As maternal mortality rate rises in US, mothers lobby for quality health care

Hadas Kuznits
May 03, 2019 - 11:44 am
Mom Congress

Mom Congress

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PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — Mothers from all across the country will convene in Washington, D.C., Sunday for a three-day convention — known as Mom Congress — urging lawmakers to improve policies surrounding pregnancy, child birth and postpartum depression.

New Jersey business owner Jasmine Kaur admitted she never thought about policies for new moms until she became one.

"I'm a new mom myself, and I realized as soon as I gave birth that a mom goes through a huge transition physically, mentally and emotionally, and she requires a lot of support," she said, which is why she will attend this year's Mom Congress.

Kaur believes the federal and state government should provide more support for new mothers, which would in turn "avoid a lot of other issues."

"Mom Congress is a meeting that convenes a number of nonprofit organizations," explained Alice Lu from Clark, New Jersey, "that are dedicated to maternal and child health, and maternal mental health, to lobby our legislators for improvements in maternity care, given that the maternal mortality rate in the U.S. is actually the highest among all developed nations."

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During the course of the annual gathering, Lu said they will hold panel discussions, breakout sessions and meetings with government leaders about the needs of mothers.  

Mom Congress is pushing for legislation such as providing funding for diapers for low-income families, improving paid family leave, integrating maternal mental health reports into federal agencies, and increasing access to health care.

While there is more awareness surrounding these issues, Lu said it hasn't necessarily translated into "tangible improvements."

"Not enough funding has been dedicated to maternity care and maternal mental health," she noted. "We want lawmakers to really be able to identify the causes of maternal mortality — why these women are dying and why they have such severe complications of child birth."

For more information about Mom Congress, click here.