Task force aims to lower infant, maternal mortality rates
BATON ROUGE- The CDC says Louisiana is seventh worst for infant mortality and fourth for maternal mortality.
Between 2017 and 2019, there were 182 pregnancy related deaths. Forty four of them were directly related to the pregnancy. A team of health professionals are working with state lawmakers to provide critical resources.
"Our mothers are dying during pregnancy and after pregnancy. Post-partum is when we are losing our moms," Chontel Carter Frank, madam chair of the Nursing Maternal Mortality and Preterm Births Task Force, said.
Lack of access to health care and inadequate post-partum care are contributors to these deaths. Maternity deserts are common in rural parts of the state. The task force recommend mid-wives to help alleviate the care problem.
"We are looking at how we can mobilize those nurse mid-wives, actually get enrollment up, get jobs created, how we can infiltrate these barriers to get mid-wives practicing. Mid-wives are shown to improve maternity mortality rates, and morbidity rates, and pre-term death rates," Frank said.
The task force says Medicaid re-imbursement needs to be tracked better and there is an OBGYN shortage which needs to be addressed.
The task force has another meeting before their recommendations are due in February for lawmakers in the Health and Welfare committee to review.
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