January 23 is designated as an annual statewide observance of Maternal Health Awareness Day. In 2018, New Jersey became the first state in the nation to designate a day calling for action to raise public awareness about maternal health and promote maternal safety.
Maternal Health Awareness Day encourages people to come together to push for quality, equality and dignity of women. It is an opportunity for healthcare providers to educate, advocates and bring awareness to the importance of solutions that meet the physical, social and emotional needs of all women during pregnancy – and in the days, weeks, and months after giving birth.
Most women who give birth recover without problems. But any woman can have complications after the birth of a baby. Learning the post-birth warning signs and what to do can save your life or the life or someone you love.
You may already know that the United States is the only developed country in the world with a rising maternal mortality rate. But did you know that approximately 60% of maternal deaths are preventable?
Racial inequities contribute to that disparity: Black patients die during and after pregnancy at a rate three times higher than white patients, and those who are American Indian and Alaska Native die at a rate two times higher than white patients. The COVID-19 pandemic has also contributed to recent maternal mortality rates, as the virus is associated with increased risk of severe complications—including death—during pregnancy.