Today (Tuesday, Dec 7 2021) Vice President Kamala Harris hosted the first-ever federal Maternal Health Day of Action. The Vice President issued a nationwide Call to Action to both the public and private sector to help improve maternal health outcomes in the United States. Watch the Summit.
Vice President Harris acknowledged that Black women, Native women, and women who live in rural areas are dying during and following pregnancy at unacceptably high rates, and made the following specific calls to action:
  • Extend pregnancy-related Medicaid coverage from 60 days to a full year postpartum.
  • Launch a Birthing-Friendly Hospital Initiative.
  • Pass the Black Maternal Health Momnibus to address all aspects of maternal health.
The Summit comprised presentations and discussions from experts, elected officials, policymakers, advocates, and individuals with lived experience, including:
  • Senators Patty Murray and Cory Booker
  • U.S. Representatives Alma Adams, Robin Kelly, and Lauren Underwood
  • Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Beccerra
  • Housing and Urban Development Secretary Marcia Fudge
  • Center for Medicaid & Medicare Services Administrator Chiquita Brooks-LaSure
  • Stacey Stewart, President and CEO of the March of Dimes
  • Jamila Taylor of the Century Foundation
  • Christy Turlington Burns, Founder of Every Mother Counts
Featured speaker Ann Newman, PhD, called for universal education and screening for maternal mental health conditions during and following pregnancy. Citing her decades of working with new mothers, Dr. Newman stressed the importance of listening to new mothers and the impact of a mother's mental health on herself, her infant, her family, and society.
Learn more about the Maternal Health Day of Action
No one brings casseroles or holds your hand when your brain gets sick, or calls to see how you are doing.
-- Ann Newman, PhD, quoting a new mother with postpartum depression
Working with Policy Makers to Address Maternal Mental Health Conditions
Our vision is universal and equitable education, prevention, screening, and treatment
for mental health conditions during pregnancy and year following pregnancy.