Maternal, Infant, and Child Health Workgroup Objectives (23)
About the Workgroup
Approach and Rationale
Improving the well-being of mothers, infants, and children is an important public health goal for the United States. Their well-being determines the health of the next generation and can impact future public health challenges for families, communities, and the health care system.
The pregnancy and postpartum periods can provide an opportunity to prevent future health problems for women and their children by identifying risky behaviors and existing health conditions.
Core objectives selected by the MICH Workgroup aim to reduce the rates of disease and death among women, infants, and children. The risk of maternal and infant disease and death can be decreased by reducing pregnancy-related complications, increasing access to high-quality health care (like care received through a medical home),1 and promoting and supporting breastfeeding2and safe sleep environments.3 In addition, MICH objectives aim to increase participation in healthy behaviors and utilization of recommended health services during pregnancy and the preconception and postpartum periods.
Developmental and research objectives reflect emergent issues in maternal, infant, or child health that lack available data but warrant additional investigation. The MICH workgroup selected developmental objectives that focus on key needs related to safe sleep environments,3 illicit opioid use during pregnancy,4,5 and postpartum depression screening.6
MICH objectives and targets are aligned with several federal programs supported by multiple agencies within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Examples include the Title V Maternal and Child Health Services Block Grant Program,7 Birth to 5: Watch Me Thrive,8 and Learn the Signs. Act Early.9
All Healthy People 2030 core objectives meet several criteria — for example, they have baseline data, a direct impact on health, and an evidence base. The workgroup also considered federal and state program importance and clinical guidelines from the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the American Academy of Pediatrics in developing the MICH objectives.
Emerging Issues in Maternal, Infant, and Child Health
Efforts to address persistent disparities in maternal, infant, and child health continue to use a life course perspective on health promotion and disease prevention. Perinatal health initiatives have been aimed at improving the health of women and infants before, during, and after pregnancy through a variety of evidence-based interventions and attention to emerging public health concerns — like the opioid epidemic and the spread of new viruses. It’s critical to be responsive to the changing trends in marijuana, opioid, and other illegal substance use during pregnancy — and to neonatal abstinence syndrome in infants.
Lichstein, J.C., Ghandour, R.M., & Mann, M.Y. (Dec 2018). Access to the Medical Home Among Children With and Without Special Health Care Needs. Pediatrics, 142(6). https://doi.org/10.1542/peds.2018-1795
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (2011). The Surgeon General's Call to Action to Support Breastfeeding. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK52682/
Hirai, A.H., et al. (2019). Prevalence and Factors Associated with Safe Infant Sleep Practices. Pediatrics, 144(5). https://doi.org/10.1542/peds.2019-1286
Ko, J.Y., et al. (March 2017). CDC Grand Rounds: Public Health Strategies to Prevent Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. http://dx.doi.org/10.15585/mmwr.mm6609a2
Haight, S.C., et al. (August 2018). Opioid Use Disorder Documented at Delivery Hospitalization — United States, 1999–2014. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. http://dx.doi.org/10.15585/mmwr.mm6731a1
Farr, S.L., Denk C.E., Dahms, E.W., & Dietz, P.M. (Aug. 2014). Evaluating Universal Education and Screening for Postpartum Depression Using Population-Based Data. Journal of Womens Health, 23(8):657-663. DOI: 10.1089/jwh.2013.4586.
Health Resources and Services Administration. (Dec. 2019). Title V Maternal and Child Health Services Block Grant Program. Retrieved from https://mchb.hrsa.gov/maternal-child-health-initiatives/title-v-maternal-and-child-health-services-block-grant-program.
U.S. Department of Education. (Jan. 2019). Birth to 5: Watch Me Thrive! Retrieved from https://www2.ed.gov/about/inits/list/watch-me-thrive/index.html.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (Nov. 2019). Learn the Signs. Act Early. Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/actearly/index.html