Delaware Expands Services for Maternal and Infant Health
Delaware Gov. John Carney is working to improve maternal and infant health after signing multiple pieces of legislation on July 25 to better support new moms and babies.
The legislative package includes 6 bills — H.B. 340, H.B. 344(S), H.B. 342, H.B. 345, H.B. 343 and H.B. 234— all aimed at removing barriers to care and reducing disparities for future generations of Delaware mothers.
H.B. 340 will revamp the Child Death Review Commission, renaming it the Child and Maternal Death Review Commission, which will publicly post a draft report and accept written comment regarding maternal and child deaths.
H.B. 344(S) will establish bias and cultural competency training for health care employees. The initial guidelines are to be developed by the Delaware Perinatal Quality Collaborative by July 1, 2023, and the subcommittee will review data every following year and revise guidelines as necessary.
H.B. 342 will expand existing restrictions on the use of restraints on women who are giving birth or in labor to include pregnant women and those in the 13-week postpartum period.
H.B. 345 will ensure that pregnant women will have access to a midwife and doula services. The same will apply to women up to six weeks after giving birth.
H.B. 234 will extend postpartum coverage to 12 months from the end of pregnancy.
Currently, Delaware suffers from high rates of maternal mortality with a disproportionate impact among Black women. Data shows that Black women made up one in four women giving birth in Delaware between 2011 and 2018, but they made up half of the mothers who died in childbirth.
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