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Maternal Child Health

Evidence-Informed Substance Use Disorder Policies for Maternal and Child Populations

April 05, 2021

The unintended consequences of substance use disorder policies can be significant for women and families impacted by substance use disorders (SUD). Policies such as mandatory minimum sentencing and prosecution of low-level substance use offenses have led to soaring imprisonment rates, especially for Black and Latina populations. This brief discusses the gendered and racialized impacts of substance use and child maltreatment policies and offers four considerations to policymakers as they look to create effective, meaningful policy to improve outcomes for women and families impacted by SUD.Read More »

Adverse Childhood Experiences in States and Territories Infographic Three: A Look at ACEs Prevention Strengths—Partnerships

January 21, 2021

Cross-sector collaboration is critical to successfully preventing adverse childhood experiences (ACEs). Because the impact of ACEs have societal implications and can potentially affect chronic/behavioral illnesses, everyone has a role in preventing ACEs. This infographic details how state and territorial health agencies utilize partnerships to increase ACEs prevention capacity. Health agencies should review internal and external partnerships and strategic plans to understand roles and responsibilities and reveal opportunities to strengthen collaborative efforts.Read More »

Adverse Childhood Experiences in States and Territories Infographic Two: A Look at Areas of Improvement for ACEs Prevention—Health Equity and ACEs Disparities Data

January 21, 2021

State and territorial health agencies report varying levels of capacity to prevent adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) across populations. Unfortunately, a higher ACE burden is experienced by foster care children, justice-involved communities, and communities experiencing poverty and concentrated violence. This infographic details how state and territorial health agencies have opportunities to improve selected partnerships to impact health equity. By strengthening collaboration with justice systems through transformational approaches grounded in reciprocity, S/THAs can improve health equity and reduce ACEs disparities.Read More »

Adverse Childhood Experiences in States and Territories Infographic One: A Look at Primary Prevention Priorities

January 21, 2021

State and territorial health agencies can prevent many chronic illnesses and behavioral health issues by preventing adverse childhood experiences (ACEs). This infographic details how agencies prioritize primary prevention strategies that stop ACEs from occurring in the first place. By promoting programs with larger societal impact, such as policies that strengthen family economic supports, agencies can have a more considerable influence in preventing ACEs.Read More »

Advancing Breastfeeding During a Pandemic

November 20, 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic has presented many challenges for breastfeeding families and state breastfeeding initiatives. This brief discusses these challenges and how states in ASTHO’s Breastfeeding Learning Community are overcoming COVID-19 challenges and continuing their efforts to make policies, systems, and environments more breastfeeding-friendly. Strategies include utilizing online training for lactation support staff, holding virtual focus groups, removing financial barriers to program participation, and educating employers on how improving lactation accommodations supports the COVID-19 response.Read More »

Postpartum Depression: Expanding Screening Practices to Improve Outcomes

September 25, 2020

This brief describes why expanded postpartum depression screening and coverage are necessary for improving health outcomes and reducing disparities for both mother and child. The brief then offers three collaboratie strategies for how state health departments can build strong cross-sector programs with providers and systems that expand access to and practice of depression screening.Read More »

The Impact of COVID-19 Telehealth Flexibilities on Maternity Care

September 02, 2020

This brief focuses on how telehealth expansion during the COVID-19 pandemic has increased access to care for pregnant and postpartum women, and made maternal and child health care services like doulas and midwives more accessible. The brief also discusses how the maternal and child health workforce is leveraging telehealth to provide virtual services to underserved communities to potentially reduce health disparities and improve health outcomes.Read More »

Breastfeeding Promotes Early Brain Development

June 22, 2020

Breastfeeding and early child nutrition are crucial for promoting healthy early brain development. This infographic details how skin-to-skin breastfeeding and breastmilk promote infant brain development, higher educational performance, and cognitive and socio-emotional health. Also included are examples of equity-focused state and national initiatives to promote breastfeeding and early brain development.Read More »

Breastfeeding Support Through Perinatal Quality Collaboratives

June 16, 2020

Perinatal Quality Collaboratives (PQCs) are state or multi-state networks of teams that work to improve clinical care for mothers and infants, primarily by identifying healthcare processes that need improvement and rapidly aligning to enact change. This infographic outlines recommendations for how PQCs can promote breastfeeding through quality improvement strategies, and includes examples of three state PQCs that have improved policies, procedures, and practices to better support breastfeeding in hospitals.Read More »

Medication-Assisted Treatment in Pregnancy

April 30, 2020

Pregnant and postpartum women with opioid use disorder continue to struggle with accessing services that would make recovery possible, including medication-assisted treatment, housing assistance, childcare, and more. To address this vulnerable population’s needs, states have explored a variety of policy approaches to improve access to care. This brief outlines some of the barriers that pregnant and postpartum women with opioid use disorder face, as well as examples of state legislation passed to address recovery program implementation, treatment funding and insurance coverage, and provider education.Read More »

Preventing Fatal Overdoses in Postpartum Populations

May 13, 2020

This brief outlines key considerations for state health departments to address the increase in overdose-related deaths during the postpartum period. A common tool emerging around the country is extending Medicaid coverage to women beyond 60 days postpartum—we analyze approaches being implemented by Missouri, West Virginia, the District of Columbia, and other jurisdiction.Read More »

State Approaches for Promoting Family-Centered Care for Pregnant and Postpartum Women with Substance Use Disorders

October 02, 2019

The use of opioids and other substances during pregnancy has increased significantly in the past decade, and so too have complications from their use. Opioid and substance use disorders (SUD) continue to affect families beyond pregnancy; in 2017, about one in eight (8.7 million) U.S. children lived in a household where at least one parent had a SUD in the prior year. This brief discusses opportunities to engage families in SUD treatment.Read More »

Stigma Reinforces Barriers to Care for Pregnant and Postpartum Women with Substance Use Disorder

September 30, 2019

Substance use disorder (SUD) among pregnant and postpartum women is an increasingly pressing public health concern. Between 1999 and 2014, the number of women with opioid use disorder who gave birth increased 333 percent. This resource provides recommendations for addressing the stigma these women face.Read More »

Breastfeeding for Healthy Early Brain Development

June 28, 2019

This brief explores the linkages between breastfeeding and early brain development. It discusses how home visiting programs provide breastfeeding support, foster healthy early brain development, and improve overall child health and well-being. Finally, the brief explores why state and territorial health agencies should invest in home visiting programs and the positive impact that this investment will have.Read More »

From Healthy People 2020 to Healthy People 2030

April 08, 2019

This issue brief addresses key recommendations for future iterations of Healthy People and tells state and territorial health agencies what to expect during the transition from Healthy People 2020 to Healthy People 2030.Read More »

Adverse Childhood Experiences: Primary Prevention

February 25, 2019

This brief highlights examples of primary prevention strategies, including building skills and promoting social norms for positive parenting, strengthening economic supports for families, and providing quality education and enrichment early in life.Read More »

Increasing Access to Contraception: Infographic Series

February 08, 2019

This four-part infographic series illustrates key strategies for addressing common challenges and barriers related to increasing access to contraception. Featured topics include: expanding preventative contraceptive care in rural areas, engaging stakeholders, reimbursement for immediate postpartum long-acting reversible contraception, and integrating reproductive healthcare services in correctional and substance use disorder treatment settings.Read More »

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