2016 State of the State of Maternal & Infant Health in Georgia Report Published

Atlanta, Georgia – September 29, 2016 – Today, Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition of Georgia (“HMHB”) publishes their second State of the State of Maternal & Infant Health in Georgia report.

As a service to many interested private and public stakeholders, HMHB has summarized pertinent health data in the following areas: prenatal care, fetal mortality, live births, premature and low birthweight babies, infant mortality, maternal disease, maternal obesity, maternal use of alcohol and illicit drugs, maternal mortality, postpartum visits, perinatal mood and anxiety disorders, and breastfeeding. An executive summary and the full report can be found online.

“The goal is to illuminate where we have been, where we are now, and what we can do through collaborative action,” said author and HMHB Board member, Merrilee Gober, RN, BSN, JD. “The current state of Georgia’s maternal and infant health presents ongoing challenges as well as signs of promise for the future.”

“Based on the most current data available, there is reason to be hopeful as teen pregnancy rates continue to improve and Georgia continues to beat the national averages for maternal smoking, alcohol and apparent illicit drug use during pregnancy,” shared Gober.

Areas of challenge include unintended pregnancies, the prevalence of low birthweight infants, maternal mortality and duration of breastfeeding. The report demonstrates that there are often disparities by age, education, race/ethnicity, geographic location and insurance/payment type.

HMHB concludes this report with recommendations in four key implementation areas: (1) prenatal care; (2) legislation; (3) public/private partnerships, and (4) data collection and needs assessment.

“The evidence-based recommendations aim to improve the accuracy of future data as well as the health outcomes for many of Georgia’s mothers and babies,” explains HMHB executive director, Elise Blasingame. “It is critical that we work in partnership to address these issues throughout Georgia. We hope this report will serve as a catalyst for that important collaboration.”

Since 1973, Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition of Georgia has served as the statewide voice for improved maternal and infant health and access to healthcare.