A Black woman in New Jersey is seven times more likely to die of pregnancy or birth issues than a White woman. These intolerable racial disparities contribute heavily to the state ranking 47th in the US in maternal health outcomes.
Such maternal infant health (MIH) initiatives as First Lady Tammy Murphy’s Nurture NJ recognize midwifery as an important way to reduce racial disparities. The use of midwives is cost-effective and associated with improved health outcomes. Though midwives are the standard providers of maternal and newborn care in much of the world, their use is far less frequent in the US; midwives attend fewer than 10% of births in New Jersey.
To develop ways to make midwives a bigger part of the birth experience in New Jersey, the Burke Foundation, partnering with the New Jersey Health Care Quality Institute, released Delivering Better Care: Midwifery Practice in New Jersey, an in-depth review of midwifery practice in the state.
The findings identified the following needs:
To work toward implementing the Delivering Better Care: Midwifery Practice in New Jersey recommendations, the New Jersey Health Care Quality Institute and the Burke Foundation will launch the Maternal Infant Health Hub as a policy and learning collaborative to strengthen midwifery practice and promote birth equity and justice in New Jersey. The Hub will convene midwives, advocates, and MIH stakeholders to create a shared learning space and provide educational resources focused on maternal health policy. The Hub will work with participants to help design a policy- and advocacy-focused midwifery fellowship to assist early-career midwifery leaders.
The Hub’s 3 Key Aspects
The MIH Hub will launch in December 2022. Applications to join the Hub Board are due October 14, 2022. For additional questions, please contact Armonie Pierre-Jacques, Community Health and Policy Associate at firstname.lastname@example.org.