Supported Families. Thriving Children. A Stronger New York.
Every mom should have a healthy pregnancy and delivery.
Every infant should have a healthy start to life.
New York has one of the highest maternal mortality rates in the country. For every 100,000 live births in our state, there are 20.0 maternal deaths, compared to our national average of 17.4. The United States as a whole is facing a crisis of unacceptably poor outcomes for maternal health overall, but especially for moms of color and Black moms specifically. A Black mom in the United States is 3-4 times more likely to die from pregnancy-related complications, and much more likely to give birth to new babies with low-weight at birth. From access to affordable prenatal and perinatal care to anti-discriminatory and anti-racist maternal care, to high-quality support for postpartum mental health, we must do more.
Pregnancy, giving birth, and the first year of motherhood should be a safe and supportive experience for all women. Read below to learn more about the maternal health crisis facing our state, get resources if you are a new or expectant mom who needs support, and take action to help make New York State the best place in the country to have a baby.
Maternal Mental Health
Between 15-20% of new moms experience maternal depression or anxiety. The Schuyler Center website has a number of resources covering screening, referral, and treatment for maternal mental health.
Severe Maternal Morbity
New York State’s severe maternal morbidity rate is higher than the national average, and most concerning in New York City.
The Maximizing Midwifery report outlines how we can achieve high-value maternal care in New York.
In New York City, Black moms are more than 12 times more likely to die from pregnancy-related complications than White moms. New York State is ranked 30th in the nation in its maternal mortality rate, and this rate has been on the rise over the past two decades.
Read the New York State Taskforce on Maternal Mortality and Disparate Racial Outcomes March 2019 report.
Disparities in Maternal Outcomes by Race
Sharing Their Strength
Chanel almost died. Twice.
Vanessa’s fears about protecting her baby led her to isolate herself from friends and family.
Geri fell into a deep postpartum depression after giving birth to her newborn.
These women are not alone. They are among the hundreds of thousands of New York mothers who lack access to knowledgeable medical and mental health professionals who specialize in perinatal mood and anxiety disorders.
Something must change.
Read stories about these women and others in New York and then take action. Contact your representatives to ask them to extend Medicaid coverage for new moms in New York for one year after they give birth.
About one in seven mothers in New York State reported postpartum depressive and anxiety symptoms...
After giving birth, Geri O'Keeffe fell into a deep postpartum depression. Vanessa Barisano had...
Chanel Jones almost died. Twice. Chanel was pregnant as a college junior living and studying in...
Medicaid covers more than 40% of all births in the US , but in New York State, moms who qualify for Medicaid because of pregnancy can lose their coverage just 60 days after they give birth. Coverage requirements for new parents are much more stringent than for pregnant moms, which means that too many new moms lose health coverage just two months after their baby is born.
Postpartum care is critical, and requires much more time than just two months. We must do more to support new moms in the year after they give birth, including by expanding Medicaid coverage so that new moms who qualify can access vital postpartum care related to recovery from childbirth, follow up on complications from pregnancy or giving birth, access mental health services and family planning support, as well as other critical health needs.