, which occurs during pregnancy or in the first 12 months after delivery, is one of the most common complications and affects around one in seven women. The importance of mental health for pregnant and postpartum individuals encompasses the emotional and psychological well-being crucial to the health of the mother, the safety of the pregnancy, and the development of the fetus, as well as the early bonding between the parent and the newborn. Its importance cannot be overstated. 

What Essex County OB/GYN is Doing to Help

At Essex County OB/GYN, we understand the importance of maternal mental health and its impact on physical health and we are committed to supporting you through every stage of your journey. 

Our practice has partnered with FamilyWell, a service dedicated to providing mental health care via convenient telehealth services. FamilyWell collaborates with numerous insurance providers, and their services are often covered by insurance plans, making access to mental health care more manageable and affordable. We understand patients cannot wait months for help when pregnant or caring for newborns. With FamilyWell, patients receive help within days and maintain ongoing support through one of the largest transitions of their lives. 

With FamilyWell, patients receive customized care from a team that works directly with your OB provider. Collaborative care plans are tailored to your needs and may include:

  • Individualized mental health screenings
  • Virtual mental health coaching sessions
  • On-demand texting support
  • Medication management
  • Access to digital resource library 

Read more about our partnership with FamilyWell here. Talk to your provider about how you can access these services as a patient at Essex County OB/GYN.

Additional Resources

Maternal Health Awareness Day may only take place on January 23rd, but the crisis persists and the Essex County OB/GYN team is committed to bringing awareness to this urgent issue. It is crucial to continue educating and advocating for the crisis surrounding maternal healthcare access. At Essex County OB/GYN, we are committed to providing the most comprehensive reproductive health care available throughout every stage of your health journey. Contact us today to book an appointment at one of our three locations on the North Shore.

Attention Patients: Use My Lahey Chart to request RX refills. Use this link to My Lahey Chart.